I decided to join the USMC and I wasn't eligible to join because of asthma. But my recruiter had me lie about my medical records to get me in. Now that I'm in and realized I made a huge mistake does that lie make my contract void? And if it does will anyone get in trouble? Would I go to jail for lying? Or would it be my recruiters fault for having me lie?
Your recruiter made you lie? How? Did the recruiter use a weapon or threat of violence to intimidate you?
Recommend you reconsider your actual situation--you failed to report asthma as a pre-existing health condition.
I don't challenge your statement that your recruiter encouraged it--that was definitely WRONG and a violation of the UCMJ on part of your recruiter. It should definitely be reported to the Marine Corps. However, unless you were coerced by threat of violence or harm, you are the one who had the last clear chance to get it right--and you failed to do so.
YOU are ultimately responsible, not the recruiter.
YOU signed documents bearing to the truth of your representations.
YOU were questioned by MEPS personnel, outside of the presence of your recruiter and you lied to them.
YOU were questioned again at Paris Island—and you lied.
That being said, depending on where you are in the process--you might be able to get an entry level separation (if you are still in boot camp). It’s possible you could be processed for a fraudulent enlistment. You would likely not go to jail, but you might receive a discharge lower than Honorable--that could impact your future employment and other benefits for years to come..
Unfortunately, an asthma condition could lead to a life threatening situation under the right circumstances (in gas mask, CBR suit, decompression chamber, combat etc.) and it’s nothing to ignore.
Now is your chance to right what has been wrong—YOU must reveal to the Marine Corps your preexisting asthma condition, even if it means an Art 15 and administrative processing—the stakes are high.
Finally, I advise you to speak with a JAG at the base legal services office B E F O R E you speak to your chain of command or the Navy docs. With that JAG, determine what outcomes you can expect and what options you have to report your recruiter.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
Attorney Rafter is 100% correct. YOU are the one that lied, not the recruiter even though the recruiter may have encouraged you to do so. As such, you may now be subject to UCMJ action or a less than honorable discharge for fraudulent enlistment. I encourage you to discuss your situation with a judge advocate, however, not all judge advocates are the same. Make sure whoever you discuss it with is in a criminal defense role to ensure confidentiality.
Law Office of Stephen P. Kelly (508) 983-1479--Criminal Defense, Military Law, Divorce & Family Law, Appeals. DISCLAIMER: Answers to posted questions are for general interest only and do not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by virtue of any answer posted by the attorney.
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Federal Crime Lawyer
I know I am risking everyone getting angry with me but, I think you need to take a deep breath. Ok, you did something very wrong. But, you don't have to "tell on yourself.". Should you tell on yourself is another question. When we're you diagnosed with asthma? Was it a childhood issue that you have not had an issue with. It seems like your reason for getting out may not be tied to the asthma? No one ever has to confess to anything. If you say you lied it is highly likely you will get into trouble. So, just think and consult a defense attorney or a legal assistance attorney. I know the Marines are honorable, from that perspective, this is a tough situation. But, as a citizen - no one has to say "I lied.". I just did not want you to be confused. Otherwise, I agree with the other attorneys' advice.
This advice is generic and not designed to substitute for consulting an attorney. Nothing in this response is designed to establish an attorney-client relationship with the requester.
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