UCMJ Article 87b

UCMJ Article 89

Disrespect Toward Superior Commissioned Officer; Assault of Superior Commissioned Officer


The MCM states a service member may be prosecuted for a violation of Article 89 (Disrespect Toward a Superior Commissioned Officer) if they behave with disrespect toward that service member’s superior commissioned officer.

In order to be prosecuted under Article 89, the prosecution must prove:

  1. that the accused did or omitted certain acts or used certain language to or concerning a certain commissioned officer;
  2. that such behavior or language was directed toward that officer;
  3. that the officer toward whom the acts, omissions, or words were directed was the superior commissioned officer of the accused;
  4. that the accused then knew that the commissioned officer toward whom the acts, omissions, or words were directed was the accused’s superior commissioned officer; and
  5. That, under the circumstances, the behavior or language was disrespectful to that commissioned officer.

A military service member may be subject to prosecution for a violation of Article 89 (Assault of a Superior Commissioned Officer) if they strike their superior commissioned officer or draw or lift up any weapon or offer any violence against that officer while the officer is in the execution of the officer’s office.  The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. that the accused struck, drew, or lifted up a weapon against, or offered violence against, a certain commissioned officer;
  2. that the officer was the superior commissioned officer of the accused;
  3. that the accused then knew that the officer was the accused’s superior commissioned officer; and
  4. that the superior commissioned officer was then in the execution of office.

 

Understanding Article 89 (Disrespect Toward Superior Commissioned Officer; Assault of Superior Commissioned Officer) of the UCMJ

In order for Article 89 (Disrespect Toward a Superior Commissioned Officer) to be an applicable charge, the accused must have had knowledge the person was a superior commissioned officer and circumstantial evidence is enough to demonstrate this point effectively.  The accused must also have engaged in behavior deemed disrespectful.  Such behavior may consist of acts or language and may have occurred in a setting at which the superior commissioned officer was not present.

Article 89 (Assault of Superior Commissioned Officer) may be applicable if the accused was aware the individual was a superior commissioned officer and had intentional physical contact with the officer.  The physical contact may have been attempted, but not executed, if the accused brandished a weapon (or an object that may be used as a weapon) in a threatening manner, or physically attempted any form of violence against the officer.

 

Maximum Possible Punishment for Violations of Article 89

The maximum possible punishments for violations of Article 89 varies.  If the accused is found guilty of Disrespect Toward a Superior Officer in command the maximum possible punishment is a bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for up to 1 year.  If the charge is for a superior officer in rank the maximum possible punishment consists of a bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for up to 6 months.

If the accused is found guilty of a violation of Article 89 Assault of Superior Officer the maximum possible punishment is a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement of up to 10 years.  If, however, the event occurred during a time of war, the accused is may be subject to the death penalty.

 

How do you defend against Article 89 – Disrespect Toward Superior Commissioned Officer; Assault of Superior Commissioned Officer 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 89 charges for Disrespect Toward Superior Commissioned Officer; Assault of Superior Commissioned Officer, 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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