UCMJ Article 108: Military Property of the U.S. — Sale, Loss, Damage, Destruction, or Wrongful Disposition

Any service member of the United States Armed Forces who either willfully or by neglect sells, damages, destroys, disposes of or otherwise mismanages U.S. Military property may face charges under Article 108 of the UCMJ.

Should the military turn its eye toward you as it seeks to identify the cause of the mismanaged property, you could face charges that will outright end your military career and irreparably damage your future:

  • You could be sent to jail for a decade depending on the nature of the accusations against you.
  • A dishonorable discharge or at the very least a bad-conduct discharge could force you to hide your military service from future friends, acquaintances, and employers.
  • You will have your pension, healthcare benefits and salary taken from you. The military will not consider the ramifications this will have on you or your family.

Your liberties and entitlements could be at risk over something as ridiculous as leaving your equipment out in the rain. Do not allow military prosecutors to hang you out to dry. Fight back against your charges with Bilecki & Tipon TODAY.

What Is Article 108 of the UCMJ?

Every article of the UCMJ requires prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a handful of critical assumptions—known as elements—to convict you of a crime. Three criminal offenses are defined under Article 108, each with its own unique set of elements:

(1) Selling or otherwise disposing of military property

(a) That the accused sold or otherwise disposed of certain property (which was a firearm or explosive

(b) That the sale or disposition was without property authority;

(c) That the property was military property of the United States; and

(d) That the property was of a certain value

(2) Damaging, destroying, or losing military property

(a) That the accused, without property authority, damaged or destroyed certain property in a certain way, or lost certain property;

(b) That the property was military property of the United States;

(c) That the damage, destruction, or loss was willfully caused by the accused or was the result of neglect by the accused; and

(d) That the property was of a certain value or the damage was of a certain amount

(3) Suffering military property to be lost, damaged, destroyed, sold, or wrongfully disposed of

(a) That certain property (which was a firearm or explosive) was lost, damaged, destroyed, sold, or wrongfully disposed of;

(b) That the property was military property of the United States;

(c) That the loss, damage, destruction, sale, or wrongful disposition was suffered by the accused, without property authority, through a certain omission of duty by the accused;

(d) That the omission was willful or negligent; and

(e) That the property was of a certain value or the damage was of a certain amount

Summary of the Elements of Article 108: Any action taken by a U.S. service member related to the mishandling of military property, whether by negligence or willfulness, could result in charges under Article 108. Generally speaking, the government will have to prove the property was a) U.S. Military property; b) that it had some tangible value associated with it; and c) that the service member did in fact damage or sell or mismanage the property, either willfully or through negligence.

Military Defense Attorney for Article 108 of the UCMJ: Strategies and Tactics

A proper Article 108 defense will take into account the circumstances surrounding the loss of military property as well as the intentions of the service member at the time of the property’s loss, destruction or mismanagement.

In order to prepare your defense, we’ll consider a few critical questions:

  • What were the circumstances leading up to the loss, damage, destruction or sale of the military property? Was the equipment stolen or taken by force from the service member? The circumstances surrounding the loss of property could mean the difference between a conviction and an acquittal, which makes a private investigation an essential starting point for any defense strategy.
  • Has it been confirmed that the property was indeed U.S. Military property? Or had this property been purchased by the accused? What was the value of that property at the time it was allegedly mismanaged? Have third parties confirmed its value? Depending on the circumstances we may make the case about the property itself and its value at the time of its mismanagement.
  • Even if the government has overwhelming evidence that you mismanaged military property, what were your intentions for doing so? Was this a case of simple negligence? Or did you willfully intend to mismanage the property? While our first objective in every case is to secure a full acquittal for our clients, we may consider mitigating the maximum possible sentencing by looking at other, lesser charges.

The military’s lost or damaged property should not cost you your future and your liberties. Fight back today by contacting the military defense attorneys at Bilecki & Tipon.

Experienced Military Defense Lawyers for Article 108 Charges

Bilecki & Tipon has been successfully defending service members against court martial charges.

Bilecki & Tipon will help you fight back against charges under Article 108: Military Property of the U.S. – Sale, Loss, Damage, Destruction, or Wrongful Disposition

FAQ's About Article 108

What Is the Maximum Possible Punishment for Article 108: Military Property of the U.S. — Sale, Loss, Damage, Destruction, or Wrongful Disposition?

Article 108 has three different criminal offenses. According to the Manual for Court Martial, maximum sentencing includes:

For service members who willfully sell, damage, destroy, lose, or suffer the loss of military property with a value greater than $500:

  • Reduction to E-1
  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for 10 years
  • Dishonorable discharge

For service members who through negligence damage, destroy, lose, suffer the loss of, or sell by accident military property with a value greater than $500:

  • Reduction to E-1
  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for 1 year
  • Bad-conduct discharge

I’ve Been Accused of Suffering Military Property to Be Lost. What Does That Mean?

If you suffer military property to be lost, damaged, destroyed, sold or wrongfully disposed of, it means you allowed or permitted it to occur.

For example, under Article 108, a service member may be found guilty of damaging U.S. Military property if he or she was reckless with their equipment, allowed it to be exposed to the weather, or did not property guard it and secure it from theft.

What Our Clients Are Saying About Us

  • Bilecki & Tipon, LLLC His knowledge and experience were evident during the Article 32 where he seemed to sort of take control of the court room.
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  • Bilecki & Tipon, LLLC Mr. Bilecki and his associates are amazingly qualified and skilled in handling UCMJ cases.
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