Is There a Statue of Limitations for Military Offenses?

Question: Is there a statue of limitations for military offenses?

Answer: Yes. Article 43 of the UCMJ concerns statue of limitations.

In regards to nonjudicial punishment, under Article 15, the accused cannot be punished if the offense was committed more than two years from the date of the Article 15 action.

For court-martials, the statute of limitations is five years, except for any offense where the maximum permissible punishment is death, and for absent without leave (AWOL) or missing movement in time of war. In such cases, there are no statute of limitations.

Certain circumstances can extend the statute of limitations. For example, periods in which the accused was absent from territory in which the United States has the authority to apprehend him, or AWOL "fleeing justice," or in the custody of civil authorities, or in the hands of the enemy, are excluded in computing the period of limitation.