Hi, my son has been awol from the Army since Nov. 2011. He joined at 17, deployed to Afghanistan for a year,(infantry) and returned. His duty base was Ft. Irwin when he left. He would like to turn himself in. My question is how much help would it be to retain a military lawyer? Should the lawyer be based in CA? Should he turn himself in to his base?
State/Country relating to question: California
He turned himself after 20 days awol before, I retained a military lawyer,he accompanied him back to base and then he went awol again in two weeks. The lawyer didnt do much for him.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experienceIn order of importance, the most important thing he can do is turn himself in ASAP, at his home station, and with the help of an attorney.But let me be clear...hiring a lawyer is way down the list of importance. He has been gone near 6 months...at this point the fight will not be "will he remain in" but "what will be the characterization of his discharge". Turning himself in would be the most beneficial...if they capture him (there is likely a warrant for his arrest). Turning himself in at the location he left would also help (so the Army is not paying for his travel).The lawyer can help him negotiation the outcome...but he will be given an Army lawyer that, for a case like this, would likely be more than sufficient. He can hire one...and he would be paying for experience (something the army lawyer likely does not have)...but I would focus on getting back first and foremost.
Retired Marine Corps Lawyer, Veterans Services Officer (VSO)
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