The court martial defense attorneys at Colorado-based Aviso Law LLC regularly represent military men and woman who have been accused of rape and sexual assaults under Article 120, UCMJ. Sexual assault has always been considered a serious crime. But, in recent years, the military has made various changes to the law and increased enforcement. Being convicted of a rape or sexual assault can have serious career and criminal consequences, therefore it is important to retain a skilled attorney to handle these extremely sensitive matters.
What is Considered Rape and Sexual Assault in the Military?
Under Article 120, UCMJ, Rape and Sexual Assault in the military have different meanings based upon the level of force used and the status of the victim. In short, Rape is defined as committing a sexual act upon another person while either using using unlawful force, causing or threatening grievous bodily harm. , or causing the victim to be unconscious or substantially impaired. by threatening, causing fear or bodily harm, making a fraudulent representation relating the sexual act to a professional purpose and/or using other types of fraud. Alternatively, Sexual Assault is defined as committed a sexual act upon another person while threatening or placing that person in fear or claiming that the sexual act is for a professional purpose. Sexual Assault can also occur when a person engages in a sexual act when the other person is unaware or incapable of consenting.
The Constantly Evolving Article 120, UCMJ
Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) governs sexual assault in all branches of the military. After multiple studies were released showing significant increases in military sexual assaults from year to year, the government decided to take action. As such, Article 120 has undergone multiple revisions and amendments over the last decade. One recent change includes multiple types of sexual assault ranging from rape to sexual contact. Policies surrounding military sexual assault have also recently changed. The government has decided to take these matters more seriously and has instructed officials in every branch of military to do the same. They have instituted harsher punishments, not only increasing the length of sentences, but adding penalties that are not related to incarceration, including discharge and forfeiture of pay and allowances. They have also added new protections for victims. For instance, each victim will now be entitled to government appointed legal representation, or a special victim’s counsel, to assist them with the litigation process. All of the attention this area has received has led more service members being charged in an attempt to increase the conviction rate.
The government has also instituted mandatory minimum sentences for sexual assault offenses. This means that if convicted, you will be punished by dismissal or dishonorable discharge at the very least. While before you may have benefited from the use of a military appointed attorney to defend you in a sexual assault case, this may no longer be a good option. Because service members charged with sexual assault under Article 120 now face a definite sentence if convicted, you need a seasoned advocate fighting for your rights. The attorneys at Aviso Law LLC will offer you zealous on site representation to give you the best possible chance of staying out of prison.
These cases are often “he said, she said” matters where the evidence is confusing, conflicting and unclear. It is imperative to have an experienced attorney in these situations to sort out the relevant evidence and present a coherent case. While these are serious matters, acquittals are possible.
Let the court martial lawyers at Aviso Law LLC defend you in your sexual assault case. Contact the Denver and Colorado Springs attorneys by calling (719) 247-3111 for a free consultation today.