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How do domestic violence charges affect military members?

On Behalf of | Dec 18, 2019 | Firm News

If you are a member of the military living in Alaska, breaking the law may lead to charges from the state and the military. A conviction for domestic violence may have serious penalties that could affect your military career and your future. According to Alaska law, domestic violence laws may apply if there is physical, economical or emotional abuse when people are living together in a relationship. 

Alaska has laws against domestic violence that apply to people in a variety of co-living situations. For example, violent behavior toward a spouse, child, romantic partner or person living in your household may lead to domestic violence charges. However, recent changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice may cause military members charged with domestic violence to face additional consequences. 

A Military Times article reports that an update to the UCMJ in 2018 made domestic violence a separate charge from other assault crimes. Before this change, the military could prosecute domestic violence among its members as an assault crime, which could yield penalties including jail time and a military discharge. However, the updated UCMJ now recognizes domestic violence as a separate crime. 

Under the new UCMJ, you may face military consequences if you get a conviction for domestic violence. Because domestic violence crimes are now separate from assault charges under the UCMJ, your conviction may get reported to nonmilitary law enforcement authorities. Having a domestic violence conviction on your civilian record may have long-term consequences in your life after you leave the military. 

This general information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.