The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is a specific set of laws and legal standards set forth for America’s armed services. If you serve in any branch of the US military, it is vital to understand the Articles of the UCMJ and the differences between the legal expectations for civilians and the specialized legal standards for military service members. At Aaron Meyer Law, our team provides aggressive and detail-oriented military criminal defense representation for members of the military accused of criminal actions. One of the most commonly cited offenses pertains to UCMJ article 121: Larceny.
If you have been accused of larceny or wrongful misappropriation while serving in America’s military, it is vital to know your rights under the UCMJ and the United States Constitution. You must also know the value of reliable legal representation as you fight to defend your honor, your career, and your future.
Why Do I Need a Private Military Criminal Defense Attorney?
Military members should be aware that if they face criminal charges of any kind, the military can provide legal counsel at no charge. However, military counsel is somewhat limited in terms of availability, and most defendants find that they receive more robust defense representation from private criminal defense attorneys. Attorney Aaron Meyer is a former US Marine with years of experience handling difficult defense cases for his brothers and sisters in arms. If you face a charge of violating UCMJ Article 121 in any way, we can help. Our team can provide the legal counsel you need to navigate the situation confidently and preserve your military career.
Our team does not necessarily focus on fighting the charges you face. We strive to completely dismantle the prosecution’s case from the ground up at the very earliest stages of litigation. Attorney Aaron Meyer has achieved an impeccable record for defense representation thanks to keen attention to detail and unwavering dedication to protecting his clients’ rights.
If you do not secure reliable legal representation, you could potentially lose everything you have worked so hard to achieve during your military career. Whether the case against you results from miscommunication, false accusations, or a wrongful interpretation of recent events, you need the best criminal defense team working on your case to defeat the charges you face.
Understanding Larceny & Wrongful Misappropriation in UCMJ Article 121
UCMJ Article 121 pertains to larceny and wrongful misappropriation. In the simplest terms, “larceny” means stealing from another party without their consent and without any intention of returning the stolen property. “Wrongful misappropriation” typically refers to the unlawful taking of another party’s property with the intention of using it as leverage or for personal gain before returning it.
Some accusations of larceny result from miscommunication, while others pertain to the willful taking of another person’s property. If you are accused of violating Article 121, it’s vital to take full advantage of your Constitutional rights and seek legal counsel immediately. The military tends to move very quickly in handling criminal cases, so it’s vital to meet this pace with expediency of your own in preparing your defense.
When a service member is accused of an Article 121 violation, the burden of proof rests entirely on the prosecution. To secure a conviction, the prosecution must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution must prove that the defendant illegally obtained the property in question and did so purposefully to deprive the owner of that property. The prosecution must also faithfully prove the value of the property in question.
Potential Penalties for Conviction Under Article 121
If the prosecution is successful in convicting a defendant for violating UCMJ Article 121, the penalties can be much more severe than a civilian defendant would face for a larceny charge. It’s possible that the defendant may face fines or restitution in addition to demotion in rank and loss of military pension and benefits. In severe cases, defendants may face Dishonorable Discharge or Other-than-Honorable Discharge, both of which carry severe consequences for their future in civilian life. Severe cases may even lead to confinement in military prison.
Defending Against Charges of Article 121 Violation
In the event you are accused of violating Article 121 in any way, there are several possible ways to defend yourself. Your defense attorney can help you determine whether the charge is valid in the first place, and one of the best methods of defending against any charge of violating the UCMJ is by calling the validity of the prosecution’s evidence into question.
It is also possible to defend yourself by proving that the law enforcement personnel responsible for your arrest and obtaining your evidence failed to do so in accordance with Constitutional law. When you choose Attorney Aaron Meyer to represent your case, he will work diligently to expose weaknesses and inconsistencies with the prosecution’s evidence and thoroughly review the conditions of your arrest and the obtaining of the evidence in play to ensure their legal validity and Constitutionality.
What to Expect from Your Criminal Defense Attorney
When you choose a private defense firm like Aaron Meyer Law to represent you, you can expect a more personalized level of legal representation than a military detailed attorney would provide. We work closely with every client we represent to ensure our team provides the most robust defense possible. Whether you face administrative separation proceedings or a Court Martial, you can expect close, personalized defense representation through every phase of your UCMJ Article 121 case.
Attorney Aaron Meyer has a spotless defense record because he targets the root of every prosecutorial team’s case: the validity and admissibility of their evidence. Attorney Meyer will closely examine every element of the prosecution’s case and work to uproot it entirely. If you have committed any type of Article 121 infraction, call our firm. Your defense team will do everything possible to reduce or eliminate the penalties you face and help you keep your military career intact.
If you are facing charges of larceny or wrongful misappropriation and your military career is in jeopardy, do not hesitate to defend yourself. Contact Aaron Meyer Law today for more information about our team’s criminal defense services and learn how we can assist in your defense.