If you have sacrificially served in the armed forces, you deserve gratitude and respect from your country. If you receive a dishonorable discharge, however, you face a variety of problems. Not only can you lose the career that you have worked hard for, but the character of your service may be questioned after your service is over. Keep reading to learn a few ways that a discharge defense lawyer can help you stay on active duty and maintain your honorable reputation. If you’re in need of legal assistance, the team at Military Trial Defenders is ready to help.
Administrative Separations vs Punitive Discharges
The UCMJ gives the military the right to discharge military personnel on a specific “basis”. This could be based on issues such as weight or health issues, patterns of misconduct, poor quality of service, or even military convenience. An administrative discharge is not punitive in nature.
Punitive discharges occur when military personnel is separated under dishonorable conditions (Dishonorable Discharge) or “other than honorable” conditions (Bad-Conduct Discharge). Unfortunately, these less-than-positive discharges do not typically fare well for veterans.
A Discharge Defense Lawyer Can Help You Clear Your Name
Whether you apply for a job, attempt to take out a loan or try to rent property, your unfavorable discharge status will show up on your personal record and can taint your reputation. A military attorney can help you work to get your status upgraded or altered and can ultimately help you clear your name.
A Discharge Defense Lawyer Can Help You Restore Your Benefits
In certain cases, veterans with a dishonorable discharge status may be denied certain pensions and military benefits such as access to the GI Bill. A military attorney may be able to help you get your discharge status upgraded, and this can potentially reestablish you to receive VA medical coverage and other military benefits.
A Discharge Defense Lawyer Can Help You With the Legal Process
Veterans have two choices when it comes to discharging appeal. You can either aim for a status upgrade, or you can fight for a change in the discharge reason. For your status to be upgraded, you will have to prove that your status conflicts with the facts or doesn’t line up with the law. For your status reason to be altered, you will have to prove that the conditions of your discharge are not in compliance with established policy.
A military attorney can help you fill out your review board application carefully and accurately. Lawyers will also likely suggest that you gather and submit items that demonstrate your credibility, such as 1) a personal statement, 2) character references from employers, 3) educational transcripts or 4) positive credit reports. If you have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, this may help your case as well.
Fight for Your Status with a Military Lawyer
The attorneys at Military Trial Defenders understand that your discharge status will have a huge impact on your future, and we are here to fight on your behalf. If you have more questions about your particular case or are interested in consulting with an attorney, contact our experienced team today.