Is Adultery a Crime in the Military?
Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), it is a punishable criminal offense for a service member to engage in adultery. The act of adultery is defined as a situation where a service member engages in sexual relations with someone other than his or her spouse. A soldier who is single and has sex with a married person is also considered to be adulterous. These acts are considered to be of a nature that brings discredit upon the armed forces and is in violation of good order and discipline.
It is no defense to claim that a person was legally separated from their spouse at the time of the alleged intercourse. Accused service members may be subject to administrative action or a court martial.
What are the Elements of an Adultery Case?
Under the UCMJ, in order to be proven guilty of adultery the prosecution must prove the following:
- The accused had wrongful sexual intercourse with a certain person.
- The accused or the other person was married to someone else at the time.
- The accused’s conduct was to the prejudice of good order or was of a nature that brought discredit upon the armed forces.
While element two can be relatively easy for the government to prove, providing sufficient evidence to satisfy elements one and three can be challenging. Like a civilian court, a court martial requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction. Proving sexual intercourse can be tricky unless concrete evidence exists, such as eyewitness testimonies, photographs, or a confession from an involved party. Displaying a negative impact upon the integrity of the military can be similarly difficult, as this is normally applicable to instances of fraternization or relationships between service members.
What are the Penalties for Adultery in the Military?
If proven guilty, a service member can face a number of serious penalties including jail time, a punitive discharge, demotion, a letter of reprimand, and possible denial of benefits. For this reason, if you are ever accused of adultery, it is vital you retain the services of a powerful military criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to defend you against these consequences.
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If you are facing military adultery charges, the military criminal defense attorney from McCormack & McCormack can defend your freedom and maximize your chances of securing a desirable outcome for your situation. With a former U.S. Army JAG officer within our ranks, we are equipped with the knowledge and skills to help you get through this difficult time with your reputation and career intact.
To find out more about how we can help, contact our firm online or request a free consultation today.