Article 93: Cruelty and Maltreatment

What is Article 93?

Any service member of the United States armed forces who uses his or her power to subject another individual to acts of cruelty, oppression, or maltreatment, will be punished under Article 93 of the UCMJ. Cruelty and maltreatment are broadly defined under Article 93. It is not unheard of to have an alleged victim level such accusations against an officer or service member of higher rank. Should you be convicted, however, the government will not hesitate to throw the book at you.

  • You may face up to a year in prison. You may not even recognize your life when you finally get out.
  • You may be dishonorably discharged from the military. All the work you’ve done to rise up the ranks will be for nothing.
  • The healthcare, the pension, the consistent paycheck—all of it will be gone in the blink of an eye.

Risking your future over an accusation of cruelty is not acceptable. Learn how you can fight back against your charges with the help of Bilecki Law Group TODAY. 

Every punitive article of the U.C.M.J. requires prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a handful of critical assumptions—known as elements—to convict you of a crime. In order for the government to convict you for cruelty and mistreatment under Article 93, two such elements must be proven:

  1. That a certain person was subject to the orders of the accused; and
  2. That the accused was cruel toward, or oppressed, or maltreated that person

Summary of the Elements of Article 93

As long as you are in a capacity as an officer to subject another service member to an order that can objectively be deemed as cruel or oppressive, you may be subject to punishment under Article 93.

With that said, any form of oppression, cruelty or maltreatment must be measured by an objective standard, giving the defense some leeway in defending the accused from baseless accusations over perceived cruelties.

Military Defense Attorney for Article 93 of the UCMJ: Strategies and Tactics

  • How many individuals have brought charges against the accused service member? Does the accused service member have an honorable reputation in the military? We can leverage your reputation to show that the allegations against you may be overblown.
  • What were the circumstances surrounding the cruel or oppressive order? Were there grounds for requesting such an order at the time it was given? Defining whether an act or acts are in fact cruel and oppressive is wholly dependent upon the circumstances at the time.
  • If the case involves a sexual harassment component, is there actual proof that the accused ordered or threatened another individual through the use of his or her power? Are government prosecutors overplaying their hand? We may be able to keep you from getting charged in the first place or have the charges against you dismissed prior to trial.

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Allegations of cruelty could undermine or even destroy your military career. Contact Bilecki Law Group today for a free consultation into your case.

Experienced Military Defense Lawyers for Article 93 Charges

Bilecki Law Group has been fighting for service members for years. Our experience is unequal. Our devotion to our clients is legendary. And our case history is some of the best in the business. Bilecki Law Group will help you fight back against charges under Article 93: Cruelty and Maltreatment

Frequently Asked Questions About Article 93

The Person Alleging Abuse Isn’t Even Under My Command. Can I Still Be Charged Under Article 93?

Yes, you can. Article 93 does not require the alleged victim to be under the direct chain of command of the accused officer. As long as the alleged victim is by some fashion required to obey the lawful orders of the accused, then charges may be leveled against the said accused officer.

What Does the Government Consider “Cruelty” and “Maltreatment”?

Cruelty, oppression or maltreatment comes in many different forms. The Manual for Court Martial defines any form of assault or improper punishment as punishable under Article 93. Furthermore, sexual harassment could be defined as maltreatment if it is proven that the accused influenced, offered to influence, or threatened to harm the career, pay, or job of another person in exchange for sexual favors. What would not be considered a form of cruelty is if an officer requests a service member to perform a duty even though that duty may prove to be an imposition for said service member; this could include duties that are hazardous to the health of the service member.

What Is the Maximum Possible Punishment for Article 93: Cruelty and Maltreatment?

Article 93 of the UCMJ authorizes a maximum sentence of:

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

More Articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice

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