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Can I Be Prosecuted for Failing to Follow a Military Regulation?

Illinois Lawyers Serving Those Who Serve

It is possible for a service member to be prosecuted for failing to follow a military regulation. Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) provides that prosecution may be sought for:

  • Violating a lawful general order or regulation;
  • Violating another lawful order; and
  • Dereliction in the performance of the service member’s duties.


Most members of the Armed Forces strive to always follow the orders and regulations given to them by their branch of service and their commanding officers. Unfortunately, different officers and entities may issue orders that seem to conflict with one another, as well as with other existing rules and guidelines, creating confusion and uncertainty for service members.

Failure to comply with Article 92 could result in serious penalties, including years of confinement, dishonorable discharge, and the loss of pay and benefits. Not every violation of a military regulation, however, constitutes a failure to comply with Article 92, and an experienced civilian military defense attorney can help you understand your situation.

Violating an Order or Regulation

In order to be found guilty of violating a general order or regulation, a service member must be found to have had the duty to follow an existing lawful general order or regulation and failed to do so. To be found guilty of violating a lawful order issued by a superior, the same criteria must be met, but with the addition that the service member knew of the order.

Dereliction of Duties

A service member may be found guilty of dereliction in the performance of duties if it can be proven that:

  • The accused was assigned particular duties;
  • The accused knew or should have known about those duties; and
  • The accused was derelict in the performance of the duties, either due to willful behavior, negligence, or culpable inefficiency.

If you have been accused of violating Article 92, contact our office to get the help you need. Call 630-665-7300 for a free consultation with an Illinois military defense attorney today. We serve clients throughout Illinois including Great Lakes, Palatine, Chicago, Des Plaines and North Chicago.

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