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Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry

Note: This law applies only to Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry offenses allegedly committed on or after 1 January 2019.

What is Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry?

Article 129 Ucmj Unlawful Entry Military Defense Lawyers

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is a comprehensive set of laws established to govern the discipline and conduct of United States service members. Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry is among these laws.

Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry specifically targets the act of entering the property of another without proper authorization or consent. This can include entering a building, structure, or other premises intending to commit a crime, cause disruption, or invade someone’s privacy.

Unlawful entry under Article 129 is a serious offense that can have significant consequences, including punitive measures such as confinement, dishonorable discharge, loss of rank, and loss of pay. Service members and their families must understand the gravity of such charges and how they can impact personal and professional lives.

Legal representation is essential if you or a loved one is facing allegations of unlawful entry. Navigating the complexities of military law requires thorough knowledge and experience in handling military criminal cases. At Gonzalez & Waddington, our firm is committed to providing strong, informed defense for those accused under Article 129 UCMJ. We understand the intricacies of military proceedings and the importance of safeguarding your future.

Having an experienced military defense lawyer by your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. They can help you understand your rights, assess the details of your case, develop a strategic defense plan, and advocate for you in military court. The stakes regarding accusations under Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry are high, and a knowledgeable attorney can provide the guidance and support needed during this challenging time.

Contact Gonzalez & Waddington today

to discuss your situation and take the first step towards protecting your rights and future.

What are the Elements of Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry?

  1. That (state the time and place alleged), the accused entered the [real property of (state the person alleged)] [personal property of (state the person alleged), amounting to a structure usually used for habitation or storage], to wit: (state the property alleged); and
  2. That the entry was unlawful.

What are the Maximum Punishments for Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry?

Maximum Punishment for Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry committed between 1 Jan 2019 to 27 Dec 2023:

  • 6 Months of Confinement
  • BCD
  • Total Forfeitures
  • Reduction to E-1

Maximum Punishment for Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry committed after 27 Dec 2023

  • Under the Sentencing Parameters, Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry is a Category 1 Offense – Confinement from 0-12 months
  • BCD
  • Total Forfeitures
  • Reduction to E-1
  • Note: The Military Judge MAY impose a period of confinement less than the jurisdictional maximum period of confinement upon finding specific facts that warrant such a sentence. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.), Appendix 12B-C

Combined UCMJ Maximum Punishment Charts

Sample Specifications for Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry

In that PFC Jim Cundy, US Army, did, at Hunter Army Air Field, Savannah, Georgia, on or about 14 July 2025, unlawfully enter a structure usually used for habitation or storage of Jiffy Lube, Inc, to wit: the Jiffy Lube location at 342 Martin Luther King Boulevard, Savannah, Georgia.

Model Specifications for Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry

In that __________ (personal jurisdiction data), did, (at/on board—location), on or about __________, unlawfully enter the (real property) (personal property) (a structure usually used for habitation or storage) of __________, to wit: _______________.

What are the Definitions for Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry?

An entry must be effected before the offense is complete, but the entry of any part of the body, even a finger, is sufficient. Insertion into the property of a tool or other instrument is also a sufficient entry, unless the insertion is solely to facilitate the entry.

An entry under Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry is “unlawful” if it is made without the consent of any person authorized to consent to entry or without other lawful authority.

Does the Property Have to be in use for Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry?

The property doesn’t need to be in use at the time of entry.

Under Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry, “Personal property amounting to a structure usually used for habitation or storage” usually includes vehicles expressly used for habitation, such as mobile homes and recreational vehicles. It usually does not include an aircraft, automobile, tracked vehicle, or a person’s locker, even though it is used for storage purposes. Whether the property alleged amounts to “personal property amounting to a structure usually used for habitation or storage” is a question of fact for you to decide.

Overview of Article Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry

Article 129 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) addresses the offense of unlawful entry. This provision is designed to maintain order and security within military installations by penalizing unauthorized access to various facilities and premises.

Scope of Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry

Unlawful entry under Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry involves entering or remaining in a building or part of a building without authorization or lawful purpose. The key elements of this offense include:

  1. The accused entered or remained in a building or structure.
  2. The entry or remaining was without authorization.
  3. The intent to enter or remain was willful and knowing.

Intent and Authorization under Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry

The intent is a crucial component of unlawful entry. The prosecution must prove that the accused willfully and knowingly entered or remained in a restricted area without permission. Accidental entry or lack of awareness regarding the restriction generally does not constitute a violation of Article 129 UCMJ.

Authorization refers to explicit permission or legal right to access a particular area. This could be granted through official orders, direct permission from superiors, or security clearances. Unauthorized entry occurs when an individual does not have such permission or exceeds the bounds of the given authority.

General Examples of Unlawful Entry (more detailed examples of Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry are below)

  • Entering a Barracks Room Without Permission: Forcibly entering or remaining in another service member’s living quarters without their consent.
  • Accessing Restricted Offices After Hours: Entering a secure office area on a military base outside of designated working hours without proper authorization.
  • Using Unauthorized Keys or Passcodes: Utilizing keys or security codes obtained without permission to access restricted areas.
  • Climbing Through Windows or Over Fences: Gaining entry to a building or restricted area through unconventional means, such as windows or fences, without authorization.

5. Tailgating: Following someone into a secure area without having the necessary credentials or permission.

Punishment and Consequences

Violations of Article 129 are subject to court-martial proceedings, where the severity of the punishment can vary based on the circumstances of the offense. Potential punishments include:

  • Confinement: The accused may be sentenced to a period of imprisonment.
  • Reduction in Rank: The service member could be demoted to a lower rank.
  • Forfeiture of Pay: The individual may lose a portion of their pay.
  • Bad Conduct Discharge: In severe cases, the accused may be discharged from the military with a BCD.

The severity of the punishment is often influenced by factors such as the nature of the restricted area, the manner of entry, and any resultant harm or security breaches.

Defenses Against Unlawful Entry Charges

Several defenses may be raised against charges of unlawful entry, including:

  • Lack of Intent: Demonstrating that the entry was accidental or unintentional.
  • Mistaken Authority: Showing that the accused believed they had permission to enter the area.
  • Duress or Necessity: Arguing that the entry was compelled by an immediate threat or necessity, such as an emergency.

Fighting Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry Cases with a Court Martial Lawyer

Article 129 of the UCMJ is critical to ensuring the security and integrity of military installations. Penalizing unauthorized entry helps maintain order and discipline within the armed forces. Understanding the elements, potential consequences, and defenses related to unlawful entry is essential for service members to avoid unintentional violations and safeguard the secure environments necessary for military operations.

Examples of conduct that could constitute a violation of Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry:

  1. Breaking into a barracks room: Forcibly entering a fellow service member’s living quarters without permission.
  2. Entering an office after hours: Accessing a restricted military installation area without authorization during non-working hours.
  3. Climbing through a window: Entering a building through an unapproved entry point like a window without permission.
  4. Unauthorized access to storage rooms: Entering a storage area without proper clearance or authorization.
  5. Sneaking into a restricted area: Gaining entry to a restricted zone on a military base without clearance.
  6. Using a key without permission: Utilizing someone else’s key to enter a locked area without the owner’s consent.
  7. Tailgating through secure doors: Following someone through a secure door into an unauthorized area without proper credentials.
  8. Hiding and entering during off-hours: Remaining hidden in a building after closing hours to gain access without permission.
  9. Jumping over a fence: Scaling a perimeter fence to enter a restricted area on a military installation.
  10. Accessing classified areas: Entering a classified area without the necessary clearance or authorization.
  11. Forcing a door open: Using physical force to break into a locked room or building.
  12. Entering a superior’s office without consent: Accessing a commanding officer’s office without their knowledge or consent.
  13. Unauthorized use of a passcode: Using someone else’s passcode to access a secure area without permission.
  14. Entering a vehicle without consent: Gaining entry to a military or personal vehicle without the owner’s permission.
  15. Trespassing on private military property: Entering privately assigned housing areas on base without invitation or permission.
  16. Utilizing a fake ID to enter a secure area: Using false identification to access restricted military areas.
  17. Entering an armory without clearance: Accessing a weapons storage area without authorization.
  18. Unauthorized access to medical facilities: Entering restricted sections of a military hospital without permission.
  19. Entering a training facility without clearance: Accessing a military training area or facility without authorization.
  20. Tampering with electronic security systems: Disabling or bypassing security measures to unlawfully enter a restricted area.

Each of these examples involves entering or remaining in a place without proper authority, which is the core of Article 129 UCMJ Unlawful Entry.

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