Yes. Except for some serious offences, you cannot be charged with a military offence against the Armed Forces Discipline Act 1971 for something than happened more than three years ago. The serious offences which have no time limit are:

1) Aiding the enemy,

2) Communicating with the enemy,

3) Spying,

4) Mutiny,

5) Failure to report or suppress a mutiny,

6) Desertion, and

7) Any offence against the civil law of New Zealand.

This last point is important because in addition to the military offences against the Armed Forces Discipline Act a service person can be charged with any offence against the civil law of New Zealand, for example common assault, wilful damage, offensive behaviour, or traffic offences. These “non-military” offences are subject to whatever limitation period applies to them, which varies from six months, to five years, to no time limitation.

Once you are charged with something in the Military Justice System (technically once it has been referred to the Director of Military Prosecutions) the time limitation period has been met. If the actual summary trial or Court Martial takes a long time to happen this is not relevant to the limitation period issue, although it might raise other issues.

If you are being investigated about something that happened a number of years ago, it is important you speak to a lawyer. Contact Frontline Law for a free initial consultation.

Frontline Law is a team of talented lawyers, most of whom have previously served in the Armed Forces, New Zealand Police, and other uniformed organisations. 

The first step in getting support is to talk with a lawyer from Frontline Law about your situation and see what options we can offer you. Contact Frontline Law for a free initial consultation.