If you suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and are facing non-judicial punishment, administrative action, or a court-martial for violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the UCMJ articles may provide you with an effective defense. A military law attorney can help you navigate the complexities of PTSD cases. Keep reading for more information on PTSD and the UCMJ articles.
The Prevalence of PTSD
When PTSD was first recognized, doctors diagnosed it as a form of wartime exhaustion. Now, medical professionals and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) recognize PTSD as a mental illness. According to some statistics, 1 in 5 soldiers who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan will develop PTSD. 71 percent of females are at risk of experiencing fragments of this mental illness as well.
Self-medication is also a common factor in several PTSD and traumatic brain injury patients. Such drug use is in direct conflict with sections 112a of the UCMJ articles. Because of this, PTSD, drug use, and punishment can cause a vicious cycle.
The disorder is more commonly caused by any traumatic event. Studies have revealed that hostility related to PTSD is greater in sample groups with combat experience. Other research has shown that veterans with PTSD are more likely to show aggression in the face of stimuli than non-veterans. Such recognitions have prompted the justice system to begin considering ways to address the needs of veterans and apply the law fairly.
Insanity and the UCMJ Articles
So, if you have been diagnosed with PTSD, you may be able to avoid a court-martial. Insanity is an affirmative defense under that Uniform Code of Military Justice, which states, “at the time of the commission of the acts constituting the offense, the accused, as a result of a severe mental disease or defect, was unable to appreciate the nature and quality or the wrongfulness of the acts.” 10 U.S.C. § 850a(a).
While the UCMJ articles and UCMJ precedence do not adequately describe the complexities and contours of PTSD, recent developments in traumatic brain injury research are making waves in the military world. Put plainly, a positive diagnosis for PTSD is a serious condition. It may help you avoid a court-martial conviction in your case.
Choose Experienced Military Trial Lawyers in El Paso
Whether or not you have been officially diagnosed with PTSD, you may suffer from PTSD symptoms that can help your case. Our mission at Military Trial Defenders is to defend those who defend our country. We also work hard to offer our legal support to those military members who suffer from PTSD. To learn more about the relationship between PTSD and military law, contact our experienced military law team today.