Military Defender

More Than 20 Years Of Active Duty Military Service

Photo of Attorney Phillip E. Stackhouse
In Southern California And Worldwide
department of the army USA
department of navy
department of airforce
united states coast guard
department of navy USA

What if a military member is accused of sexual assault?

On Behalf of | Apr 7, 2023 | Military Law |

A sexual assault conviction and a false accusation would severely harm your military career and reputation. Due to increasing reports of sexual misconduct, the U.S. government is working hard to imprison military sex offenders. Today’s climate makes it increasingly important for those accused to know their rights.

How the military handles sexual assault allegations

Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) outlines sexual assault offenses. Military personnel charged with rape or sexual assault will undergo an investigation and an Article 32 hearing. If the military finds enough evidence, the accused will be subject to a court-martial, a proceeding reserved for serious crimes.

Consequences of a sexual assault conviction

Article 120 covers rape and sexual assault, which involves a nonconsensual sexual act, as well as aggravated or abusive sexual contact, which covers inappropriate touching. If a service member is found guilty of a UCMJ violation, they could face a mandatory dishonorable discharge and imprisonment ranging from seven years to a life sentence. The conviction may also forfeit any allowances and pay earned during service.

Invoking your rights

Being accused of sexual assault may put the odds against you, but it is important to keep focused. If you are put under investigation, remember your fundamental rights:

  • Right to remain silent

During the investigation, law enforcement may pressure you to confess or discuss what happened. Invoking the right to remain silent would help you avoid making statements that could negatively impact your trial.

  • Right to refuse consent

Without probable cause, law enforcement would not be authorized to search or seize your property, including your person, phone, home, and vehicle. Consenting to a search may allow them to find evidence that can be used against you.

  • Right to counsel

The nature of the crime can make it hard for anyone to side with you. With so much at stake, seeking legal counsel to know what options are available may be your best course of action.

Facing criminal charges can be extremely damaging to your military career and your future as a civilian. Before things take a turn for the worst, take action and protect yourself with the help of a military defense attorney.