UCMJ Article 87b

UCMJ Article 103


The MCM states under Article 103 (Spies) any person may be subject to prosecution if they: “in time of war is found lurking as a spy or acting as a spy in or about any place, vessel, or aircraft, within the control or jurisdiction of any of the armed forces, or in or about any shipyard, any manufacturing or industrial plant, or any other place or institution engaged in work in aid of the prosecution of the war by the United States, or elsewhere.”

In order to be convicted of being a spy, the prosecution must prove the accused:

  1. was found in, about, or in and about a certain place, vessel, or aircraft within the control or jurisdiction of an armed force of the United States, or a shipyard, manufacturing or industrial plant, or other place or institution engaged in work in aid of the prosecution of the war by the United States, or elsewhere;
  2. was lurking, acting clandestinely or under false pretenses;
  3. was collecting or attempting to collect certain information;
  4. did so with the intent to convey this information to the enemy; and
  5. That this was done in time of war.


Understanding Article 103 (Spies) of the UCMJ

The words “any person” in the text of the statute effectively brings any person who commits spying under the jurisdiction of general courts-martial and military commissions no matter their nationality or status. In order for the offense to be committed, the accused must have been acting clandestinely or under false pretenses with the express intent of obtaining information to convey to a hostile party. Completion of the information transfer is not necessary for a conviction.


Maximum Possible Punishment for Violations of Article 103

Persons convicted of an Article 103 violation face a maximum punishment of death or any other punishment a court-martial or military commission deems appropriate.


How do you defend against Article 103 Spies charges?

When you are facing the combined resources of the military as well as the current cultural climate, you need to be prepared to defend your career and your freedom. Crisp and Associates, LLC has a team of experienced trial attorneys who have won these cases. This team includes the firm’s founder, Jonathan Crisp, a highly respected former Army JAG with over 17 years of experience in military law and a sought-after speaker and lecturer on military law. In 2015 the firm recruited R. Davis Younts, a former prosecutor who was the number one rated Senior Defense Counsel in the Air Force and has taught at the Army and Air Force JAG Schools and successfully achieved acquittals in multiple rape, sexual assault, and sexual contact cases in courts-martial in multiple branches of the service.

If you or someone you know is facing Article 103 charges for Spies, you need to speak with a Military defense attorney right away. Please call Crisp and Associates Military at 888-258-1653 for a free consultation.

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