Army Sexual Assault Lawyer

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Sexual assault within the ranks of the military is a grave issue that demands specialized legal intervention. In such cases, the role of an Army sexual assault lawyer is critical—not only to defend the accused but also to navigate the complex interplay of military regulations and the broader justice system. These attorneys are not just legal defenders; they are adept in the nuances of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and deeply familiar with the military’s unique culture and command structure.

For anyone facing such serious accusations, the choice of representation can significantly impact both the process and the outcome. It is essential, then, to understand the specialized nature of these cases and the importance of selecting an attorney equipped to defend you against military sexual assault charges.

Sexual Assault Defense Lawyers for U.S. Army Soldiers

An Army sexual assault lawyer specializes in defending service members accused of sexual assault, operating within the specialized framework of military law. These lawyers must have a robust understanding of the UCMJ, which governs all aspects of military life, including criminal offenses like sexual assault. Their role extends beyond mere representation in court; they provide a crucial support system, helping the accused navigate the military’s legal landscape, which can be both daunting and drastically different from civilian legal systems.

the best army sexual assault lawyerSelecting the right lawyer is paramount, call our office today. A qualified Army sexual assault lawyer should not only have credentials in military law but also a track record of handling similar cases. Prospective clients should look for attorneys who are forthcoming about their experience and past case outcomes. Verifying these qualifications can typically be done through direct inquiries, reviewing the lawyer’s online presence, or through testimonials and reviews from former clients. Engaging an attorney who meets these criteria is the first crucial step in preparing a robust defense strategy.

How Does the Army Define Sexual Assault

The military’s definition of sexual assault is laid out in Article 120 of the UCMJ.

UCMJ 10. 920. ARTICLE 120. Rape and Carnal Knowledge

(a) Any person subject to this chapter who commits an act of sexual intercourse with a female not his wife, by force and without consent, is guilty of rape and shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct. (b) Any person subject to this chapter who, under circumstances not amounting to rape, commits an act of sexual intercourse with a female not his wife who has not attained the age of sixteen years, is guilty of carnal knowledge and shall be punished as a court-martial may direct. (c) Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete either of these offenses. Full statute at


Who handles sexual assault in the Army?

In the Army, cases of sexual assault are primarily handled by the Criminal Investigation Command (CID) for criminal investigations and the unit’s chain of command for administrative actions. The Army also has special prosecutors known as Special Victim Prosecutors (SVPs), who are trained specifically to handle cases involving serious offenses like sexual assault. Additionally, the Army provides victims with the support of Victim Advocates and the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program, which offers guidance and resources throughout the reporting and judicial process. This integrated approach ensures both the thorough investigation of allegations and the provision of necessary support to victims.

Punishment for Rape in the Military

Article 120 UCMJ Minimum Punishment

Under Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), which covers rape and sexual assault within the military, the minimum punishment for a conviction can vary widely based on the specifics of the offense. For the most severe offenses, like rape, there is no mandatory minimum sentence, but convictions typically result in severe penalties, including lengthy imprisonment. For other sexual assault convictions, the minimum punishment could potentially be as low as no confinement or a reduction in rank, depending on the circumstances and the discretion of the court-martial.

Each case is judged individually, and penalties are influenced by factors such as the nature of the offense, the circumstances, and the defendant’s military record and character testimony. The typical punishment for sexual assault in the military can vary.

Conviction for any offense under Article 120 of the UCMJ carries an automatic registration on the sexual offenders list. Each state / county that you reside in may have additional requirements for registration and disclosure. There may be restrictions on where you can live, where you can work, and what licenses you are allowed to hold.

Article 120 UCMJ Maximum Punishment

The maximum punishment for rape under the UCMJ is life without eligibility for parole.

It is also possible that a military member convicted of rape could face the death penalty, but this likely would not survive constitutional scrutiny on appeal. The military now has certain mandatory minimum required punishment for certain sexual assault conviction, which would include a punitive (bad conduct or dishonorable) discharge from the military. Call attorney Jocelyn Stewart now to discuss your case.

How to Beat a Rape Charge in the Army

Defending against a rape charge in the Army is legally challenging but possible with a strong defense strategy. Success depends on the specifics of the case, including the evidence, witness testimonies, and the credibility of the parties involved.

An experienced military defense attorney can help navigate the complexities of military law, challenge the prosecution’s case, and present a robust defense. Strategies might include demonstrating inconsistencies in the accuser’s account, providing alibis, or highlighting a lack of forensic evidence. It is crucial for anyone facing such charges to seek competent legal counsel immediately to enhance the possibility of a favorable outcome.

Legal Challenges in Army Sexual Assault Cases

Military sexual assault cases present unique legal challenges. Often, the accused must contend with the potential biases of a command-driven environment where accusations can lead to immediate prejudgment. Furthermore, the closed nature of military communities can influence the impartiality of the proceedings, complicating defense strategies.

Given these challenges, it is vital for defendants to work closely with their attorneys to meticulously prepare their cases. This preparation involves gathering comprehensive evidence, securing witness testimonies that may corroborate the defendant’s account, and strategically planning the defense to counteract any bias that might exist within the military tribunal system. An adept lawyer will guide their client through each of these steps, ensuring that they understand the process and are prepared for the various stages of the legal battle.

Rights of the Accused in Military Sexual Assault Cases

MILITARY SEXUAL ASSAULT DEFENSE ATTORNEYUnderstanding one’s rights is crucial in any legal process, but it is particularly critical in military sexual assault cases due to the unique legal and command structures involved. Service members accused of sexual assault have specific rights under the UCMJ, including the right to a fair trial, the right to be represented by counsel, and the right to confront witnesses.

It is the responsibility of the military defense attorney to ensure that these rights are fully respected and upheld throughout the legal process. Early consultations with a legal expert can help the accused understand their rights in depth, laying a strong foundation for their defense. This proactive approach is essential not only for building a case but also for maintaining the mental and emotional resilience needed during such challenging times.

Support Services and Resources

Beyond the immediate legal defenses, it’s important for the accused to have access to additional support services. Psychological stress, reputational damage, and personal upheaval are common in these situations, and addressing these challenges is crucial for the overall well-being of the individual.

Army sexual assault lawyers often guide their clients towards comprehensive support services, including counseling and support groups specifically tailored for military personnel facing legal issues. These resources can provide a much-needed lifeline, offering emotional and psychological support throughout the trial process. Engaging with these services early on can help maintain personal stability and focus, which is critical in facing the charges and the court proceedings effectively.

Choose the Right Army Sexual Assault Lawyer

Choosing the right lawyer is perhaps the most critical decision a service member can make when facing a sexual assault accusation. The ideal attorney should have a solid background in military law, with a specific focus on sexual assault defenses. They should be well-versed in the intricacies of the military’s legal and command structure and possess a proven track record of navigating these complex cases successfully.

When selecting a lawyer, communication is key. It’s important that the lawyer not only understands the legal challenges but also empathizes with the accused’s situation, offering a supportive and communicative relationship. Prospective clients should feel confident in their lawyer’s capabilities and comfortable in their presence, as this will be a partnership that faces intense scrutiny and pressure. Initiating consultations with several lawyers to discuss the case, understand their approach, and gauge their supportiveness is an advisable step in making an informed decision.

Find Military Sexual Assault Lawyer Near Me

U.S. Army Sexual Assault Attorney FAQ

What is the difference between sexual assault and sexual harassment under the UCMJ?

Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), sexual assault and sexual harassment are distinct offenses with different definitions and implications. Sexual assault is defined as any kind of non-consensual sexual contact or behavior, including rape and forcible sodomy. It is considered a criminal act and is subject to severe penalties, including imprisonment. On the other hand, sexual harassment typically involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that interferes with work performance or creates a hostile work environment. While not always criminal, sexual harassment violates military regulations and can lead to administrative actions and disciplinary measures.

What is the statute of limitations for sexual assault / rape under the UCMJ?

As of the changes made to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) effective January 1, 2019, there is no statute of limitations for any offense punishable by death, including rape. This means that charges for rape can be brought at any time without restriction. For other sexual assault offenses under the UCMJ, such as aggravated sexual assault or abusive sexual contact, the statute of limitations is typically five years.

However, if the offense is considered to be in violation of any UCMJ article punishable by death or confinement for more than five years, and if the offense was committed while the accused was absent without authority from their appointed place of duty, the statute of limitations does not apply, allowing for prosecution at any time. These rules highlight the military’s stringent approach to handling sexual offenses within its ranks.

What are the types of sexual assault in the military?

Sexual assault in the military encompasses a range of non-consensual activities. These can include rape, forcible sodomy (oral or anal sex), indecent assault (unwanted touching or groping), and attempts to commit these acts. Additionally, other behaviors that may not involve physical contact but create a sexually hostile environment, such as the broadcasting of sexually explicit images without consent, also fall under the category of sexual assault. The military categorizes these offenses under the broader definitions provided by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) to address and penalize such misconduct comprehensively.

What is the punishment for sexual assault in the military?

The punishment for sexual assault in the military can be severe and varies based on the specifics of the case. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), penalties can include dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and significant imprisonment. In some cases, the convicted individual could face life imprisonment depending on the severity of the offense. Each case is individually assessed, taking into account factors such as the circumstances of the assault and the service member’s military record. The military justice system aims to uphold strict standards to deter such offenses and maintain discipline within the ranks.

Can you sue the military for MST?

Suing the military for Military Sexual Trauma (MST) can be complex due to sovereign immunity, which typically protects the U.S. military from most direct lawsuits. However, service members affected by MST have other legal avenues, such as seeking compensation through veterans’ benefits or filing claims under the Military Claims Act if negligence can be proven. Recently, changes in legislation and military policy are providing more pathways for recourse and recognition of the harm suffered. Victims of MST are encouraged to seek legal counsel to explore the most appropriate and effective legal actions based on their specific circumstances.


Facing a sexual assault accusation within the military is an arduous journey, fraught with legal, personal, and emotional challenges. The role of an Army sexual assault lawyer is indispensable in these cases, providing not only legal representation but also guidance through the military’s unique legal landscape. From understanding one’s rights to accessing supportive resources and choosing the right attorney, each step is crucial. Those accused must proactively seek the most competent legal representation and engage with the support systems available to stand the best chance of navigating these turbulent times. For anyone in this daunting situation, the first and perhaps most critical action is to reach out to a seasoned Army sexual assault lawyer to ensure their rights are protected and their case is effectively presented.

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