Each person serving in the military knows their duty and fulfills it to the best of their ability. This code of military justice makes AWOL (Absence without leave) a punishable offense. The punishments and penalties for being charged with absence without leave (AWOL) can be harsh. So, consulting a lawyer is crucial if the authorities charge you with AWOL. A lawyer will explore some options and try his best to acquit you from the accusation.
How can you be guilty of absence without leave?
As per the manual of court-martial, service members or military personnel can be found guilty of being AWOL for the following four reasons.
- Absence from a designated organization, unit, or place of duty
The government should substantiate that on-duty military personnel were absent or left an assigned organization, unit, or place of duty without authorization or permission. After your apprehension, the absence was terminated or put to an end.
- Failure to report to the appointed place of duty
The prosecutor and the government must substantiate that you should appear at a place of duty by a specific authority. To substantiate unauthorized absence, the prosecutor should prove that the person was aware of the place of duty and time but failed to report to the location without authorization and permission.
- Leaving appointed place of duty
The government should substantiate that the person went to the assigned place of duty at the demonstrated time but left the position without authorization. The authorities should prove that the person intended to abandon the duty, guard, or watch.
Having a lawyer at your side is imperative because each case of AWOL is considered and treated differently. There can be some appropriate and legitimate reasons that led the person to go absent without leave. It would be difficult to remember all the factors as military personnel, so it is better to seek the consultation of a lawyer.
Penalties for AWOL charges
While it might be arduous for the government and prosecutor to prove you guilty, you can substantiate that there were inevitable circumstances that led you to be AWOL (absent without leave). If the plaintiff still manages to prove the military personnel guilty of absence without leave, they might face the following punishment and penalties.
- 11-18 months of confinement
- Forfeiture of pay and allowances
- A dishonorable discharge and poor conduct.
Working with an attorney specializing in this field will yield a favorable verdict with strategic planning.
Why do you need an attorney?
Doing the proceedings yourself may not give you the best result because of no prior experience or expertise. A lawyer of Ward K Johnson law firm will bring all their skills and experience, to formulate the best defense plan to acquit of the charge. Try to consult an attorney with prior experience in the defense sector. It will help you to get the best result for yourself. Sometimes, the best attorney can turn the tables and win the judge’s trust to get the verdict in your favor.
Final Thoughts Absence without leave might not seem a massive offense to the public, but it is considered a discourteous offense under the military code. So, get a lawyer at your side to prove yourself innocent in a court-martial.