UCMJ Article 87b

UCMJ Article 97

Unlawful detention

The MCM states under Article 97 (Unlawful detention), any service member may be subject to prosecution if they apprehend, arrest, or confine any person without a lawful order to do so.

In order to be convicted of an Article 97 violation, the prosecution must prove:

  1. that the accused apprehended, arrested, or confined a certain person; and
  2. that the accused unlawfully exercised the accused’s authority to do so.


Understanding Article 97 (Unlawful detention) of the UCMJ

Article 97 is designed to prohibit improper acts by those authorized by the UCMJ to arrest, apprehend, or confine others. This article does not apply to private acts of false imprisonment nor the restraint of another’s movements by someone not authorized by the UCMJ to do so.

The arrest, confinement, or apprehension must have been against the will of the person restrained; however, the use of force is not a requirement.

The prosecution must also demonstrate the accused did not have a reasonable belief that imposing restraint was lawful.


Maximum Possible Punishment for Violations of Article 97

The maximum possible punishment for a violation of Article 97 includes a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 3 years.


How do you defend against Article 97 Unlawful Detention 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 23 years of experience in military law and a sought-after speaker and lecturer on military law. Donald Gordon has litigated cases before the Discharge Review Board, the Board for Correction of Military Records, and the Board for Correction of Naval Records regarding a wide variety of matters and a diverse background of clients


If you or someone you know is facing Article 97 charges for Unlawful Detention, 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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