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Charges
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Yeoman 1 & C - Military training manual
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incorporated in the trial of the original charges before arraignment. When  charges  are  drafted,  an  offense  specially defined by Articles 81 through 132 may not be alleged as a violation of Article 134. In the case of a person subject to trial by general court-martial for violations of the  law  of  war,  the  charge  should  be  Violation  of referring to the local penal law of the occupied territory. Ordinarily persons subject to the code should be charged with a specific violation of the code rather than a violation of the law of war. Specifications A  specification  should  be  brief  but  complete.  It should be a plain, concise, and definite statement and must   contain   all   the   following   essential   facts constituting  the  offense  charged: A Rate  of  accused Name  of  accused Branch  of  service  of  accused Unit of accused Time of alleged offense based on a 24-hour clock Place  of  alleged  offense Statement  of  facts  constituting  the  alleged offense specification  is  sufficient  if  it  alleges  every element   of   the   charged   offense   expressly   or   by necessary  implication.  No  particular  format  is  required. Detailed  instructions  on  drafting  specifications  can  be founded in the  Manual  for  Courts-Martial,  United States, 1984,  under  R.C.M.  307(c)(3). If there is only one specification under a charge, it is  not  numbered.  When  there  is  more  than  one specification  under  any  charge,  the  specifications  are numbered in Arabic numerals. The term  additional  is not used in connection with the specifications under an additional  charge. Charges  and  specifications  alleging  all  known offenses by an accused may be preferred at the same time. Each specification should state only one offense. A specification may name more than one person as an accused if each person so named is believed by the accuser to be a principal in the offense that is the subject of  the  specification. SECTION  III  -  PREFERRAL This  section  contains  the  identification  of  the accuser, the signature of the accuser, the identification of the officer administering the oath to the accuser, and the signature of the officer administering the oath. The accuser must be a person who has knowledge of the alleged offenses and must be a person who is subject to the UCMJ also. Normally, the officer who conducts  the  preliminary  investigation  is  the  one  who signs and swears to the charges as the accuser. Article 136 of the UCMJ specifies what officers are authorized to administer oaths to accusers. This  section  is  continued  on  the  reverse  of  the charge  sheet  with  the  date  the  accused  was  informed  of the charges and identification and signature of the person   informing   the   accused.   The   immediate commander of the accused should cause the accused to be informed of the charges preferred against the accused and the name of the person who preferred the charges and  of  any  person  who  ordered  the  charges  to  be preferred, if known, as soon as possible. SECTION   IV   - RECEIPT   BY   SUMMARY COURT-MARTIAL CONVENING AUTHORITY Immediately upon receipt of sworn charges, an officer  exercising  summary  court-martial  jurisdiction over the command should cause the hour and date of receipt to be entered on the charge sheet. This date is important. This signature, with the exact hour and date of receipt, is necessary to fix the time period of the statute of limitations. If an offense is committed more than 2 years (3 years for some crimes) before receipt of charges by the officer having court-martial jurisdiction over the accused, the member may not, as a rule, be tried for that offense. There are a few extremely serious offenses for which there is no statute of limitations. Article 43, UCMJ, details the rules applying to statute of  limitations. SECTION  V  -  REFERRAL:  SERVICE  OF  CHARGES This   section   is   endorsed   by   the   convening authority’s signature. The purpose of this block is to order a particular court (summary, special, or general) to try the case and to provide the court with specific instructions.  Although  the  endorsement  should  be completed on all copies of the charge sheet, only the original must be signed. The signature maybe that of a person acting by the order or direction of the convening authority.  In  such  a  case  the  signature  element  must reflect  the  signer’s  authority. If the only officer present in a command refers the charges to a summary court-martial and serves as the 11-7

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