UCMJ Article 130: Stalking
At Bilecki Law Group, we defend service members against charges of stalking under Article 130 of the UCMJ. We’re ready to believe you and get your truth brought out into the light.
What Is Article 130 Of The UCMJ?
Article 130 of the UCMJ governs the charge of stalking as committed by members of the United States Armed Services. For stalking to occur, the accused would have engaged in a course of conduct that would have induced fear death, bodily harm, or sexual assault on another individual.
Service members charged with stalking under Article 130 should understand that this is a serious charge that will likely bring about the end of one’s career if found guilty. Now, if the accused was found behind the victim’s door wearing the mask from the movie Scream and holding a knife, that punishment seems just and fitting.
However, that’s just not the reality or the type of stalking charges we see in the military. There is quite often a romantic relationship that has gone sour and one party is using the UCMJ as a weapon to ruin the other’s life. If you want to avoid that fate for yourself, you’re going to have to fight like hell against the military justice system and get your good name cleared.
Are you being accused of housebreaking and other criminal offenses? Make one call to Bilecki Law Group and protect your military career and future TODAY.
What Must Be Proven To Convict Under Article 130?
With every charge under the UCMJ, there exists a certain number of elements that must be proven in order to convict. A good military defense attorney should be able to fight the prosecution over each element and cede no easy wins. Below, we’ll show you those elements just as you would see them in the UCMJ as well as the maximum punishment for the charge.
Stalking – For a service member to be found guilty, the prosecution must satisfy the following three elements:
- (1) That (state the time and place alleged), the accused wrongfully engaged in a course of conduct directed at (state the name of alleged victim), that is: (state the conduct alleged), that would cause a reasonable person to fear death or bodily harm (,including sexual assault,) to himself/herself, to a member of his/her immediate family, or to his/her intimate partner;
(2) That the accused knew, or should have known, that (state the name of alleged victim) would be placed in such fear; and
(3) That the accused’s conduct induced a reasonable fear in (state the name of alleged victim) of death or bodily harm (,including sexual assault,) to himself/herself, a member of his/her immediate family, or his/her intimate partner.
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The UCMJ then clarifies that “conduct” means conduct of any kind, including use of surveillance, the mails, an interactive computer service, an electronic communications service, or an electronic communication system.
“Course of Conduct” means a repeated maintenance of visual or physical proximity to a specific person; a repeated conveyance of verbal threats, written threats, or threats implied by conduct, or a combination of such threats, directed at or towards a specific person; or a pattern of conduct composed of repeated acts evidencing a continuity of purpose.
You should also note that proof that the accused actually intended to cause bodily harm is not required. Consider that all it takes is for the alleged victim to claim they were fearful in order to bring about charges. As such, you can see how quickly this charge can be weaponized during a romantic dispute. If convicted, the maximum punishment could include a dishonorable discharge, total forfeiture of all pay and allowances, 3 years confinement and reduction in rank to E-1.
What If The Victim Is Lying and Accusing You of Stalking?
It is quite common to see charges of stalking packaged with a litany of other charges. Even if you did, in fact, violate other articles of the UCMJ, you still need to fight the bogus stalking charge in order to secure you the best possible outcome. The military justice system seeks to make a public example out of you to keep others in line and the more punishment you get, the better example you make. Don’t let them make an easy example out of you.
The simple truth is that military installations are small, close communities. You are going to frequently run into the same people and that may very well be the estranged ex who is now accusing you of stalking. He or she doesn’t get to accuse you of stalking because you both want to eat at the one damn Taco Bell on base or shop at the same PX.
They also don’t get to accuse you of stalking in a digital format on social media because you all happen to share the same friends on social media. There is almost always a digital trail of evidence that can damn you or exonerate you. A good military defense attorney will understand what digital evidence to use and how to wield it as a weapon to fight back.
Charges of housebreaking may only be the tip of the iceberg. Do not wait until it’s too late. Contact Bilecki Law Group right away for a free consultation into your case.
How To Fight Back And Win Against Charges Under Article 130, UCMJ?
The first thing you are going to have to do is get ready for the fight of your life with the military justice system. This system is built to induce fear and order in the ranks and when the military justice system has its sights set on you, it can absolutely destroy your life.
When we take on a case, we put together a defense so aggressive that it almost a sin not to call it an offense. If you’re innocent and your former romantic partner has weaponized Article 130 of the UCMJ against you, we will show that accuser no mercy on the stand. During cross examination, we will absolutely shred them to pieces and it wouldn’t matter to us if the accuser is a four star general.
This might seem harsh to you because you may genuinely love the military. However, you cannot coexist with a military justice system that is out to destroy you. You are going to have to fight for your career, retirement, freedom and your good name.
Reach out to us and we’ll give you a free defense strategy session that you can use even if you choose not to retain us. Just know that if you do retain us that the fight is on. We hold nothing back in order to secure you the best possible outcome and as long as you are willing to fight like hell, so are we. Reach out to us now, even if you are just under investigation, and get us into the fight.
Frequently Asked Questions About Article 130
The maximum punishment under Article 130 includes:
- Reduction to E-1
- Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
- Confinement for 5 years
- Dishonorable discharge from the military
Housebreaking is similar to a burglary in that a service member entered into a home without permission with the intent to commit a crime. That, however, is the extent of burglary’s connection with housebreaking. In every other respect, housebreaking is considered the more general or less severe criminal offense:
- Burglary requires the service member to enter a dwelling home or place of residence; housebreaking does not.
- Burglary requires that the home be occupied; housebreaking does not
- Burglary requires that the service member enter the home at night. Housebreaking can occur in the daytime or nighttime.
- A service member must intend to commit one or more of the crimes listed under Articles 118 through 128 of the UCMJ to be accused of burglary; housebreaking requires that the service member intend to commit any criminal offense