Skip to main content
Steven P. Shewmaker
Avvo
Pro

Steven Shewmaker’s Answers

574 total


  • Can they give me a RE4 code on my reenlist entry from a article 15?

    I was discharged from the navy on Feb. 19, 2016 from my former command because a sailor at a previous command accused me for taking her laptop in June 2014. I nor my previous command was ever notify about this accusations. I don't understand how t...

    Steven’s Answer

    If your assignment at the time of the Article 15 was a ship or boat (even if not underway), you could not have refused Article 15.

    Unfortunately RE codes are not subject to review by the Discharge Review Board or the Board of Corrections.

    This is a case where your assigned counsel should have worked it hard at the start. Maybe he/she did all they could for you.

    See question 
  • How do I get out of the national guard in a quick, timely manner?

    Well, I want out of the national guard. I'm in arkansas, I've been in going on two years now, I've failed multiple pt tests including at least one record pt test, I'm not over weight so I can't fail the tape test to get out. I'm terrible bad at my...

    Steven’s Answer

    Well, I would love to talk you out of this. There is tremendous virtue in finishing what you agreed to do. However, recognizing that there is a small percentage of people who want out at all cost, and do not care about the discharge or other consequences, here are some ways to do it:

    1. Just stop showing up. This is probably the best option. They will code you as absent and separate you, probably general under honorable, bit possibly other than honorable. I know there is trepidation about the unit sending the police out to get you. That is so incredibly rare.
    2. Flagrantly fail your PT test. Eat all the donuts you can find and fail height and weight. Deliberately fail to qualify on the range. These will trigger all sorts of rehabilitation, and that can be time consuming. In the end, if you continue to fail, they will administratively separate you, probably general under honorable.
    3. Come to drill and slap your First Sergeant. Not a good idea. He might just kick your ass. Assuming your state has an inactive state UCMJ, they may have the local police charge you with an assault/battery charge. In the end you might catch a misdemeanor, but it would probably be dismissed through diversion if you have a clean record.
    4. Come to drill and light up a fat blunt or snort some cocaine off the back of your First Sergeant's desk in his plain view. See my response above. There is slightly less of a chance that the police will be as kind to you, but the story would be awesome.

    Why not just straighten up and stick out that enlistment?

    See question 
  • If not court orderd Wil my p.o. drug test me for a misterminer shoplifting charge having never been in trouble before.

    I was put on probation for shoplifting in Georgia. It's my first time being in trouble. The Judge did not order drug and alcohol testing. So what are the chance's of my probation officer testing me? And if I complete my community service and pay m...

    Steven’s Answer

    Chances of at least one drug test are very high. Don't do drugs. If you fail the test, the judge can violate your probation potentially to serve the balance of your misterminer probation time remaining. Don't do drugs.

    See question 
  • Can I void my end of the contract since they have failed to uphold theirs?

    I have been with the Georgia Nation Guard for going on 11 years now and I was wondering if you could help me. I reenlisted in Afghanistan in 2014 and was suppose to receive half of a $10,000 tax free bonus by April of 2015. It is now Febuary ...

    Steven’s Answer

    No, you cannot just go AWOL (or UA) and walk away. What you can do is send your commander a detailed letter of grievance. If that does not solve things, you can make a complaint with the Inspector General. These are remedies to get your bonus. They are not remedies to get out of the national guard early. You are going to have to do your time, as you agreed.

    See question 
  • Does WA state have jurisdiction over my child?

    I am in military in Japan. I am from MI and my wife is from WA. We had our daughter in Japan on base so she has a consecular birth abroad birth certificate. We are going to be getting a divorce when she flys back home from Japan. Will WA state hav...

    Steven’s Answer

    This is a family law question. From the sound of it, you and your wife definitely agree on divorcing in a US court, right? If that is the case, then you should move back to Washington and wait six months. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is in play here. It says a lot, but basically, it says that for the court in the US to have jurisdiction over child custody matters, the US court must be in the jurisdiction where the child has resided for the last 180 days. You may convince a judge that Washington has jurisdiction to order custody in less time; however, the risk is that your wife may want to later argue for a different or better deal and say that the divorce/custody order was void because the court had no jurisdiction. She could do this even if she later argued to the same court to reopen the case and reconsider it after 180 days. In other words, the safest path is to PCS here and wait 180 days before you file. I say again move here, wait 180 days than file. Good luck with it.

    See question 
  • Do I need a lawyer to file for divorce? If I file without a lawyer will he be served in Germany? Is it possible to do this.

    Married to active duty military He is stationed overseas in Germany for 2 years No kids No house I don't want any money or property I live in Orlando, Florida

    Steven’s Answer

    You asked: Do I need a lawyer to file for divorce?

    Answer: No, you have a legal right to represent yourself in a divorce. Just because you can do this legally, does not meant hat it is a good idea. It is almost always a better idea to hire a lawyer than to represent yourself. First, a lawyer will know the law. Second, a lawyer should not be emotionally involved in your case, unlike you. You cannot help to be emotionally involved.

    You asked: If I file without a lawyer will he be served in Germany?

    Answer: Not automatically. Service upon him must be done correctly under the requirements of Florida law. Also, the state is not going to do it for you. You are responsible for doing this. Until he is served properly and the proof of service is filed with the court, the court does not have jurisdiction to divorce you. Normally, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney about how to get him served. Generally, he can be served here in the state (like when he next visits), or he can voluntarily accept the paperwork and sign for it even while in Germany. However, if he won’t do these things, you will have to serve him under the terms and conditions of the Hague Convention of Service. That topic is too detailed for an explanation here. It is a good idea to speak with an attorney about service on him in Germany.

    It sounds like you don’t want much from him. In most cases, he would probably agree to the divorce. If he does not, you can motivate him by demanding interim support under his service regulation (if he is in the Army that may work easily for you).

    Nothing is better at this point than sitting down face-to-face with a lawyer and talking this through. I hope this helps, good luck.

    See question 
  • How to get bail money back from bondsman after person of interest has gone to trial 2 months ago?

    I posted bond for someone in September that person went to trial. I am suppose to get my money back once person went to trial. It is now January. The sheriff's dept of that county has personally told me all paperwork/documents was sent to bondsman...

    Steven’s Answer

    Bonding is a for profit enterprise. You put 10-15% of the total bond. The bondsman guarantees your appearance and pledges the remaining 85-90%. You don't show, and the bondsman is on the hook for that money. The bondsman quickly turns into a bounty hunter if you vanish and they are on the hook. You get to put up far less money, and they get to keep that money to bear the risk.

    You are not going to get that money back. Next time read the fine print. Ask questions. I explain this to all of my clients right away.

    See question 
  • How do I find representation and assistance with filing a Tort?

    I am a disabled veteran. I have been hurt several times during medical procedures at different VA hospitals and my life has been dramatically shortened. I have been told I have a valid tort, but I can't find any help in filing.

    Steven’s Answer

    Look for attorneys in your area that handle Federal Tort Claims Cases. Beware, the time period for filing one of these is pretty short. Act fast, and good luck.

    See question 
  • Is it possible to avoid any prison time for a first time offender with a drug charge?

    Are there any alternative sentences to avoid prison in a sale of meth charge? First time offender, no criminal history, $20 sale of meth charge. If so, what are the possible alternatives?

    Steven’s Answer

    Many things are possible. Being that this is your first offense, that will help your case. Unfortunately, you are in a very conservative jurisdiction. You need to hire an attorney right away.

    See question 
  • Can I lose my Honorable Discharge from active duty?

    Honorably Discharged former Marine. Joined the Connecticut National Guard one year after EAS. Moved to PAX River Maryland soon after joining CTNG for Civilian employment. Unit very unsupportive with my travel distance for drill weekends, over 400 ...

    Steven’s Answer

    No, your current difficulties will not effect your previous discharge status; however, you will need to be discharged from the national guard at some point. Your difficulties can certainly effect that. You need to PT during the month so that you can pass a PT test at drill and keep up with unit PT. You are expected to make the commute to drill. After all, you chose to join this unit. Nobody forced you to join it. Again, your previous discharge is secure. The police could - theoretically - pick you up, but I believe this would very unlikely. Your commander is bluffing, but that does not mean that he cannot give you an Article 15 (If Connecticut law includes this ability), seek a letter of reprimand, seek your rank reduction by board or administratively separate you from the service (with a discharge of Other Than Honorable even). All of this could effect your security clearance, so if you need it for your full-time job, then you need to start making the national guard a priority and stop making excuses. At a minimum, straighten things out, fly right and ETS at the end of your current enlistment.

    See question