Any Service Member of the United States military that solicits or advises another person or persons to commit a crime may face charges under Article 82 of the UCMJ: Solicitation. Solicitation is an instantaneous offense that requires the prosecution to prove only that you had a desire to see the crime committed.
Indicates that a military member could face legal action if they: solicit or advise another person to commit a punishable offense; or solicit or advise another to person to commit the offenses of desertion, mutiny, sedition, or misbehavior before an enemy.
Solicitation may seem harmless, but it carries with it some extremely harsh realities, should you be convicted:
You may not have taken part in the crime itself, but you could be punished in equal measure to the individual or individuals whose actions broke the law. The person or persons charged with committing the crime may be offered a better plea deal by ratting you out to law enforcement. Expect a tough battle where multiple witnesses claim you advised them to commit a crime.
Maximum sentencing for any of the four crimes expressly stated under Article 82 is harsh. You could face a dishonorable discharge, loss of all pay and significant incarceration.
Article 82 Elements
Article 82 consists of three elements which must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by prosecutors to convict you of the crime:
- That the accused solicited or advised a person or persons to commit any of the four offenses named in Article 82. These include: solicitation to desert, solicitation to mutiny, solicitation to commit an act of misbehavior before the enemy and solicitation to commit sedition.
- that the accused solicited the advice with the intent of having the other person or persons commit the act
- that the offense solicited or advised was either attempted or committed due to the solicitations of the accused.
Charges of solicitation are often fought on the playing field of witness testimony and speculation of intent. One may be convicted of sedition based solely on the testimony of a single witness. A defense team with excellent cross-examination skills can show that witness as unreliable and dishonest.
What Is the Maximum Possible Punishment for Article 82?
It’s possible to face solicitation charges for any of the four listed crimes under Article 82 plus violations listed under article 134. However, crimes of desertion, mutiny, misbehavior before an enemy and sedition are the crimes explicitly stated by Article 82.
- Maximum possible sentencing for solicitation to desert is a dishonorable discharge, reduction to E-1, total forfeiture of pay and allowances and up to 3 years in prison.
- Maximum possible sentencing for solicitation to commit mutiny is a dishonorable discharge, reduction to E-1, total forfeiture of pay and allowances and up to 10 years in prison.
- Maximum possible sentencing for solicitation of misbehavior before an enemy is a dishonorable discharge, reduction to E-1, total forfeiture of pay and allowances and up to 10 years in prison.
- Maximum possible sentencing for solicitation to commit sedition is a dishonorable discharge, reduction to E-1, total forfeiture of pay and allowances and up to 10 years in prison.
How to deal with an Article 82 Charge?
If someone is facing charges under Article 82 as a principal of a crime, it’s crucial to seek immediate legal representation. Attorney R. Davis Younts has been a prosecutor, a JAG (Judge Advocate General),He’s been practicing law for two decades. Call attorney R. Davis Younts at (833) 739-5291 or (717) 612-4840. Free consultation.
- Article 15: https://yountslaw.com/nonjudicial-punishment-article-15-njp/
- Article 92: https://yountslaw.com/what-is-article-92/
- Article 128: https://yountslaw.com/article-128-assault-military-lawyer/
- Article 120: https://yountslaw.com/military-criminal-defense-of-sexual-assault/
- Military Medical: https://yountslaw.com/military-medical-professional-defense/
- Military Religious Freedom & Religious Accommodations: https://yountslaw.com/military-religious-freedom/
- UCMJ Military Corrections and Discharge: https://yountslaw.com/ucmj-military-corrections-and-discharge/
- Article 112a: https://yountslaw.com/article-112a-of-the-ucmj-drug-crimes/