Military LawyerProtecting the Rights of Service Members Charged With Conspiracy
Military lawyer, Joseph Jordan zealously represents service members in court-martial proceedings worldwide. Formerly a member of the armed forces himself, where he served for eleven years, Mr. Jordan is an ex-Army Judge Advocate. Possessing an excellent knowledge of the UCMJ (Unified Code of Military Justice) law, he has successfully defended thousands of men and women in uniform in court-martial cases on charges of conspiracy. Though, based out of Killeen, Texas, his legal acuity has helped protect the rights of U.S. soldiers across the world.
Article 81 of the UCMJ – Conspiracy
Article 81 of the UCMJ deals with conspiracy, and states that the conspirator (s) shall receive punishment as deemed fit by a court-martial.
The following are recognized by the UCMJ as elements of a conspiracy:
- The accused enters into an accord/agreement with other people to hatch a conspiracy; and
- While the agreement continues to exist with the accused being one of the parties to it, they or one of their co-conspirators performs an overt act to effect the proposed mission of the plan/conspiracy.
Explanation of the Important Terms of the Code
- Co-conspirators: A conspiracy can only be hatched by a group of persons – two or more. For the purposes of trial, it's not important to ascertain the identity of the accused's co-conspirators, or even their role in the criminal act. The accused has to be subjected to the military code, but it may not necessarily apply on other conspirators.
- A person can be guilty under the code, although they are incapable of carrying out the intended violation. For instance, a conspirator under medical supervision at a hospital may knowingly provide automobiles for use in a bank heist.
- If a new member were to join the conspirators, after they have established the conspiracy, this does not amount to creation of a new conspiracy. It's extremely important to bear in mind that a conspirator who joins a conspiracy that's being planned, can only be convicted if an overt act is committed to further the objective of the conspiratorial agreement.
- Agreement: There's no need for any formal manifestations of the agreement between the accused and other conspirators; it's sufficient that the parties have a mutual understanding of the goal of their conspiracy. Conduct plays an important role in establishing the accused's participation in the conspiracy. The ways and means to accomplish the intended end, and specific role of each conspirator do not need to be the part of the agreement.
- Object of the Agreement: Court-martial on the charge of conspiracy requires commissioning of offenses under this chapter of the UCMJ. If two or more people agree to commit multiple offenses, it's ordinarily counted as one conspiracy. Offenses such as bigamy, adultery, bribery and engaging in a duel, where only the people involved in the offense are party to the agreement do not qualify for court-martial under this code.
- Overt act: An act that isn't the part of the original conspiracy but is carried out by the accused or other conspirators in furtherance of the intended objective of their agreement is known as an overt act. The law does not require it to be criminal in nature, just that it's a manifestation of the conspiracy. An experienced military lawyer can explain the complexities surrounding your case, and help you see the bigger picture.
A person found guilty of taking part in a conspiracy is awarded the maximum punishment for their offense; however the accused can't be given death penalty. The punishments usually awarded to service members include imposition of fine, reduction in rank and punitive discharge from services.
Effective Legal Counsel for Court-Martial Conspiracy Cases
Joseph Jordan brings a wealth of experience to help service members defend their rights. Extremely professional and committed, the Killeen-based military lawyer takes personal interest in all his cases. With his experience in the armed forces and thorough knowledge of the Article 81 of the UCMJ, he is perfectly placed to offer effective legal counsel and representation to service members facing court-martial on the charge of conspiracy.