Unlawful Use of Military Uniforms

Unlawful Use of Military Uniforms

The offence of unlawful use of military uniforms is outlined in section 419 of the Criminal Code.

A person commits the offence of unlawful use of military uniforms or certificates when they, without lawful authority, wear a uniform of any naval, army, or air force, a mark relating to wounds received or service performed in war, any military medal, ribbon, badge, chevron, decoration, or order awarded for service in war, or anything similar enough to any of these things that it is likely to be mistaken for them.

A person also commits the offence of unlawful use of military uniforms when they, without lawful authority, have a certificate of discharge or release, statement of service, or identity card from any naval, army, or air force that does not belong to them or that has an unauthorized alteration on it.

Examples

Person A wears their grandfather’s military uniform and decorations to restaurants to get discounts, despite person A never serving in any naval, army, or air force.

Person B unlawfully alters person C’s certificate of discharge to make it appear as though person C was honourably, and not dishonourably, discharged from the air force.

Offence Specific Defence(s)

Lawful Authority

Where the person has lawful authority to wear the military uniform, mark, medal, ribbon, badge, chevron, decoration, or order, they have not completed the offence of unlawful use of military uniforms.

Not From or Resembling a Military Force

Where the person is wearing a uniform, mark, medal, ribbon, badge, chevron, decoration, or order that does not belong to or resemble a naval, army or air force uniform, they may not have completed the offence of unlawful use of military uniforms.

Authorized

Where the alteration to the certificate of discharge or release, statement of service, or identity card is authorized, the person with this certificate of discharge or release, statement of service, or identity card has not completed the offence of unlawful use of military uniforms.

Ownership

Where the certificate of discharge or release, statement of service, or identity card is issued to the person or otherwise belongs to them, they may not have completed the offence of unlawful use of military uniforms.

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