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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 34714
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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My Daughter attends one of the U.S. Military Academys. She

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My Daughter attends one of the U.S. Military Academy's. She has been accused of altering her Military I.D. to attend a tv soccer match in a "bar". Her I.D. was taken by the bouncer and is now in the hands of the police. The police contacted the School and she is in danger of being Masted and a strong possibility of being thrown out. She is a 2C. No alcohol was involved. Worked her whole life to be in the Academy, good student, never been in trouble prior. Investigation is on going...The Academy has interviewed both the bouncer and Policeman (who was outside at the time of id removel) She was on active duty at the time and the bar would not give back her I.D. As of today...the police still have her I.D. but I am anticipating it being mailed back to the Academy. Her whole life is the Academy and she does not want to be thrown out. What would you advise and what should she admit to or not admit to. She is 19 years old and become emancipated when she was 17.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

This is a tough one. You are using the term "mast" so I gather this is the Naval Academy.

This is a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice...and it is grounds to have her separated from the academy.

This is a real tough place to be in.

Tell me...she has given 2 statements...has she already confessed to this?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No she has not admitted to anything as there is a possibility that there is no evidence of marker being on the I.d. The bouncer wiped the id to see the birthdate and clearly read the correct date so there is a possibility that he wiped the evidence away...


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No she has not admitted to anything as there is a possibility that there is no evidence of marker being on the I.d. The bouncer wiped the id to see the birthdate and clearly read the correct date so there is a possibility that he wiped the evidence away...


Also the bouncer kept the I.D. and it has now changed hands many times...

Ma'am, what has she said...did she deny altering the ID? Or has she refused to say anything...
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She filed papers for lost I.D. and they now know it was confiscated. The investigating officer said the bouncer thought it had been altered. All she has said was that her and her friend went to the establishment to watch a sports game and no one was at the door..they sat down and the bouncer came over and checked the id. My daughter gave it to him and he gave it back. The other girl gave it to him and then the bouncer asked them to come outside and then asked my daughter to re see her id. Then they were taken. That is all she said at this point.

Thank you

Altering an ID card is a crime. It is something that could get her tossed out. It is relatively minor...if this were her only infraction? I would not expect then to toss her out if there was no other infraction.

That is, if they caught her for the ID card, and she did not lie to them or mislead them at all? And, perhaps better had she confessed right away, I would think she has a shot at staying in.

Credibility is a huge factor in a cadet, they are evaluating her as a potential Naval officer.

They will not let her be commissioned if they believe she is clearly dishonest.

So modifying an ID card to get into a bar...not good. But not as bad as if she lied about it afterwords. Or even if she misled them as to what happened...that would not be good at all.

So you ask a good question....

what should she admit to or not admit to.

It depends on what she has admitted to or led them to believe up until now

Again, if there is any indication she has misled them? It is likely too late. I would expect them to discharge her.

But if she has been honest up until now...then confessing may be in her best interest.

I would urge you to help her find a local attorney with whom she can speak with...someone she can relate this story to and who can help her make this very important decision,

If she has already misled them, or lied, confessing now likely will not help at all.

On the other hand, if she has not made any statements about this, and if it is clear they will see the altered ID, then confession now may be a good idea

I get your point about "potentially wiping the evidence away"...again, all the more reason for your daughter to speak with an attorney. Soon.

There is a lot riding on this...the Naval Academy will not keep her in the program if there is clear evidence she has lied to them about she wants to be careful how she proceeds

Let me know if you have more questions...happy to assist if I can
P. Simmons and other Military Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She has not misled in the fact that it has not come up in the question and answer interview. She has not lied but she has not told the whole story. No direct question or mention of this has been introduced. Do you think she should admit to doing this? Is it to late to admit to this? I agree with the honesty aspect and she is an honest person. I do not think she could lie as she has no experience in this. Just a good kid who stepped outside the box for the first time and got caught.

Sorry Ma'am for the delay. I was called away.

I think that it is a tough spot to be in.

Had she confessed right away? That is one thing

Or had she said nothing at all? That also would not be bad

But if she misled them? That would be my concern

That is why I would urge her to talk to a lawyer...herself. So she can relay what she has said, and in respond to what questions.

It may be the best way now is to "come clean"...but I would to spend time talking to her, before I could make such a recommendation

There are several very good military lawyers in the DC area. Several retired Marine lawyers. I would contact one or more to see if they can help.

I have to turn in tonight, but will answer any follow on questions you may have in the morning