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Stephen Hayes Carpenter JR
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Stephen Carpenter’s Answers

41 total


  • Can I be punished for an affair in the military if it happened while I was under a different command?

    I had an affair while at my previous duty station. Can a my current command charge me under Article 134 of UCMJ?

    Stephen’s Answer

    Yes. With that in mind, be weary of making any statements (CID, CDI, 15-6 etc.) The key component of the prosecution's case (if it gets that far) will be how this alleged "affair" impacted good order and discipline. I also note that, as others have noted, the statute of limitations runs at 5-years on courts-martial and 2-years on nonjudicial punishment cases (Army). Thus, keep your proverbial head low, say nothing and hope the prosecution abandons the case because they cannot prove the prejudice prong.

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  • How can I get assistance to summit a rebuttal to a final AR 15-6 ?

    As a Cadet, I have been given a GOMAR with findings of being engage in an improper relationship with another officer who is married to another women and for disobeying a senior noncomissioned officer. The final determination is completely false, ...

    Stephen’s Answer

    You have an absolute right to submit a written rebuttal to the AR 15-6 investigation. Often times the Investigating Officer (IO) will wish to speak with you directly about the alleged misconduct, and as part of that process have you waive your right against incrimination. You have to be weary of the Government beginning a disenrollment process against you, thereby jeopardizing your status as a cadet. You most certainly should seek "legal advice" in properly crafting a persuasive response, you might also consider undergoing (and hopefully passing) a private polygraph and also seeking the entire AR 15-6 investigation before deciding on whether to submit written responses to the IO's questions. Again, you need to be sure this "Commander of a Reserve Unit" did not implicate you. Finally, you might consider appealing any adverse filing decision of the GOMOR, in your OMPF, to the Army Discharge Review Board (ABCMR).

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  • What are my chances of getting her sentencing over-turned? Does she have any rights?

    Serving a 6 month confinement, $3,000 fine, and a bad conduct disharge. The wrongful use of marijuana and two counts of AWOL. Neither AWOL was more than a day! During this time she was in active duty, homeless, diagnosed with bipolar schizophernia...

    Stephen’s Answer

    As noted by Mr. Cave, your daughter's case will be subjected to automatic appellate review by her service's appellate coourt. She will also have the opportunity to submit matters in clemency to the Convening Authority. These matters are called RCM 1105 matters. Her military lawyer will aide her with the clemency.

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  • Will being AWOL from military cause any problems in future?

    I have been AWOL for around about 6 years and would like to know if being awol will cause me any problems in the future, what they are and what should be done to prevent them. Will getting Social Security be impossible when older?

    Stephen’s Answer

    If you are apprehended after more than 30 days of being AWOL, you "might" be court-martialed, and thereby be subjected to the stigma of a federal criminal conviction and maximum of 18-months confinement. Moreover, if you remain AWOL over a long period of time, and are later arrested on a "deserter warrant" you may face a charge of desertion under the UCMJ, Article 85, which carries with it a maximum 3-year jail sentence. Now, practically speaking, commands typically pursue the less costly and less time intensive adminstrative separation route (vice court-martial route) in order to address members that return following an AWOL. However, this common route will obviously turn on a number of factors; 1) how long one has served/prior deployments/mdical issues; 2) prior good or bad duty peformance; and 3) did the member turn him or herself in? Of these, the last factor is, in my view, the most significant. In sum, yes, "problems in the future" can assuredly arise after the arrest.

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  • Does a urinalysis drub pop under the UCMJ fall under a felony or misdemeanor?

    I was sentenced to 30 days confinement, reduction of rank & pay. I was seperated with an Other Than Honorable Discharge. I've found it impossible to find a job and was wondering if the discharge & drug pop is the reason. My DD214 states me as a "d...

    Stephen’s Answer

    If your conviction was in a special court-martial, you have the equivalent of a misdemeanor conviction because maximum possible sentence could not have exceeded one (1) year in confinement. While success is rare, you might consider appealing to the discharge review or correction board associated with your branch of service, as it may conceivably upgrade your discharge, reenlistment code and positively change the narrative reason for your discharge.

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  • Can you get discharged from the army for a DUI before you have been convicted of the DUI?

    I have been in the army for almost 7 years and im supposed to ETS in 6 months.R ecently was pulled over for a DUI, my chain of command found out and immediately are trying to kick me out of the army before my ETS date, even though my court date is...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Yes. You may be discharged for "commission of a serious offense" to include a DUI. However, you have the requisite number of years in service to demand a administrative separation board. Be mindful that the standard of proof at the board proceeding is essentially "more likely than not" and not the higher criminal standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt." Finally, even if the board finds that you committed the misconduct, that is no guarantee that they will recommend your separation. I highly recommend speaking with a lawyer who specializes in DUI and military law.

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  • I recieved a OTH over a year ago from the navy. What steps and who do I talk to to start trying to get a upgrade?

    I recieved a OTH over a year ago from the navy. What steps and who do I talk to to start trying to get a upgrade?

    Stephen’s Answer

    Of course, I recommend that you speak with an attorney about your particular case. He or she will need your chapter packet and all the documentation that supported your discharge. The Navy Discharge Review and Correction Boards also have posted opinions from prior cases which your lawyer will use, along with federal court precedents, to assist you in hopefully garnering favorable relief. Understand, however, that the odds of prevailing are statistically quite low, thus getting a educated opinion from a lawyer, well versed in the area, is a must. One final note, if you can show that you were illegally discharged, you may be entitled to back-pay from the date of the unlawful discharge.

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  • A person I know Has had a warrant served for being AWOL over 3 years from the Army. He has been told he has 36 hours to report

    He has been told he has 36 hours to report from Muscatine Iowa to Ft Hood Texas before they add DESERTION to the charges. I was reading on here to have a lawyer contact the authorities first, but he has a limited time frame to report. Looking at...

    Stephen’s Answer

    Maximum punishment for desertion is 5-years if it was done with an intent to avoid hazardous duty.

    UCMJ recognizes two primary forms of desertion, the two most common forms being desertion with the intent to remain away permanently and desertion with the intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service. Each requires proof of a specific intent element that can be established through circumstantial evidence. Proof of an intent to remain away permanently from the unit, organization, or place of duty is required for the most common form of desertion. This "intent need not exist throughout the absence, or for any particular period of time, as long as it exists at some time during the absence." Numerous circumstances will establish the intent to remain away permanently element, including statements by the accused; evidence that the accused attempted to, or did, destroy or dispose of military uniforms or identification documents; or evidence "that the accused purchased a ticket for a distant point or was arrested, apprehended, or surrendered a considerable distance from the accused's station."

    Proof of an intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service is required for the second most common form of desertion. "Hazardous duty" or "important service" may include a variety of duties and is not limited to combat solely. Hazardous duty or important service can include "embarkation for certain foreign or sea duty; movement to a port of embarkation for that purpose;" as well as other duties. Ordinarily practice marches, drills, or maneuvers are not considered hazardous duty or important service. In finding that the accused's absence amounted to desertion, military courts focus on the imminence of the overseas duty and the accused's knowledge of that duty. Be careful, as "it is not the duration of the absence that is telling, but its timing."

    With these facts in mind, indeed, it is always good to turn oneself in as soon as possible, and to be likewise weary of what you say to the authorities.

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  • Is a military special court martial considered a felony conviction? If so can I ever get it expunged?

    I was charged with possession of a controlled substance(marijuana) Article 112a of the UCMJ; for being passed a joint and turning it down. I was discharged but have an honorable discharge.

    Stephen’s Answer

    In order to pardon a military court-martial conviction the U.S. Pardon Attorney wil order the FBI to conduct a background investigation upon the filing of a properly prepared, persuasive petition packet. This investigation typically takes one (1) full year. Thus, the filing of a petition package at any time in the year 2012 (a national election year) would simply be too late for a petitioner to get a ruling from President Obama during his current 4-year term. Any presidential decision on a petition filed in 2012 would necessarily be made, at the earliest, in 2013.

    Additionally, if you consider that the U.S. Pardon Attorney usually consumes about 3 months or more to accept a petition packet, screen it for completeness, process it, and evaluate it after investigation, then you can see that filing a petition in the last three months of the year 2011 would also be too late to obtain a ruling in the current term of President Obama.

    Finally, a typical federal petition package takes time to prepare before filing. This period varies from person to person and depends upon whether the offense for which pardon is sought is a military conviction or not, but it is prudent for the petitioner to anticipate and set aside 3 months to gather all the required data and character references for this task. Even the Pardon Attorney himself characterizes the petition process as "exacting."

    Taking all these considerations in mind, anyone interested in obtaining a grant of executive clemency from President Obama in his current term should begin preparation of a well-supported, meritorious and persuasive petition packet well before July 1, 2011. After that date it is unlikely that even the most meritorious and moving petition will be successful during the current 4-year presidential term.

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  • Is a military special court martial considered a felony conviction? If so can I ever get it expunged?

    I was charged with possession of a controlled substance(marijuana) Article 112a of the UCMJ; for being passed a joint and turning it down. I was discharged but have an honorable discharge.

    Stephen’s Answer

    No. In order to qualify as a felony the maximum "potential" punishment must be in excess of one (1) year in confinement. The maximum period of confinement that may be adjudged in a special court-martial never exceeds one (1) year. Accordingly, you have a misdemeanor and not a felony conviction. You may seek "expungement" by contacting a lawyer who specializes in such matters, which may require Presidential level approval.

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