UCMJ Article 134: Correctional Custody

The military has accused you of an escape or attempted escape from law enforcement custody. They claim you either broke out of your physical constraints or ignored official directives placed on you while on parole. Now, you are threatened with a court-martial, a dishonorable discharge, and even incarceration.

In other words, the situation has gone from bad to worse. And you are searching for a way out.

An escape or breach of correctional custody is a serious offense under Article 134 of the UCMJ. Should you be charged and convicted, you will almost certainly face:

  • A dishonorable discharge from the military along with the loss of your pay and allowances.
  • The loss of your military benefits, including your healthcare and your retirement. Over the course of your life this could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • A lengthy prison sentence that could add another 6 months to a year in addition to the original offense.

A conviction could kill your military career outright and leave you behind bars. Fight back!

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What Is Article 134 (Correctional Custody) 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 134 outlines two criminal offenses related to correctional custody, each with its own set of elements.

  • (1) Escape from correctional custody
    • (a) That the accused was placed in correctional custody by a person authorized to do so;
    • (b) That, while in such correctional custody, the accused was under physical restraint;
    • (c) That the accused freed himself or herself from the physical restraint of this correctional custody before being released therefrom by proper authority; and
    • (d) 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) Breach of correctional custody
    • (a) That the accused was placed in correctional custody by a person authorized to do so;
    • (b) That, while in correctional custody, a certain restraint was imposed upon the accused;
    • (c) That the accused went beyond the limits of the restraint imposed before having been released from the correctional custody or relieved of the restraint by proper authority; and
    • (d) 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 (Correctional Custody): The UCMJ defines two criminal offenses related to the breaking of correctional custody under Article 134. Under the first offense—escape from correctional custody—prosecutors must prove the service member freed himself or herself from physical restraints (bars, handcuffs, etc.).

The second offense—breach of correctional custody—is similar to a breach of parole, where a service member fails to meet some correctional custody requirements placed upon him or her.

In addition to these elements, prosecutors will also have to prove that the initial arrest or custody was legal and that the conduct of the accused was prejudicial to good order and discipline or service discrediting.

Military Defense Attorney for Article 134 of the UCMJ: Fighting Back Against Correctional Custody Charges

A service member can be accused of escape or breach of correctional custody for many reasons. More of often than not, those reasons do not warrant a conviction, let alone the maximum sentence. And in some circumstances, they never should have been accused in the first place.

Bilecki & Tipon LLLC’s mission is to help military service members fight back against court-martial charges. Our past experience in the JAG Corp, our knowledge of law enforcement and prosecutor tactics, and our rapid response times to our clients have made us one of the most capable military law firms operating in the world today.

Let’s take a look at all of these benefits in more detail:

  • We are experienced military attorneys: The Bilecki & Tipon LLLC team has been supporting active duty and reserve service members for years. Our lead attorneys have secured positive outcomes for hundreds of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines both inside the military’s justice system as JAG Corp officers, and outside the military as civilian attorneys.
  • We scrutinize every detail of the government’s case: Even the most meticulous prosecutors and law enforcement officials make mistakes. If the government has cut corners or violated the accused rights in any way, we’ll learn about it. And we can leverage that information to improve your odds in court.
  • We understand that time is of the essence: Law enforcement always has a head start in preparing a case against you. That means time is not on your side. Bilecki & Tipon LLLC understands the importance of speed and getting started in your case right away.

A conviction of correctional custody could be devastating to your military career and civilian future. Do not take the risk. Start fighting back with Bilecki & Tipon LLLC TODAY.

Contact Bilecki & Tipon LLLC

Experienced Military Defense Lawyers for Article 134 Charges

Have you been accused of escaping or avoiding correctional custody? Even if you are innocent, you are still in terrible danger of a conviction.

The risk is simply too great to hire an inexperienced court-martial attorney. That’s why so many service members come to Bilecki & Tipon LLLC —because we have the experience needed to secure positive outcomes in cases, and because we have the case history to back up our claims.

Bilecki & Tipon LLLC will help you fight back against charges under Article 134: Correctional Custody

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Frequently Asked Questions About Article 134: Correctional Custody

What Is the Maximum Possible Punishment for Article 134 (Correctional Custody)?

Two criminal offenses are listed under Article 134 for correctional custody, each with its own set of maximum charges.

Escape from correctional custody

  • Reduction to E-1
  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for up to 1 year
  • A dishonorable discharge

Breach of correctional custody

  • Reduction to E-1
  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for up to 6 months
  • A bad conduct discharge

What Is a Breach of Correctional Custody?

Some forms of correctional custody do not require the service member to be bound by physical restraints such as handcuffs or a jail cell. Restriction to the barracks would be a good example of this form of custody. However, if a service member does not follow the rules of that custody, he or she is subject to a breach of correctional custody, which is less grave than an escape of custody but could still destroy his or her military career.

Does Bilecki & Tipon LLLC Travel to Military Installations Around the World?

Yes. Bilecki & Tipon LLLC is based out of Hawaii but has clients across Korea, Mainland Japan, Okinawa and Europe.

If you are either accused of a crime or believe you may be a suspect in a crime, contact our law firm TODAY to schedule a confidential consultation.

What Our Clients Are Saying About Us

  • Bilecki & Tipon, LLLC His knowledge and experience were evident during the Article 32 where he seemed to sort of take control of the court room.
  • Bilecki & Tipon, LLLC This was the best investment I have ever made in my life. Again I am forever in debt to this firm.
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  • Bilecki & Tipon, LLLC Mr. Bilecki and his team are extremely aggressive, thorough, and know what they are doing. They saved my life.
  • Bilecki & Tipon, LLLC Do not go into the courtroom by yourself. Go in with a confident hard charging legal firm like Bilecki & Tipon.
  • Bilecki & Tipon, LLLC Mr. Bilecki and his associates are amazingly qualified and skilled in handling UCMJ cases.
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