Hawaii Administrative Separation Lawyer
An administrative separation may mean that you’ll be facing the end of your military career before your contract officially expires. You may be facing an administrative separation for a wide breadth of reasons. Administrative separations are most commonly based upon alleged misconduct, such as drug abuse or drug charges, being late to formations or AWOL, disrespect to commissioned and non commissioned officers, and domestic abuse.
If you’re facing the threat of administrative separation, you need an experienced and knowledgeable civilian attorney with military experience to represent you. An attorney can help you avoid having your reputation as a service member ruined by an unfair separation process.
Punitive Separation vs. Administrative Separation
Despite what some may think, punitive separations and administrative separations are not the same. While both may end your military service, they differ in important ways.
A punitive separation is a severe punishment imposed after a significant crime has been committed. If an individual has gone through the process of a court-martial and is found guilty of the charges, they can be discharged from the military with a punitive separation. These are called “bad conduct” or “dishonorable” discharges.
On the other hand, an administrative separation is a non-criminal way the military can go about relieving you from service before your contract is over. It is the military’s way of “firing” you. An administrative separation can be characterized as honorable, general (under honorable conditions), or under other than honorable conditions. While not as bad as a punitive separation, an administrative separation can have far-reaching effects on your civilian life, including your opportunity to get a good job and your post-military benefits. A civilian attorney with experience in the military can help you save your military career or mitigate potential issues caused by the type of discharge you receive.
What Grounds are Administrative Separations Made On
There are many reasons why your commanding officers may decide to terminate your military contract before it is officially completed. Some of these reasons are more common than others.
Possible reasons include:
- Unsatisfactory performance
- Serious criminal misconduct
- A pattern of minor misconduct
- Personality disorders
- Drug and alcohol addiction
- Medical limitations and mental health issues
Administrative Separation Boards
Some administrative separation actions are decided by your chain of command, after you have had the opportunity to submit written matters for your commanders to consider. However, in some circumstances, you may be entitled to a “board” of officer and enlisted members to decide whether you should be separated from the military. Whether you are entitled to a separation board depends upon how many years you have served in the military, the type of separation action, and the type of service characterization your command is trying to impose. Because a board is similar to a mini-trial, you have the opportunity to cross-examine government witnesses, present your own witnesses and evidence, and make argument to the board members. Having an experienced attorney represent you, whether you are entitled to a board or not, can be critical to the outcome of your case.
Have You Received a Notice of Administrative Separation?
The process of administrative separation is very complex. However, it will always begin with a notification to you that an administrative separation has been initiated. This notification should inform you about the reasoning behind your potential separation and the type of characterization of service your command is contemplating.
While you may or may not be entitled to have a separation board review your case, you can still submit a written rebuttal to the Separation Authority that is handling your case. This is why you must find an attorney that can draft and submit these important documents to help save your career or at least obtain a favorable characterization of your service.
Find a Lawyer You Can Trust
When you are facing an early end to your military career, it won’t just affect the length of your service. This blemish on your record can follow you into civilian life, making it difficult to find alternative work. It can also make it difficult to receive the benefits that you’re entitled to if you’ve been injured during your service, are seeking retirement, or have service-related health issues.
Get the help you need from an experienced civilian lawyer with military experience. You don’t have to face this alone, and you can take steps to retain your pride and reputation as a service member. Contact us today.