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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 18814
Experience:  Lawyer and current JAG officer.
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I'm currently getting chaptered infraction dwai when i got

Customer Question

I'm currently getting chaptered for an infraction dwai when i got back from deployment can they chapter me off this one mistake?
JA: The Military Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: No I have not yet but I'm trying too
JA: Please give me a bit more information, so we can help you best.
Customer: I got charged with a dwi,found inicent in civilian court,but did get the infraction,dwai which is not a criminal conviction no misdemeanor it's just like a traffic violation
JA: Is there anything else the Military Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: I've done everything asap they did not diagnose me with any type of drug or alcohol problem.and I've never got an article 15 of any kind.i just made one mistake
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Military Lawyer about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.

Yes, they can chapter you on that basis. First, you were not found innocent. You were found "not guilty." The distinction is a legal one. Being proved innocent means having facts that establish you did not commit the crime. Instead, you were found "not guilty" which means not enough facts established your guilt for that civilian court. It's an important distinction here.

Second, the military is not bound by the determinations of a civilian court. They are two separate jurisdictions, each with the independent power to make their own decisions. The military can use the underlying facts and submit a separation based on their own view of the facts. Furthermore, we are dealing with different burdens of proof here. In a criminal case, the evidence has to be "beyond a reasonable doubt" a very high standard. However, to chapter someone, you only have to meet a "preponderance of the evidence" because it is not a criminal action, but an administrative action. That is a much lower standard. Facts that can't meet a criminal law standard may be sufficient though to meet the lower administrative discharge standard.

Regrettably, people are separated all the time for making just one mistake. This is even more true now, given the shrinking military.

You'll have the opportunity to submit a rebuttal and you really should, but it should be a plea to remain in the service and evidence showing your rehabilitation. They can choose to suspend the separation and just hold it over you, like probation, for 6 months to a year. This is an option you can reasonably request, but it is going to be based on the discretion of your command.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and make sure that there was not any additional information that you required. If you need further assistance, please use REPLY and ask me for any additional information you may need. If not, take care and have a great day.

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