UCMJ Article 114: Dueling
Any service member of the United States Armed forces who has prior knowledge of a duel or was an active participant in a duel and, despite that knowledge, fails to stop said duel or warn the proper authorities, will be subject to Article 114 of the UCMJ.
If a duel should occur and your name comes up in passing during the government’s investigation into that duel, you could be charged and face sentencing that is equal to having been an active participant in the duel itself.
- You could face up to a year in prison for a duel you didn’t even take part in. Where is the justice in that?
- Your military career will be over. You will be stripped of your rank and titles. You will be thrown out of the military with a dishonorable discharge.
- Your military pay, benefits, healthcare and retirement will be taken from you in an instant. Your service to your country will be forgotten.
The threat to your military career and future liberties is very real and growing by the day. Call Bilecki & Tipon TODAY for a free consultation into your Article 114 case.
What Is Article 114 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. Article 114 considers four dueling-related offenses, and each offense contains its own unique set of elements.
- (a) That the accused fought another person with deadly weapons;
- (b) That the combat was for private reasons; and
- (c) That the combat was by prior agreement
Promoting a duel
- (a) That the accused promoted a duel between certain persons; and
- (b) That the accused did so in a certain manner
Conniving at fighting a duel
- (a) That certain persons intended to and were about to engage in a duel;
- (b) That the accused had knowledge of the planned duel; and
- (c) That the accused connived at the fighting of the duel in a certain manner
Failing to report a duel
- (a) That a challenge to fight a duel had been sent or was about to be sent;
- (b) That the accused had knowledge of this challenge; and
- (c) That the accused failed to report this fact promptly to proper authority
Summary of the Elements of Article 114: The arrangement and promotion of a duel, the failure to report a duel, and the act of dueling itself are all considered criminal offenses punishable under Article 114 of the UCMJ. Prosecutors will attempt to prove that a) the accused knew about the duel or took part in it, and b) that he or she failed to report it or stop the duel from happening.
Military Defense Attorney for Article 114 of the UCMJ: Strategies and Tactics
Duels may seem like an ancient custom, but they still occur in military circles even today. What may seem like a private affair between two people, however, can quickly lead to convictions by the government if enough people know about the duel prior and do little or nothing to stop it.
A service member may be caught up in someone else’s duel simply by hearing about it in passing. Our attorneys defend all service members accused of dueling—whether they took part in the duel itself or merely heard about beforehand.
Should you be accused under Article 114, Bilecki & Tipon will immediately set out to prepare your defense. We’ll start by asking a few simple questions related to your case:
- Who told you about the duel, and when did you learn about it? What was the information you received? Were you given critical information regarding the duel, such as the time and location or the names of the service members involved? Hearing of vague rumors of a duel is not enough to warrant a conviction and in all likelihood, your case could be thrown out before it even goes to trial.
- Did a duel even occur between two people? Was this just bluster between two service members? Is there any evidence that preparation was taking place? Or that this was anything other than hotheaded talk? Unless the duel was actively proceeding or about take place (weapons had been chosen, a date set up, a location prepared, etc.,) then prosecutors have no basis for leveling charges against anybody.
Do not risk a dishonorable discharge and jail time over baseless accusations involving rumors of dueling. Fight back against your charges with the help of Bilecki & Tipon TODAY.
Experienced Military Defense Lawyers for Article 114 Charges
Any action taken to urge, promote, or fight in a duel could lead to accusations under Article 114. If you are convicted, your military future and even your freedom will be in jeopardy. If you hold these things dear, do not risk them by hiring an inexperienced defense attorney.
The law office of Bilecki & Tipon knows how to fight back against baseless accusations made by trigger-happy government prosecutors. Our case history is proof that no matter how great the odds or insurmountable the evidence, we always do whatever possible to secure the best possible outcome for our clients in court.
Bilecki & Tipon will help you fight back against charges under Article 114: Dueling
Frequently Asked Questions About Article 114
What Does the Military Define as a Duel?
While duels to the death aren’t quite as common as they used to be, any fight between two people may be considered a duel if the weapons involved are lethal and the time is scheduled prior.
What Is the Maximum Possible Punishment for Article 114: Dueling?
Should a service member be found guilty of any of the offenses related to dueling, he or she will face maximum charges of:
- Reduction to E-1
- Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
- Confinement for 1 year
- Dishonorable discharge
What Does Conniving at Fighting a Duel Mean?
Conniving at fighting a duel in the context of Article 114 means that a service member failed to take reasonable steps to stop a duel from occurring, despite having a prior knowledge related to the arrangement of the duel.