UCMJ ARTICLE 128: ASSAULT
At Bilecki Law Group,We believe every service member has earned their right to an aggressive defense on their day in court. We specialize in taking the fight to the prosecution and winning cases that others said were unwinnable.
What is Article 128?
- Assault crimes have a vast range of possible prison sentences, but it would not be unreasonable to expect 3 to 5 years in prison.
- You will almost certainly be stripped of your military rank and position and punitively discharged from the military.
- Whatever military benefits and retirement you’ve earned will be taken from you, as will your healthcare and salary.
What Are The Elements of Article 128 of the UCMJ?
- Simple assault
- That the accused attempted or offered to do bodily harm to a certain person; and
- That the attempt or offer was done with unlawful force or violence.
- Assault consummated by a battery
- That the accused did bodily harm to a certain person; and
- That the bodily harm was done with unlawful force or violence.
- Assaults permitting increased punishment based on the status of the victim
- Assault upon a commissioned, warrant, noncommissioned, or petty officer.
- An assault upon a sentinel or lookout in the execution of duty, or upon a person in the execution of law enforcement duties.
- Assault consummated by a battery upon a child under 16 years.
- Aggravated assault
- Assault with a dangerous weapon or other means of force likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm.
- Assault in which grievous bodily harm is intentionally inflicted.
(Note: Numbers 3 and 4 further consider additional criminal offenses based upon the status of the victim, the weapon used in the assault and the extent of the damage inflicted.)
Summary of the Elements of Article 128
- The person injured was a military officer, law enforcement, or a sentinel/lookout
- That the weapon used was a deadly weapon
- That the damage inflicted was grievous and could have caused death to the victim.
Military Defense Attorney for Article 128 of the UCMJ: Strategies and Tactics
- The events leading up to the assault. What initiated the fight in this instance, and were others present to see the fight start? Was the fight spontaneous or premeditated? Was drinking involved prior to the assault? Do you have an alibi for the time of the assault, and could the victim have incorrectly identified you as the perpetrator ?
- The extent and nature of the damage. How extensive is the damage to the victim? Do medical reports verify the claims made by the alleged victim as to the extent of those damages? What is the recovery time of the alleged victim? Can the weapon used in the assault be verified and was it found? Was the weapon being used defensively or offensively ?
- The intent of the accused and the alleged victim. Do you have a history with the alleged victim? Have altercations occurred in the past? Was the victim threatening you or a family member, or did you strike out in fear or in self-defense? Did you know the status of the individual at the time of the assault (i.e. were you aware he or she was an officer of the U.S. Armed Forces) ?
Experienced Military Defense Lawyers for Article 128 Charges
The military defense attorneys at Bilecki Law Group have been defending service members accused of assault crimes for years. We have saved our clients from decades of jail time and spared them of the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars in military benefits and retirement.
Bilecki Law Group will help you fight back against charges under Article 128: Assault
Frequently Asked Questions About Article 128
The Manual for Court Martial defines multiple maximum punishments under Article 128, each corresponding with a particular criminal offense of assault. The lesser maximum offense involves general simple assault, which includes:
- Forfeiture of two-thirds pay for 3 months
- Confinement for 3 months
The maximum sentence for an assault charge involves the use of a loaded firearm or the assault of a child under the age of 16. In these instances, a service member may be charged with:
- Reduction to E-1
- Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
- Confinement for 8 or 10 years
- Dishonorable discharge
Yes, depending on the context of the assault and the circumstances surrounding the events leading up to it. We’ve secured reduced charges for service members accused of aggravated assault in the past. With that said, our first priority is to win your case outright. A not-guilty verdict is our ultimate goal. If we feel that isn’t the best course of action, we’ll look at your case from an angle of reducing charges first.
Yes. We explain the legal concept of self-defense in more detail on our website. But if you were acting in self-defense of yourself or in self-defense of another, they that may be a full defense to your charges under this article.