Military Desertion Defined

If a service member is accused of military desertion – absent without permission or leave – they can suffer significant consequences. Whether you are absent without leave (AWOL) or have an unauthorized absence (UA), penalties such as imprisonment and court-martial are a definite possibility.

If you do or did not return to your station, there could be a warrant for your arrest. Regardless of your reason, you should contact a military criminal defense attorney specializing in military desertion to receive compassionate and aggressive defense counsel. 

Combating AWOL Charges

An experienced military defense attorney is essential for individuals facing the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Here’s how our team of military criminal defense attorneys can help you fight AWOL charges:

Expertise in Military Law: Military law is distinct from civilian law and follows the UCMJ, which has its own rules, regulations, and procedures. Our military law attorneys are well-versed in these laws and have expertise in navigating the complexities of the military justice system. 

Protecting Your Rights: Regardless of the alleged offense, you have legal rights under the UCMJ, just as you would in civilian court. We ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. 

Mitigating Consequences: Military desertions like UA and AWOL are serious offenses in the military and can lead to severe consequences, including confinement, loss of pay, reduction in rank, and a dishonorable discharge. We can work to mitigate the potential penalties or seek alternative resolutions. 

Investigative Support: Our military attorneys can thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your case. This may reveal evidence that can be used in your defense. 

Court-Martial Representation: Our team can represent you during trial if your case proceeds to a court-martial. Our experience helps build a strong defense and challenge the prosecution’s case. 

Negotiating Plea Deals: It could be in your best interest to negotiate a plea deal to reduce the charges or penalties. We can guide you through this process and advocate for a fair agreement. 

Appeals and Post-Trial Proceedings: Our team can assist with the appeals process or seek other post-trial remedies if you are convicted. 

Understanding Military Culture: Our military defense attorneys have vast experience working within the military community. We know the chain of command and have successfully navigated the unique dynamics of various cases. 

A Military Criminal Defense Lawyer You Can Trust

Having a military criminal defense attorney for a military desertion case can significantly impact the outcome. The experienced team at the Federal Practice Group can help ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process. If you are facing military desertion charges, contact us today!

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Frequently Asked Questions

It is suggested you seek an attorney the moment you are notified of possible disciplinary action. There is a wide range of disciplinary action a service member might face, and the consequences of those actions vary greatly. A military law attorney can discuss the possible consequences, and how best to proceed in your particular case.  

Service members have the right to always remain silent. This right is listed in Article 31(b) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The natural inclination is to explain why you are not guilty of the allegation. However, the military will always try to use the statement against the service member. For this reason, we always advise clients to exercise their right to remain silent under Article 31(b). The military cannot use your right to remain silent against you.  

You always have the right to consult with an attorney. Depending of the type of investigation or disciplinary action, you may also have the right to have an attorney present with you. It is best to discuss your particular situation with a military law attorney to understand if that right applies to you. 

Yes, each one of the branches has a Court of Criminal Appeals. If you receive either a punitive discharge or in excess of 1 year of confinement, you have the right to an automatic appeal. Just like at the Court-Martial, you will have be detailed a military appellate defense counsel.  

Yes, most service members will be entitled to either an administrative separation board (or, if an officer, a Board of Inquiry). Each branch requires the service member to have been in a certain number of years before they can request to appear before a Board. If you are entitled to a Board, you will have the right to appear with a defense counsel, and present a defense before three Board members. 

 It depends on what the legal issue, and how you are able to challenge the legal issue. The military law attorneys at FPG have represented service members at trial that resulted in a not-guilty verdict. These clients were able to continue their military career as though the Court-Martial never happened.

Speak with A Military AWOL Attorney Today