Legal Question in Military Law in New York

Son in Army arrested off base for fighting

We got word that our son was arrested off base for fighting with some local boys. He was arrested by the local police and is in jail. My husband tried to call the jail and was told our son was arrested for burglary, and we just are stunned and do not know what actions to take, or what is next step. What will be consequences, will he be charged with the towns laws or state laws, or be turned over to the Army for punishment? Is it possible he will ave a dishonerable discharge and be charged with a felony? What do we do next? Our son is a Private, has only been in Army for 1 year, he is in New York state right now.

Asked on 6/19/06, 3:40 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Steven Brand Steven Brand, Attorney at Law

Re: Son in Army arrested off base for fighting

Dear Questioner:

Unfortunately the short answer is, it depends.

If he is being held in a county jail in New York, he will shortly be arraigned and bail will more than likely be set unless he is ROR'd (released on his own recognizance to the military). At that point, the military may or may not attempt to try and obtain jurisdiction over the offense. It can sometimes depend upon the relationship the JAG prosecutors have with the prosecutor in the local jurisdiction.

If the JAG were to have the military take jurisdiction, he would probably face anything bewtween nonjudicial punishment and a General Court Martial depending upon the perceived seriousness of the alleged offense.

If the state decides to maintain jurisdiction and your son is convicted but receives probation or community service, your son can still be discharged from the Army based upon the civilian conviction. I would need to know more facts to advise you further.

While I am located in TX, I practice in military courts worldwide, and am also licensed to practice law in NY State.

Feel free to e-mail me additional questions at [email protected] and/or visit my website at

The information contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of this document should act or refrain from acting in reliance on its content without first seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice. Transmission of this document does not create an attorney-client relationship between Steven T. Brand, Esq. and any recipients.

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Answered on 6/19/06, 4:53 pm

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