Legal Question in Military Law in California

After 9 years my husband was apprehended for desertion, what now?

My husband was in the Army for 2 years. He was sick injured and incredibly mistreated. He tried to go through the proper chain of command to get taken care of and to no avail he chose to go AWOL. Now 9 years later he has been apprehended. We have lived in the same city, so he hasn't been running, he pays his taxes, and has tried to be a productive member of society. Through these past 9 years he has contimplated going back into service I held him back. In our case would he have any leeway at all for this or what should we expect for his punishment. Considering he left during peace time and for the sake of his health what can we expect from trial.

Asked on 6/29/09, 5:38 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

David M. Wallin Law Offices OF David M. Wallin

Re: After 9 years my husband was apprehended for desertion, what now?

Once your husband gets an attorney, he'll be informed as to the maximum possible sentence. It does sound like he has some facts that are positive for him and can be used in his defense.Also know that very few cases actually go to trial. Most are settled before trial. David Wallin at

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Answered on 6/30/09, 2:55 am

William J. Holmes Attorney at Military Law

Re: After 9 years my husband was apprehended for desertion, what now?

There are two likely courses of action which they may pursue. First of all, they may just give him an other than honorable discharge and send him home. The second option would be for them to send him to a court-martial where he faces a couple years of jail time and a punitive discharge. My guess may be that they might push for the second option because of the amount of time he was gone and the fact that he was apprehended. If so, he will need an experienced defense attorney to represent him at trial. All of the things you mentioned can and shold be presented at trial to reduce his possible punishment. We need to explain what happened and show that he is a good person.

I hope this has answered your questions. If you have any additional questions or if I can be of any further service, please feel free to contact me directly.

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Answered on 6/30/09, 9:15 am

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