UCMJ Article 134

UCMJ Article 116

Riot or Breach of Peace

The MCM states under Article 116 (Riot or breach of peace) any service member may be subject to prosecution if they cause or participate in any riot or breach of the peace.

In order to be convicted for a riot, the prosecution must demonstrate:

  • the accused was a member of an assembly of three or more people;
  • the accused and at least two other members of the group mutually intended to assist one another against anyone who might oppose them in committing a specific act for a private purpose;
  • the group or some of its members, in furtherance of such purpose, unlawfully committed a tumultuous disturbance of the peace in a violent or turbulent manner; and
  • that these acts terrorized the public in general in that they caused or were intended to cause public alarm or terror.

Prosecution for breach of peace requires that the accused caused or participated in a certain act od a violent or turbulent nature and that the peace was unlawfully disturbed as a result.


Understanding Article 116 (Riot or Breach of Peace) of the UCMJ

A riot is a tumultuous disturbance of the peace by three or more people assembled together with a common purpose.  The people assembled intend to execute a concerted action against anyone who might oppose them. The act of the group is committed in such a violent and turbulent manner as to cause or be calculated to cause public terror. The essence of the offense of rioting is the terrorization of the public. It is irrelevant whether the act intended was lawful. It is not necessary that the common purpose of those assembled be determined before the assembly.

A breach of the peace is an unlawful disturbance of the peace by an outward demonstration of a violent or turbulent nature. The acts or conduct are those which disturb the public tranquility or impinge upon the peace and good order to which the community is entitled.

The term community and public include military organizations, posts, camps, ships, aircrafts, or stations.


Maximum Possible Punishment for Violations of Article 116

Service members convicted of an Article 116 violation for riot face a maximum possible punishment of a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 10 years.

A conviction of breach of the peace under Article 116 includes a maximum possible punishment of confinement for 6 months and forfeiture of two-thirds pay per month for 6 months.


How do you defend against Article 116 Riot or Breach of Peace 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 116 charges for Riot or Breach of Peace, 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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