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Military-Specific Offenses (e.g., AWOL, Dereliction, Conduct Unbecoming)

Courts-martial try “military offenses,” which are listed in the punitive articles of the UCMJ and are codified in the United States Code. GAPASIN LAW GROUP knows that some “military offenses” have a civilian equivalent, but a number of “military offenses” are specific only to the military. Examples of such military-specific offenses include disrespect of an NCO, disrespect of a superior officer, AWOL, failure to report, wearing false awards, and adultery. The President is authorized to prescribe the punishments which a court-martial may impose within the limits established by Congress. In addition, a service member may be tried at a court- martial for offenses not specifically covered by the UCMJ Article 134. Military specific offenses also include mutiny or sedition, insubordinate conduct, failure to obey an order, cruelty and maltreatment, and misconduct as a prisoner. The potential punishments for violations of Article 134 are the same as the punishments applicable to the corresponding civilian offense.

Civilian lawyers who have never served in the JAG Corps likely do not have the experience dealing with military-specific offenses. These offenses are unique to the military and ordinary criminal defense lawyers will not know how to approach a trial involving such charges. Mr. Gapasin has served in the JAG Corps as a defense counsel, senior defense counsel, and prosecutor. He is fully experienced and well-versed under Article 134 of the UCMJ. Mr. Gapasin is prepared to provide you with an aggressive defense if you have been charged with military-specific offenses.

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