Deserted US marines from USA to Canada in 1970. What is the best way to obtain ability to go back into USA (without getting arrested) and how much would it cost ?
Province/Territory relating to question: Alberta
Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX X will be glad to help you.Is there an active arrest warrant for you in the US?
Not aware of any. Have not been back in usa since leaving in 1970. Had no criminal record before signing up in 1967. . Born in Ohio in 1950. Lived in Alaska and New Mexico. Working, never unemployed, family in Canada. Never applied for discharge etc before.
Thank you for your follow up.Based on your question, I will transfer your questions to our Military Law Category.Thank you for using JustAnswer.com
Thank you for your help. Look forward to hearing from military specialist. thnx
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.Good luck Marine. Seriously...Homeland security will have a warrant for your arrest. When I was prosecuting cases at Camp Pendleton a few years back we had several Marines enter from Canada who were then hauled back to the Marine Corps and kept in the Brig until they were processed out.That said, if you are arrested, the entire process typically takes only a few months and then you are discharged. You can actually speed it up a bit if you present to the US Officials and tell them you are returning to go back to the Marines...they will still arrest you, but they will process your case quicker when you get to the Marine Corps base.There is no cost...but it will take a few months to process the case. If you turn yourself in there is a very good chance they will not keep you in the brig while you await discharge.
Thank you for the benefit of your experience. Just to clarify. This was a desertion from USA to Canada in 1970. I had heard that they were perhaps more strict re the more recent conflicts - but had anecdotally heard of Vietnam vets that were basically turned around with the discharge paperwork very quickly. Does the fact that its a Canadian citizen with Canadian passport hurt, hinder, complicate or affect the case at all.
And thank you again for your the highly experienced assistance.
My experience was the same for each (and each was arrested...did not turn themselves in). For the Canada cases, they both (there were two of them caught at the border attempting entry) were brought to Camp Pendleton, held for approx 3 weeks and sent to a special court martial where they received a BCD (bad conduct discharge) and time served. They were released from the military all together a few days after that. They both received courts martial and BCD's since they were arrested. That is a common theme in the Marine Corps. I had several other long term UA cases, and a common thread was that if the Marine was arrested they went to court and if they turned themselves in, they were separated with an administrative dischargeThat is why I mention you may want to turn yourself in. You would want to make it very clear at the time you cross that you are absent without authority from the Marine Corps and your purpose in returning to the US is to resolve this.Again, I would expect an arrest (since there is most likely a warrant), but I would also expect that once you get to the Marine base they will release you in short order (since you turned yourself in you are not a flight risk). By law, once you get to the base, within 7 days you are entitled to a hearing (typically that happens within 2-3 days) and the hearing officer will determine if you remain in jail or not.Now...actually, it can take a bit longer if you are not in jail (since if you are in jail you can demand a speedy trial and that forces them to process the case faster)...but regardless I would not expect more than a month or so of confinement or waiting around for the discharge.The Army does turn cases around quick...in my experience the Marine want their "pound of flesh"Canadian citizen? That is a neutral in my book. It does not complicate things much, since you still remain subject to the UCMJ regardless of your citizenship
very very helpful.
Would i have to stay in the jurisdiction (ie USA or California) while awaiting the discharge even if i was let out of the brig ? have to plan to be away from Canadian job appropriately.
Is there a preferred port of entry to optimize processing ? eg San Diego (though i would have to pass US Customs in the Edmonton Alberta airport prior to flying to San Diego (or Chicago or Denver or Seattle) Sounds like it would be a good idea to have the fact you are "absent without authority from the US Marines and are there to resolve it" in writing as one presents oneself to the Border or Airport (in Canada we go through US Customs at the Canadian Airport eg Edmonton, Alberta).
If one had there druthers what would the best way of getting into a position to present yourself to the US Customs/Border folk be ?
Is the brig a relatively safe place to be ? I have heard some stories about prison-life (not military ones) but never been.
I can't thank you enough for this help after all these years of wondering !
If this is your plan? I would send a letter to the Commanding Officer of Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Camp Pendleton, CA 92055. IF you travel to San Diego, that is where you will be taken (and placed in Headquarters Battalion for MCB Pendleton). I would send a copy to the Senior Defense Counsel, Legal Services Support Team E, First Marine Logistics Group, Camp Pendleton, CA 92055. They can make sure your lawyer gets a copy of the letter. I would keep a copy of this as well.The Brig is safe. Seriously...and you will be a grandpa there...the occupants are primarily misguided youth. It is not dangerous. Military law allows the addition of "terminated by apprehension" if you are arrested while UA. But if you turn yourself in PRIOR to arrest that will not apply. If your goal is to remove this from your record, you are well on your way by turning yourself. psimmons41040.9286764236
If I decide to proceed with this is it permissible for me to hire you to chat about the best approach - sort of hold my hand and step me through the process with minimal risk ?
Sorry, the terms of service of this website prohibit that.But do a google of "military lawyer Marine San Diego"...there are several of my peers there and they are all good.
Retired Marine Corps Lawyer, Veterans Services Officer (VSO)
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