UCMJ Article 115: Threat or Hoax Designed or Intended to Cause Panic or Public Fear

You or a loved one has been accused by the military’s law enforcement of causing panic or instilling fear amongst the public.   Regardless of whether those comments were made as a threat or hoax, they could come back to haunt you and may lead to charges under Article 115 of the UCMJ.   The military’s justice system takes seriously any comment made by a service member which could create a panic among the public.   Should you be convicted of causing panic or public fear by threat or by hoax, you may be facing sentencing which could include:

  • A dishonorable discharge, along with the forfeiture of all pay and allowances, including your healthcare and your retirement.
  • The loss of your pay. You may also be required by law to pay back thousands of dollars in reenlistment bonuses.
  • Prison time. Under Article 115, you could face up to a decade in prison simply for making an offhand comment you meant as a joke.

Have you been accused of causing panic or fear among the public? Your military career and freedom may be on the line. Fight back by retaining Bilecki Law Group TODAY.

What Is Article 115 (Threat or Hoax Designed or Intended to Cause Panic or Public Fear) 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.

Threats and hoaxes are considered different offenses of the same crime, and each will require prosecutors to prove a different set of elements.

Summary of the Elements of Article 115 (Threat or hoax designed or intended to cause panic or public fear):

Prosecutors must prove that the accused service member communicated or conveyed a threat concerning a possible attack through the use of explosives, biological weapons, hazardous material, or any other large-scale life-threatening weapon.

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  1. Threats
    1. That the accused communicated certain language;
    2. That the information communicated amounted to a threat;
    3. That the harm threatened was to be done by means of an explosive; weapon of mass destruction; biological or chemical agent, substance, or weapon; or hazardous material;
    4. That the communication was wrongful; and
    5. That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.
  2. Hoax
    1. That the accused communicated or conveyed certain information;
    2. That the information communicated or conveyed concerned an attempt being made or to be made by means of an explosive; weapon of mass destruction; biological or chemical agent, substance, or weapon; or hazardous material, to unlawfully kill, injure, or intimidate a person or to unlawfully damage or destroy certain property;
    3. That the information communicated or conveyed by the accused was false and that the accused then knew it to be false;
    4. That the communication of the information by the accused was malicious; and
    5. That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.

Military Defense Attorney for Article 115 of the UCMJ: Fighting Back Against Charges of Causing Panic or Fear through Threats or Hoaxes

Many service members cannot believe that an offhand comment or a simple joke could be used to destroy their military career and even put them behind bars. The reality is the military will take action at even the slightest infraction of these Article 115 offenses. And if that service member does not take immediate action, he or she could be facing a nightmare scenario of a conviction and a maximum sentence for what could be a victimless crime.   Bilecki Law Group has been working with accused service members for decades to help them mitigate and even avoid their Article 115 charges. If you have been accused of threats or a hoax which caused a public panic, it is imperative you put your trust in an experienced and reputable law firm like Bilecki Law Group.

  • We have a reputation for securing results: Few military defense law firms operating worldwide today can match the case history and the court results of Bilecki Law Group. We fight hard for every one of our clients and will never set you up for a raw deal in court.
  • We employ an experienced legal team: Bilecki Law Group employs highly qualified and experienced private investigator with over thirty years of law enforcement experience. And we can direct most of that firepower toward securing a positive outcome for you in your court-martial trial.
  • We are strategically located in the Pacific. We are located in Honolulu, Hawaii, which gives us an advantage as we are located near many bases in Hawaii, Guam, Korea, Okinawa, and mainland Japan.

An experienced military defense attorney is your last best hope to securing a positive outcome in court. Contact our law office to schedule your confidential consultation today.

Experienced Military Defense Lawyers for Article 115 Charges

For decades Bilecki Law Group has represented military personnel across all branches of the U.S. armed forces. If you have served your country in any capacity, then you deserve a fighting chance in court.   You can review Bilecki Law Group case history here. We have helped hundreds of service members secure positive outcomes in court. We can help you do the same.  

Bilecki Law Group will help you fight back against charges under Article 115: Threat or hoax designed or intended to cause panic or public fear.

Frequently Asked Questions About Article  115: Threat or Hoax Designed or Intended to Cause Panic or Public Fear

What Is the Maximum Possible Punishment for Article 115: Threat or Hoax Designed or Intended to Cause Panic or Public Fear?

A service member who is accused of causing a public panic by a threat or hoax could face the following maximum charges under Article 115 of the UCMJ:

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

I Was Accused of My Offense While Serving Abroad. Can You Help?

Yes. Bilecki Law Group regularly travels to represent our service member clients regardless of their current location. Whether you are currently in Asia, CONUS, Europe or elsewhere, we can reach you quickly and have you represented in no time.

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