How Does the Military Deal With Crimes Violating Protected Places

When crimes come under the law in this area, it is in reference to burglary, housebreaking, and unlawful entry. Perhaps they all sound like one and the same, but they do have their differences and as such, have different punishments assigned to them.

Burglary: The laws for burglary are quite interesting in that first they specifically deal with actually breaking into and entering a living area of another individual, and that both the breaking and entering were done at night. Finally these acts were done with the intent to commit any of the crimes that punishable under Article 118 up to and including Article 128, but excluding Article 123a.

Housebreaking: This applies to an individual who unlawfully enters a building or structure belonging to someone else, and had the express intent of carrying out an unlawful act.

Unlawful entry: This can be applicable when an individual entered a property belonging to another person. Most often, unlawful entry refers to a place where someone lives or a place used for storage purposes. Performing this act shows the conduct of the accused was not in good order and discipline according to the standards of the Armed Forces, and therefore discredits the Armed Forces.

What has been said so far is just the basic elements of the proposed crimes. They become far more detailed and explicit according to the circumstances of the crime.

For example, if an individual is charged with burglary it must be with the intent of committing one or more of the offences outlined in Articles 118 to 128. If evidence showed that the intent was to commit a crime that did not fall within these Articles, then the charge for this act would be reduced to housebreaking.

In the case of housebreaking, it has to be shown that the accused had the intention of committing the crime within the building he broke into. The intent to commit the crime that he was charged with and not any other crime must also be shown. It is also important to point out here that the offense cannot be specifically a military offense.

For unlawful entry there does not have to be any intent to commit a crime in order for the charges to be laid or to uphold a guilty finding.

One may be curious as to how the law decides what proves intent. There are many circumstances that can imply this, but normally it is based on the time and the way that the unlawful entry was made, and what the conduct of the accused was once he had gained entry.

These are just a few examples of how the law looks at varying degrees of protection of property under military law.