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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 17249
Experience:  Licensed attorney and former Navy JAG serving ashore, afloat and at the OJAG
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I popped hot for thc and Im currently in the army and I dont

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I popped hot for thc and I'm currently in the army and I don't know how it happened but I'm pretty sure I did it when I was really drunk on leave... I know I messed up I just want to know if I should get a lawyer?? I don't know what to do.. I just don't want a negative discharge... Can you help me?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question. Can you tell me if you have already been read your Article 31b rights and if so, did you make a statement? Also, has your Command told you how they are going to handle this (Article 15 or what?) Finally, how many years of service do you have?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No they have not read me any thing.. And I have not told them any thing. And they said they don't know what there going to do yet but they said I have to travel and see CID soon I guess and I have about 19 months in service
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello again and thank you for that information, although I am not exactly sure how you found out about your test results without someone telling you and then questioning you. However, if no one questioned you and you didn't make any admissions, then that is best. That way, should it come to something more than an Article 15, your attorney might be able to find an issue with the chain of custody on your sample that could conceivably get you off. That said, assuming that there is no problem with the chain of custody and the Command does what most Commands do in this case and award punishment at an Article 15 hearing, then you also have to be (under Service regulations) processed for administrative separation.

If you have a stellar record, then there is a slight chance you might get a General under Honorable Conditions discharge. However, it is more common to end up with an Other than Honorable with drug use. Unfortunately because you have not served enough time in the Army, you would not have a right to an administrative discharge board (hearing.) In other words, your Command can process you without the right to be heard at a discharge board.

But to back up to your original question, once you are read your Article 31b rights (right to remain silent, etc.) you can invoke your right to remain silent. Then the Command will decide what to do with your case. If you are going to be sent to an Article 15, then once they give you the Article 15 paperwork, you have the right to speak to a TDS attorney and decide whether or not to accept NJP (article 15) punishment, or demand court-martial. The latter would only be a good idea if your TDS attorney thinks the Command has proof problems (chain of custody issues). In any event, you have the right to speak to an attorney once the forum for punishment/hearing is chosen.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay that makes sense thank you so much. But should I just not say any thing to any body until I get a attorney?? I just wanna do this right. I know I messed up but I wanna try so hard to not get dicharged at all. Can you just give me a brief answer what you would do if you were in my shoes??? Thank you so much again
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.
I can tell you what is normally the best step and that is what I alluded to in my first response and that is not to make any statement to anyone (other than an attorney) about the facts surrounding this issue. That means also not making a false statement, since that will get you in even more trouble. So, better to state that you are invoking your right to remain silent under Article 31b (and the Constitution) and leave it at that until you speak to an attorney.
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 17249
Experience: Licensed attorney and former Navy JAG serving ashore, afloat and at the OJAG
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