Article 134: Check, Worthless, Making and Uttering
What is Article 134: Check, Worthless, Making and Uttering?
- A bad conduct discharge will put your military benefits—your healthcare and your pension—at risk of being lost forever. This could amount hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions of dollars, over your lifetime.
- You may forfeit all of your pay and allowances and may be subject to monetary fines imposed by the court as part of your sentence.
- You may face a prison sentence that could last up to 6 months of your life or longer depending on additional offenses.
What Is Article 134 of the UCMJ (Check, Worthless, Making and Uttering—by Dishonorably Failing to Maintain Funds)?
Every punitive 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. When a service member is accused of fraudulently cashing in, making, or uttering a check without sufficient funds, the military’s prosecutors will have to prove that:
- That the accused made and uttered a certain check;
- That the check was made and uttered for the purchase of a certain thing, in payment of a debt, or for a certain purpose;
- That the accused subsequently failed to place or maintain sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for payment of the check in full upon its presentment for payment
- That this failure was dishonorable; and
- 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.
Summary of the Elements of Article 134 (Check, Worthless, Making and Uttering): To be convicted of check fraud under Article 134 in the U.S. Military, prosecutors must prove that the accused service member made and uttered a check which later bounced without any regard at all to the balance of the account. Unlike Article 123a, prosecutors need only prove a willful indifference to the account’s balance, rather than a premeditated attempt to defraud a person or entity.
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Military Defense Attorney for Article 134 of the UCMJ (Check, Worthless, Making and Uttering)
- We are experienced financial fraud defense attorneys: Managing partners Tim Bilecki and Noel Tipon are experienced in finance-related offenses and have defended numerous clients from financial fraud allegations. His mastery over the UCMJ trial advocacy skills are indisputable and have been proven in the courtroom time and time again.
- Our legal team is one of the best in the business: Your attorney will need a talented team working around the clock to have a fighting chance against the military’s 90% conviction rate. Bilecki & Tipon LLLC employs some of the most talented people available and believes in the team concept. We can have them working for you immediately.
- We can reach you fast: Bilecki & Tipon LLLC defends America’s military worldwide. We are strategically located in Honolulu Hawaii and can reach your location quickly—often within 24 – 72 hours depending on the urgency of your situation.
Experienced Military Defense Lawyers for Article 134 Charges
Frequently Asked Questions About Article 134: Check, Worthless, Making and Uttering
What Is the Maximum Possible Punishment for Article 134 (Check, Worthless, Making and Uttering)?
- Bad-conduct discharge
- Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
- Confinement for up to 6 months
What Is the Difference Between This Article and Article 123a?
Article 134 (Check, Worthless, Making and Uttering) is very similar to Article 123a in that both involve the fraudulent use of a check. However, the offense under Article 134 only requires prosecutors to prove bad faith or gross indifference. In other words, even if the Soldier did not make plans to defraud with a check, he or she was so indifferent to the account balance that the check failed to go through and it brought dishonor to the soldier and the military.