Can a soldier be denied leave while going through UCMJ?
The short answer is yes, but it doesn’t have to be that way. So leave is one of those things that you’re not entitled to leave is something that you can receive. A lot of times you see that people will be denied leave when they’re going through the UCMJ. That’s because of a couple of things. First, if that commander has a good faith basis to believe that you need to be present at different court hearings or different, you know, to participate in your own defense, then they want to ensure that you’re going to be there. They also have the ultimate responsibility to make sure that you are present for every stage of your trial. Sometimes though, secondarily it happens because commanders don’t think they’re allowed to give it to you.
So this is a matter of advocacy, right? Reaching out to the command, not you, but an advocate on your behalf reaching out and explaining he just wants to go home and see his grandma for her 91st birthday. Here’s his ticket, he’s coming right back. He’s, you know, demonstrating all these other evidences that he intends to be here. He’s not going to go AWOL. He is not going to absent himself without leave. Doesn’t always work, but you can always advocate.
So can they deny it? Yes. Do they have to? No.
Jocelyn Stewart is a UCMJ court-martial attorney who specializes in defense of allegations of sexual assault for all branches of the military worldwide.
Contact the Law Office of Jocelyn C. Stewart at 253-212-9582
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