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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 19221
Experience:  Lawyer and current JAG officer.
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I have been out of the Army since 2000, I was separated due

Customer Question

I have been out of the Army since 2000, I was separated due to failing a drug test and giving a General discharge under Honorable conditions. My question is, Is this a Felony? Can I have this taken off of my record? I was recruited to be a varsity high school wrestling coach but, since I have this on my record, I was denied the position. Is it a felony and what can I do about it? I'm in New York
JA: The Military Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: no as of yet, no
JA: Is there anything else the Military Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: I am currently 90% disabled through the VA and have been a VA member since 2013. After this 2000 separation I have not had any further legal issues with drugs or anything else.
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: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year 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 military doesn't really have felonies. They have court martials, which states then interpret based on their own laws, and treat those convictions as felonies or misdemeanors. This is based on how much jail time was available at the court martial.

Now, if you were just administratively separated, you were not court martialed and you have no criminal conviction. So no, it is not a felony conviction. That being said, it is can count as a felony arrest. Basically, when you were brought in, they "arrested" you for a drug offense which was later handled through an administrative process. It's not a felony conviction, but an arrest that could have potentially led to a conviction.

Now, as for removing it from your record, that's not possible. These are intended to be permanent, as it is a federal administrative process. Upgrades are only permitted when you can show that the original discharge was an error or an injustice, but the facts you've outlined don't support either argument. The drug offense took place, so it was not an error, and a General Discharge is a very tame punishment for a drug offense. They are permitted to give an Other than Honorable, or even seek a court martial conviction, both of which would be much more harsh. In that sense then, the General is not unjust (or at least, it would not be seen so by the board).

I'm sorry, but on your facts, you can't remove this from your record. There simply is not a process in place to do so.

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 1 year 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.