Leaving Command Without Permission

Posted by: William Cassara On: June 1st, 2012

Over the course of my career as a military lawyer, I have assisted a number of service members in all branches of the military who faced a court-martial for desertion, or for otherwise being absent without authority with the intention of leaving the military. Understandably, these are challenging cases. The military's argument is that it must maintain order and discipline within its ranks and courts-martial serve to discourage desertion. After all, if you have been absent from your command without permission for longer than 30 days, a Federal arrest warrant and court-martial will likely catch up with you.

In many of these cases, I have been able to secure a resolution short of court-martial, or a reduced sentence court-martial. I have also succeeded in getting many of these discharged upgraded. In some cases, it is necessary for the service member to return to the military to resolve the situation. If I am retained as your lawyer while you are in an absentee or deserter status, I will assist in coordinating your return to the military. Once you are back with your command, I will negotiate your case and closely monitor the situation to reduce the chances of a court-martial or, if there is a court-martial, to get you the best result possible.

The ideal outcome is a prompt conclusion, and hopefully without a Federal conviction, confinement or punitive discharge on your record. If your command is committed to a court-martial, I am prepared to work with you to determine the best course of action. The first step, however, is to call toll-free (888) 288-3347 to discuss your situation.

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