UCMJ Article 110: Improper Hazarding of Vessel

A service member of the United States Armed Forces who is found to have hazarded a U.S. vessel—either intentionally or through neglect—will be charged for the improper hazarding of a vessel under Article 110 of the UCMJ.

Article 110 is a serious offense under the UCMJ which incurs the harshest criminal sentencing:

  • You may be put to death should it be proven that you intentionally hazarded a U.S. military vessel and the case is referred capital.
  • Even if you escape the death penalty, you may waste away behind bars for years, possibly decades. How will that affect your relationships? How will it affect you?
  • A dishonorable discharge is only the beginning of your worries after you leave the military. Your pension and health care will be taken from you. All pay owed to you will be forfeited.

You deserve more than just a plea bargain. You deserve a fighting chance to exonerate you of all charges. Contact Bilecki Law Group TODAY to find out how.

What Is Article 110 of the UCMJ?

Military vessels on the seaEvery 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. Two such elements must be proven for a service member to be convicted under Article 110 of the UCMJ.

  1. That a vessel of the armed forces was hazarded in a certain manner
  2. That the accused by certain acts or omissions, willfully and wrongfully, or negligently, caused or suffered the vessel to be hazarded.

Summary of the Elements of Article 110: To be convicted under Article 110, the government must prove that you placed a United States military vessel in immediate danger of being lost, destroyed, stranded or otherwise damaged due to your own negligence, willfulness or prudence under the circumstances.

Military Defense Attorney for Article 110 of the UCMJ: Strategies and Tactics

A vessel may have been destroyed, stranded or damaged for any number of reasons, many of which are entirely accidental.

But that will not stop prosecutors from immediately seeking someone to blame.

To ensure that someone isn’t you, Bilecki Law Group will perform a complete review of the circumstances surrounding your case.

We’ll begin by asking a few critical questions related to Article 110 charges:

  • Did your actions directly contribute to the hazarding of the vessel? What were your duties at the time when the damage or loss of the vessel occurred? Did other service members potentially contribute to the hazarding? We’ll review the circumstances surrounding the events in question and may be able to mitigate your contribution to the damage or prove that you had nothing to do with it at all.
  • What proof does the government have that you caused this damage through your own willfulness or negligence? Were you warned by anybody prior to the vessel’s loss or damage? Who else knew about the danger to the vessel, and was it common knowledge? Our own investigation may discover new witnesses who provide key testimony which exonerates you of all charges.
  • Did circumstances compel you to risk to the vessel to avoid some other obstacle? Were you forced to do so due to some action taken by an enemy vessel? We will look at all the facts related to the case, not just the ones convenient to the prosecution’s narrative.

The government looks at you and sees a criminal who has destroyed its property. We see a service member who has earned the right to a proper defense in court. Learn how you can fight back by calling Bilecki Law Group today.


Request A Free Case Evaluation

Experienced Military Defense Lawyers for Article 110 Charges

Your reputation, your freedoms, and your liberties are all on the line. Defending what matters most to you should be your highest priority. And that means hiring military defense attorneys with a proven record of securing the best possible outcome for its clients in court.

Bilecki Law Group will help you fight back against charges under Article 110: Improper Hazarding of Vessel

Frequently Asked Questions About Article 110

What Is the Maximum Possible Punishment for Article 110: Improper Hazarding of Vessel?

Article 108 has two distinct criminal offenses. The maximum sentencing for each includes: 

Willfully or wrongfully hazarding any vessel of the armed forces:

  • The death penalty, if referred capital

Negligently hazarding any vessel of the armed forces:

  • Reduction to E-1
  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for 2 years
  • Dishonorable discharge

As you can see, it is imperative that your defense attorneys prove that—at the very least—your actions were negligent rather than willful. Doing so could save your life and dramatically reduce your possible sentencing.

What Is the Difference between Hazarding a Vessel and Suffering to Hazard a Vessel?

The Manual for Court Martial defines suffering as to allow or permit something to happen. If you are in control of a ship and intentionally hit a sandbar, you have willfully hazarded the ship. Someone who suffers a ship to be hazarded, however, would be an individual who saw the sandbar yet did not warn anybody of its approach.

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