It looks like you have reasked your question with some more facts.
There are some more comments on your first question, look those over.
If he is still on active duty there are some things you might be able to do to help better the situation.
1. This is not something you should be discussing on an open forum like this, where people can read this.
2. If you have since been discharged, then you should be OK. The situation you read about is certainly egregious, but your case doesn't seem like that. Also, there's nothing based on what you've said that clearly establishes you should have been DQ'd.
If a SM declines Art. 15 the commander options are: court-martial, GOMR (and) commencement of elimination proceedings, or do counseling and adverse performance report ant nothing else. There are other administrative actions that might be involved - flagging, removal of security clearance.
How quickly and how effectively this works depends on rank, unit, charges, and evidence.
Sometimes if the work is lazy then there can be successful challenges to administrative actions.
When someone goes AWOL the person and their next of kin are sent a letter after 10 days, it is called the "Ten Day Letter." That says the person is AWOL, will be classified as a deserter, and that the person should be encouraged to return voluntarily. It does not advise that under federal law aiding a deserter is a federal crime.
After 30 days a DD Form 553 (Deserter arrest warrant) is issued and sent to the NCIC database so that law enforcement has access to that information. Most often a...
Yes, he needs to get legal counsel.
At his likely rank and years of service this is a significant event that may prevent him remaining in the military, getting promoted, or other adverse career effects.
Yes, it is not a conviction but it remains in the records and it may affect the quality of his discharge.
Active duty military are exempt.
This has nothing to do with California law or licences.
This comes from the VA rules of professional responsibility.
No military foreign attornies are regulated differently.
Several points to keep in mind.
Fees are negotiable to some extent. It will depend on the written agreement what is covered and what is not, flat versus hourly fee, making deposits against future fees, etc.
This is an interesting phrase:
"if the lawyer took more time that I thought"
The amount of time and work that goes into a case is not always known at the beginning. I've certainly had cases where something happened during the representation that created additional work not contemplated...
You can resubmit and ask for a personal appearance to present your case.
In doing so you have to show new evidence. There are a number of things you'd need to do.
One of the things DRB's like is community service. If you have that it needs to be emphasized.
I do recommend professional help for a second go around.
Contact me, or Bill Cassara; initial chat is free.