UCMJ is the abbreviation for the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  The Uniform Code of Military Justice is found within U.S. Code in Title 10, Subtitle A, Part II, Chapter 47. There are 12 subchapters of the UCMJ which set forth the rules for:

  • Arrest and restraint of service members
  • Non-judicial punishment
  • Court-martial jurisdiction (the authority of the court martial over a service member and the alleged criminal conduct)
  • The composition of courts-martial (judge, jury, attorneys, etc.)
  • Pre-trial and trial procedure
  • Sentencing of military members who are found to have violated the UCMJ
  • Post-trial procedure and review of convictions

Many different types of conduct are criminalized under the UCMJ, with offenses ranging from rape to dereliction of duty to making false statements on official documents.  The UCMJ also establishes protections for members of the military accused of wrongdoing to ensure that service members are given due process and the chance to defend themselves.

Penalties which may be imposed upon military members under UCMJ vary. Dishonorable discharge, loss of benefits, and confinement are among the possible consequences.

Service members are entitled to a JAG defense counsel when facing courts-martial for alleged UCMJ violations. In many cases, service members should also consider hiring a civilian military defense attorney.. A civilian defense attorney can work with the JAG attorney to provide strong advocacy and fight for their client’s reputation, career, and freedom.

Practice Areas: