Violent Crimes in the Military

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Officers at the scene of a violent crime.

The members of the United States Armed Forces are held to extremely high standards when it comes to violence within the military. Those who have been charged with violent crimes will have their case heard before a court-martial. 

Service members who have been charged with violent crimes are facing great damage to their military career – not to mention their future as a U.S. civilian. Those charged with a violent crime in the United States Military face various consequences such as:

  • Incarceration (in a regional confinement facility, in the brig, or Fort Leavenworth)
  • Complete loss of all military benefits (e.g. pay, allowances, benefits, dishonorable discharge)
  • Inability to work in the career that you desire as a civilian (a simple background check will show your felony charge)

Common Violent Crimes in the Military

Some violent crimes in the military include:

  • Assault
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder


Under Article 128, there are two types of assault: simple and aggravated. Simple assault occurs when someone threatens to injure or injures someone else (the victim) via unlawful conduct that cannot be justified. It does not matter whether the victim is actually injured. 

By contrast, aggravated assault occurs in cases where someone is using a deadly weapon or other object meant to cause severe bodily harm (or even death) in order to threaten injury. Additionally, those who assault a police officer or other law enforcement individual, or a child under the age of 16 are also charged with aggravated assault. 

Uniform Code of Military Justice on Violent Crimes, like Murder and Manslaughter

The Uniform Code of Military Justice discusses two types of homicide, under Article 118 (for murder) and Article 119 (for manslaughter).


The act of manslaughter is when someone kills another person (homicide) that is committed in the heat of the moment due to passion caused by adequate provocation. Manslaughter also occurs in situations in which the defendant is accused of killing another person due to his or her great negligence (e.g. drunk driving).  Manslaughter may also occur when someone dies while the defendant is perpetrating a different criminal offense. 


Murder occurs when there is a homicide that has been premeditated, often referred to as malice aforethought. However, murder can also occur as the result of an assault that was intended to cause great bodily harm, by activity that is inherently dangerous and demonstrates a “wanton” disregard for human life, or when someone dies during the commission of other violent crimes, including:

  • Aggravated arson
  • Burglary
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Sodomy

The Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC Helps Military Members Who Are Charged with Violent Crimes

The U.S. Government has an interest in obtaining a conviction as soon as possible, as it does not wish to gain negative publicity about one of their service members. That is why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced military attorney.  

If you are a military service member and have been charged with a violent crime, the Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC can help. We proudly serve our military members, who sacrifice so much for our country. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

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