Proof lies on him who asserts, not on him who denies. The concept is that one is innocent until proven guilty. Regardless of what the law says about reasonable doubt, there is an unwritten presumption within the ranks of the military that if you are charged with sexual assault, then you are guilty. The stakes are your life! Your military counsel works for the same military that charged you. Consider that as you choose who represents you in your potentially life altering case.

Article 134- Fleeing the Scene of an Accident

This article covers incidents where a service member has been found fleeing the scene of an accident.

Two situations are covered under this heading and their elements are as follows:

a) Fleeing the accident scene- the passenger or driver charged is charged as principal


  • That at a specific time and place, the accused was driving a vehicle which was involved in a collision or accident.
  • That the accused was aware of this accident or collision.
  • That the accused left the accident/ collision scene without: a) helping the victim who had been hit by the vehicle; b) without revealing his identity.
  • That this act of the accused was unlawful and wrongful.
  • That, under these circumstances, the behavior of the accused went against the good order and discipline expected from members of the armed forces; or it brought discredit to the United States Armed Forces.

Maximum Punishment: The accused faces maximum punishment of bad conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and 6 months confinement if proven guilty of this charge.

b) Fleeing the accident scene- senior passenger


  • That the accused was traveling as passenger in a vehicle at a specific time and place.
  • That this vehicle was involved in/ caused a collision or accident.
  • That the accused held a post superior to that of the vehicle's driver and that he allowed, ordered, permitted or caused the driver to leave the accident scene without: a) giving assistance to the victims injured in the accident; b) providing his name/ identity.
  • That under these circumstances, the behavior/ conduct of the accused was contrary to the discipline and good order in the armed forces; or that this conduct brought discredit to the United States Armed Forces.

Maximum Punishment: The accused faces bad conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and 6 months confinement as maximum punishment for violating this article.

Points to Note:

  • Hit and run incidents where property other than the accused's vehicle is damaged or persons other than the accused/ his driver are injured are covered under this article.
  • If the accused's vehicle has not actually hit another vehicle or a person but it has caused an accident/ collision, these incidents are also covered under this article.
  • The prosecution may use circumstantial evidence to establish that the accused was fully aware of the accident/ collision. The accused's knowledge of this accident/ collision has to be proven beyond doubt.
  • In incidents where the accused is the passenger in the vehicle but he is charged as the principal in the case, it has to be established that he is a superior commissioned officer, superior non- commissioned officer of the driver/ commander of the vehicle which was involved in/ caused the accident. Refer to the Manual for Courts Martial for further information on this article.

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