Military Defense Lawyer

UCMJ Article 80 (Attempts)

R. Davis Younts

Military Lawyer

Article 80 is a legal provision aimed at preventing criminal activities by enabling law enforcement to step in prior to the completion of an offense. These attempts can be categorized as either completed or incomplete, based on specific elements and requirements.

Key Elements:

  1. Specific Overt act: The accused must have taken a clear, distinct action.
  2. intent to Commit Offense: The act should be with the intention of committing a particular offense under the law.
  3. Beyond Preparation: The act must go beyond mere preparation and show a definite inclination towards the intended offense.

Specific Intent Requirement: Criminal attempts to involve two types of intent: the intent to carry out the acts forming the basis for the overt act, and the specific intent to commit the actual offense. These factors are closely related, and defense counsel needs to examine into the underlying circumstances of the alleged overt act to understand the accuseds criminal intent.

The third element of an attempt necessitates that the overt act goes beyond mere preparation. This is determined using the substantial step test. The overt act need not be the final step in completing the crime, and the accused can be held liable for an attempt even if external factors prevent the intended offense from being completed.

In attempt cases, the government need not specify the overt act in the specification, and it need not be illegal. However, the government should mention that the attempt was wrongful.

What is the Maximum Punishment?

The highest penalty for an attempt under Article 80 matches the maximum punishment allowed for the actual commission of the intended offense. Death penalty or minimum mandatory punishments do not apply. Except for attempted murder, the confinement term will not exceed 20 years.

This provision plays a crucial role in maintaining the balance between preventing crime and safeguarding individual rights, ensuring that law enforcement can intervene at the right time, while also protecting individuals from unjust penalties.

How to deal with an Article 80 Charge

If someone is facing charges under Article 80 as a principal of a crime, it’s crucial to seek immediate legal representation. Attorney R. Davis Younts has been a prosecutor, a JAG (Judge Advocate General),He’s been practicing law for two decades. Call attorney R. Davis Younts at (833) 739-5291 or (717) 612-4840. Free consultation.

UCMJ Articles:


About me

Scroll to Top


In-Depth case evaluation

    Skip to content