Military Fraternization and Adultery Defined

Military personnel representing their country and its people are expected to adhere to high standards of discipline. Any act committed by a service member that negatively impacts or discredits their unit or the military itself is considered an offense, as covered by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). 

The UCMJ considers military fraternization and adultery criminal offenses, and if you are accused, you could face a court-martial.  

Adultery in the military involves the act of having sexual relations with someone other than your spouse while on active duty. Under the UCMJ, it does not matter if those involved in the sexual relationship are separated from their spouse. Adultery is considered a violation of the UCMJ and can result in disciplinary actions and legal consequences for the involved service member. 

Military fraternization is the act of a commissioned or warrant officer fraternizing (or socializing) with an enlisted service member. It involves personal relationships or social interactions between military members, typically of different ranks or grades, violating established codes of conduct or regulations. Such relationships can compromise an army organization’s chain of command, discipline, and unit cohesion.

Defending False Accusations

It is not uncommon for individuals to face false accusations of military fraternization or adultery. These false accusations are typically made with the intent to discredit or harm. At other times, false accusations could arise out of pretenses. Because adultery is based mainly on circumstantial evidence, such as “he said, she said” statements, our military criminal defense attorneys can help you expose the irrelevant nature of your charges and combat them successfully in court. 

A Military Fraternization or Adultery Lawyer Can Help

If you have been accused of military fraternization or adultery while on active duty, a military criminal defense attorney can help. The accuser needs to prove the following to make their case valid:  

  • That you wrongfully had sexual intercourse with a specific person. 
  • That you or the person you are accused of having sexual intercourse with was married to another person at the time the offense was committed.
  • That your conduct was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces.

If and when adultery is proven, you can suffer repercussions much more severe than civilians. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see additional charges added to the initial charge; for example, a sexual assault or other military sex offense charge can be added to an adultery charge. In addition, an officer misconduct charge can be added to a fraternization charge. Regardless of any additional charges, if you are facing adultery or fraternization charges, the consequences could be career-ending. 

Talk to a Military Criminal Defense Attorney Today

A court-martial could reduce rank, jail time, and possibly even a discharge from the armed forces. If you are facing a military fraternization or adultery charge, the military criminal defense attorneys at the Federal Practice Group can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

It is suggested you seek an attorney the moment you are notified of possible disciplinary action. There is a wide range of disciplinary action a service member might face, and the consequences of those actions vary greatly. A military law attorney can discuss the possible consequences, and how best to proceed in your particular case.  

Service members have the right to always remain silent. This right is listed in Article 31(b) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The natural inclination is to explain why you are not guilty of the allegation. However, the military will always try to use the statement against the service member. For this reason, we always advise clients to exercise their right to remain silent under Article 31(b). The military cannot use your right to remain silent against you.  

You always have the right to consult with an attorney. Depending of the type of investigation or disciplinary action, you may also have the right to have an attorney present with you. It is best to discuss your particular situation with a military law attorney to understand if that right applies to you. 

Yes, each one of the branches has a Court of Criminal Appeals. If you receive either a punitive discharge or in excess of 1 year of confinement, you have the right to an automatic appeal. Just like at the Court-Martial, you will have be detailed a military appellate defense counsel.  

Yes, most service members will be entitled to either an administrative separation board (or, if an officer, a Board of Inquiry). Each branch requires the service member to have been in a certain number of years before they can request to appear before a Board. If you are entitled to a Board, you will have the right to appear with a defense counsel, and present a defense before three Board members. 

 It depends on what the legal issue, and how you are able to challenge the legal issue. The military law attorneys at FPG have represented service members at trial that resulted in a not-guilty verdict. These clients were able to continue their military career as though the Court-Martial never happened.

The military lawyers at FPG are former Judge Advocates, with years of experience in both the military and on the civilian side. They have been successful in getting their clients acquitted of criminal charges at Court-Martial, and have successfully had Court-Martial convictions overturned on appeal and discharges upgraded.  

Speak with A Military Fraternization Defense Lawyer