UCMJ Article 114
The Manual for Courts-Martial states that a service member is subject to prosecution of Article 114 Endangerment Offenses if the engage in conduct that demonstrates reckless endangerment, dueling, firearm discharge, or carrying a concealed weapon.
Reckless endangerment consists of conduct that is wrongful, reckless or wanton and is likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm to another person. In order to be prosecuted for reckless endangerment, the prosecution must demonstrate:
- the accused did engage in conduct;
- the conduct was wrongful and reckless or wanton; and
- the conduct was likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm to another person.
Dueling is characterized by anyone who fights or promotes, or is concerned in or connives at fighting, a duel or who, having knowledge of a challenge sent or about to be sent, fails to report the facts promptly to the proper authority. A conviction for dueling requires proof that:
- the accused fought another person with deadly weapons;
- the combat was for private reasons; and
- the combat was by prior agreement.
Charges for promoting a duel require that:
- the accused promoted a duel between certain persons; and
- the accused did so in a certain manner.
Conniving at fighting a duel is applicable if:
- certain persons intended to and were about to engage in a duel;
- the accused had knowledge of the planned duel; and
- the accused connived at the fighting of the duel in a certain manner.
Failure to report a duel is a viable charge if the prosecution can demonstrate:
- a challenge to fight a duel had been sent or was about to be sent;
- the accused had knowledge of this challenge; and
- the accused failed to report this fact promptly to proper authority.
Firearm discharge, endangering human life refers to any person who, willfully and wrongly, discharges a firearm, under circumstances such as to endanger human life. In order for the accused to be convicted of firearm discharge, endangering human life, the prosecution must prove:
- the accused discharged a firearm;
- the discharge was willful and wrongful; and
- the discharge was under circumstances such as to endanger human life.
Carrying a concealed weapon applies to anyone who unlawfully carries a dangerous weapon concealed on or about his person and must be demonstrated by proving:
- the accused carried a certain weapon concealed on or about the accused’s person;
- the carrying was unlawful; and
- the weapon was a dangerous weapon.
Understanding Article 114 (Endangerment Offenses) of the UCMJ
A charge of reckless endangerment regarding Article 114 is used more as a deterrent of reckless or wanton conduct that may result an elevated risk of death or bodily harm to others. The conduct is considered wrongful when it lacks a legal justification or excuse. Reckless conduct is any conduct that exhibits a disregard for reasonably foreseeable consequences as a result of the act or an omission. Death or injury is not required to prove reckless endangerment.
Dueling is a form of combat that is between two people. The duel is conducted with deadly weapons and is done so for private reasons between the two parties involved by prior agreement. Promoting a duel, in whatever form, is also chargeable as is conniving at fighting a duel. Conniving refers to the failure, of an individual who had knowledge of the duel, to take reasonable preventative action.
Firearm discharge, endangering human life refers to a reasonable potentiality for harm to human beings in general. The test is not whether the life was in fact endangered but whether, considering the circumstances surrounding the wrongful discharge of the weapon, the act was unsafe to human life in general.
Carrying a concealed weapon is fairly self-explanatory. The weapon must be intentionally concealed when carried, the weapon had to have been specifically designed for or used, with intent, to inflict grievous bodily harm, and the weapon must have been carried on the accused or was within immediate reach of the accused.
Maximum Possible Punishment for Violations of Article 114
Service members convicted of an Article 114 violation face a maximum possible punishment of a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 1 year.
How do you defend against Article 114 Endangerment Offenses 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, with more than 75 years of combined experience, who have won these types of cases. This team includes the firm’s founder, Jonathan Crisp, a highly respected and sought-after attorney, speaker, and lecturer, who has served in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) since 1998 and entered private practice in 2007.
If you, or someone you know, is facing Article 114 charges for Endangerment Offenses, you need to speak with a Military defense attorney right away. We understand what is at risk, and we know how to protect your career, your freedom, and your future. Please call Crisp and Associates Military at 888-258-1653 for a free consultation.
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