AWOL/Desertion Defense for Military Members
Legal Help from Our Military Court Martial Lawyers
The United States Armed Forces is the world's second largest military
in terms of the number of active duty personnel, and it is an all-volunteer
service. Desertion has been an issue for militaries since ancient times,
especially for armies and other forces which were comprised primarily
of conscripts. Marching armies would often gradually evaporate into the
surrounding countryside as unwilling soldiers snuck away from the ranks.
Despite the fact that there are no conscripts in the U.S. military, desertion
remains a serious problem. Just as the punishments for desertion in former
times were harsh, often including the death penalty, so do they continue
to be severe under the terms of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
If you have been accused, get the help of our military criminal defense
lawyers at once!
Article 85 Explained
Article 85 of the UCMJ makes it unlawful for a service member to leave
or remain absent from one's unit, organization or place of duty without
authority and with the intent of remaining away permanently. Similarly,
it is a breach of Article 85 to quit one's unit with the intent of
avoiding hazardous duty or to shirt important services.
Desertion may also be charged in cases where a service member has enlisted
or accepted an appointment in another branch of the military or even in
the same branch without having been regularly separated from his or her
current appointment, as well as to enlist in any foreign armed service.
A commissioned officer may be charged with desertion in the event that
he or she quits a post or proper duties without leave after having tendered
resignation but before receiving notice of its acceptance. The maximum
sentence for desertion is the death penalty, though it has been more than
half a century since anyone was executed. More commonly, desertion is
punished by confinement and punitive discharge.
Help with Resolving an AWOL
If you have gone absent without leave or on an unauthorized absence, it
is vital that you take action to address the situation before you are
arrested. There may be a warrant out in your name, and you could be at
risk of being taken into custody if you are pulled over for a traffic
violation or under similar circumstances. By tackling the problem head-on,
you can improve your chances of a successful outcome.
At McCormack & McCormack, we have assisted countless clients from all
branches of the military, and our military criminal defense attorneys
are ready to take immediate action on your case. We may be able to resolve
the situation without you being taken into custody, and it may be possible
to work out a solution which allows you to return to civilian life with
an administrative discharge.
Contact us now for a confidential
case evaluation to discuss the situation and to learn more about how we can help.