Double Jeopardy and The UCMJ

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Imagine being tried for the same crime twice.

Scary, right?

But in the military, there’s a twist.

Today we’re talking about double jeopardy and the UCMJ.

Hi, I’m Cody Harnish, a military defense attorney representing only service members under the UCMJ.

We’ve all heard of double jeopardy from TV. In the movies, you can’t be charged twice for the same crime, right?

Well, it depends.

There is a caveat you should know about in the military under the UCMJ, you can’t be court-martialed twice for the same offense. But here’s the twist article 15, non-judicial punishment, letters of reprimand, administrative actions, separation boards, those are not considered jeopardy.

So technically you can face these consequences and you could be court-martialed for the same offense. This is the exception to the civilian concept of double jeopardy, and it’s a hot topic for debate within military law.


This is why you need to know your rights under the UCMJ. It is crucial for your career, for your future, and for your life. In my next video, I’ll dive into some more nuances of double jeopardy and explain more what it means, like share, comment, or follow for more information on military law. And in the meantime, I’ll be defending those who would defend America.

Contact the Law Office of Jocelyn C. Stewart at 253-212-6940

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