If you’re being threatened with an involuntary separation or discharge from the military, it’s important to fight back with all available legal resources. A good lawyer can help save your military career. But even before hiring a military attorney, you need to understand the process of an administrative separation board. We’ll explain it in more depth below.
If you have been told by your command you are being administratively separated, or are in receipt of your administrative separation paperwork, you need to understand what command action is likely to occur. If the command is recommending an Other Than Honorable characterization of service, an administrative separation board or discharge board will be convened to review the evidence from both the government and the defense. The hearing or board is an adversarial one, with opening and closing arguments, and cross examination of witnesses. The board consists of three servicemembers, who must decide, by the majority, whether the government met their burden by the preponderance of the evidence the subject servicemember committed the misconduct. If the board does substantiate the misconduct, they also need to decide, by the majority, to either separate or retain the subject servicemember. If separation, then the board must decide the characterization of service. Some of the most common grounds for involuntary separation of a servicemember are allegations of drug abuse, DWI, misconduct or substandard performance of duty, adultery or inappropriate relationships, or other minor violations of the uniform code of military justice. The separation board is your last chance to stay in the military. You’ll need an experienced and aggressive military attorney to defend you at every turn of the administrative board to save your career.
Your attorney will dig deep into the command’s case against you to find weakness and unfounded arguments. An experienced military will conduct his/her own investigation to unearth evidence to support the defense theory of the case. All potential evidence will be evaluated and witnesses called on your behalf at your board. Be sure to have any documents, photographs, or testimony that the command hasn’t included in their separation package, as it could help your case.
Our military separation defense lawyers will also ask hard questions during cross-examination of witnesses to expose facts and raise doubts about the allegations against you, as well as present your military record in a positive light. You should be prepared to make your own statement to the board to help avoid separation from service. You can use this time to set the record straight. Your lawyer will help you prepare before the hearing to present your facts in the most effective manner.
Even if you expect to be discharged, you’ll need an excellent attorney to help make it an honorable one. Military Justice Attorneys will present a strong case for your complex situation to make sure your outcome is the best one possible. Contact us today or a free consultation.