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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 16114
Experience:  Lawyer and current JAG officer.
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Im a reservist who was recently on orders and got kicked off

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I'm a reservist who was recently on orders and got kicked off a plane intoxication. I was not prosecuted, just missed my flight. What are the implications?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I look forward to assisting you today. I bring nearly 20 years of experience in various legal disciplines, including JAG.

Did your missing the flight cost any money? Meaning, did the military have to pay for a different flight?

Did you fail to show up on time for an appointed place of duty?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The flight did cost the government money from which is non-refundable. The airline gave me another ticket for the same flight for the next day. I was directed to cancel the flight by my superintendent.


 


I did show up on time for the initial flight and was directed not show up the next day.


 


My travel reservation was cancelled.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
What I mean is, where you late to an assigned place of duty?

I am asking if your missed flight caused you to be late to a military duty that you had?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The missed flight did cause me to not be available for the intended place of duty. I was not late to my assigned place of duty, I was not able to go.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
If you were not able to go, you legally were absent without leave.

So, legally, the command could counsel you, give you non-judicial punishment or even charge you (highly unlikely in the reserves) for a violation of Article 86 of the UCMJ.

Additionally, even though the airport police did not charge you, the military can counsel you, NJP you or even charge you (again, unlikely) for any facts that they become aware of which suggest a crime. Here, your statement to command could be used against you and it suggests the offense of drunk and disorderly, whether accurate or not.

Now, knowing exactly what will happen is difficult because commanders are given discretion in how they proceed. They have to be given that discretion, by law. So, nothing dictates what action your commander will or will not take.

That being said, the most common action in this sort of situation would be at least a counseling and a Letter of Reprimand, with a reasonable possibility of the command choosing to issue non-judicial punishment.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Would AWOL be the issue even if the decision for me not to catch the second flight came from my superintendent?


 


What would be the suggested next steps?


 


 

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
That would depend on whether or not making the second flight would have made you on time to where ever it was that you were going.

If it would have, then no AWOL wouldn't be there for them.

But that wouldn't really alter the outcome of counseling, an LOR or an NJP. Only court martial would really be altered by that difference.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Since I was on orders at the time of the incident, do I have the right to receive legal assistance from my base?


 


Am I expected to prove the inaccuracy of the allegations or is my supervision required to prove that I indeed was intoxicated?

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
The extent to the right of legal counsel will depend on the level at which they try to do something.

If they give you an LOR, you'll simply be given the chance to respond in a letter. There is no burden of proof for them. The JAG defense counsel will help you respond.

If they give you NJP and you accept it, the commander also has no burden of proof. You'll get to speak to a JAG defense counsel about what the NJP process is, what the maximum punishments are, and what will happen if you refuse NJP and demand trial by court martial.

If they court martial you or you demand court martial, you'll have an attorney. The government would have the burden of proof. They can use your own statements that you made to command as evidence.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Last question. What are the chances of a case like this being won in a court martial?

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
You have to understand, I don't know to what extent you've basically already admitted to all of the elements of the offense.

You couldn't change that story now, because then you'd almost guarantee a loss. You'd just be able to not make any further statements and hope that what you have said thus far isn't too much.

Furthermore, the military can contact the airport and ask for their report, and even pay to fly them in to testify. If they are willing to fly in, the court martial doesn't need medical evidence that you were "drunk."

Your own statements and the testimony of the airport security could be more than enough.
Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 16114
Experience: Lawyer and current JAG officer.
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