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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 18846
Experience:  Lawyer and current JAG officer.
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AWOL from the army year and 3 months, i finished OSUT and

Customer Question

AWOL from the army for 1 year and 3 months, i finished OSUT and was in my unit for 3 months before going awol. I'm tired of looking over my shoulder. The only reason I went awol was because I couldn't adapt to the lifestyle, and the hazing. I want to turn myself in but I don't know how or where to go. The only reason I joined the military was because my recruiter told me it would raise my chances to be a police officer and that I would get free college after basic. What can I expect if I turn myself in? Can I still be a police officer?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 7 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.

The chances of being able to be a police officer are very reduced here. Either you'll maintain the AWOL on record or you'll go back and have an administrative separation (most likely) on record. Both are not good to have for a police officer career, but the administrative discharge is better and it would give you some closure.

You should go to the nearest base and turn yourself in to the trial defense counsel. Only speak to that attorney. This is because you don't want to make ANY statement to anyone. If you go into the MP's and say "I'm AWOL and need to turn myself in" that's an admission. A statement to a defense counsel though is not.

Chances are that you'll then be separated through an administrative discharge, perhaps an Other than Honorable. This is the most common result. I won't lie to you here though. There is the off chance that they would court martial you. This is not common, because it is a great deal of work, but legally you are subject to the UCMJ and can be charged criminally. If that happens, you'll get an attorney to defend you and you can perhaps limit the damage by pleading down to a special court martial, so it won't be a felony.

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.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Is there anything I should do or prepare myself before I go back, the closest one is 12 hours away? Where is the trial defense counsel?
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 7 months ago.

There is one in each base. I don't know where they are on every base, because they put them in all sorts of different places. You can look it up for that base, call in advance and ask the trial defense attorney where to meet him.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
when I go should I give the mp at the gate my civilian ID? And about how long would it take to process me out. Would I have to go to my original base to get discharged? I just want to get this over with so I can live my life without any worries of going to jail.
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 7 months ago.

That is a discussion you should have with the Trial defense counsel. That person may want you to use your military ID, because he/she has already coordinated with the front gate. That person may want to meet you off base first, and coordinate taking you in.

You don't HAVE to go to the original base to be discharged. Another base can do it. It just depends on how your previous command wants to work this situation.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 7 months ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and make sure that there was not any additional information that you required after the response I previously provided to you. 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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