Military law is complex, because the U.S. Armed Forces each have their own regulatory structure. Additionally, the military has an entirely different set of laws known as the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Under UCMJ regulations, the military can have a broad impact on a young person's life, from stripping them of privileges to ousting from the military altogether. Either way, the effects can seem minor at the time, but later in life, it can be truly devastating. Sadly, very few civilian lawyers have any real experience with the military tribunal system. As a veteran-owned and operated law firm, our lead attorney is also a combat veteran with experience handling both civilian and military cases, including those involving discharge reviews.
It all starts with a free consultation. We limit these to 30 minutes. In that brief time, our attorney will decide if he thinks we can make a difference. Sadly, we must be very selective, as the time commitment in these cases can be quite significant, and we never want to sell false hope to someone who has already suffered enough. Here is what you can expect:
- First, we request your entire military personnel file and service medical records
- Once received, we have medical experts review medical records, and our attorney begins evaluating any information that is contained in the file
- Next, a second conference is held with you and the attorney so that we can determine what theories will be used in our appeal to the discharge appeal boards.
- You will receive a detailed checklist of items that you are to locate or obtain. These usually include criminal records, employment records, school records, contact information for witnesses and former buddies from the military, names of former commanders and last known locations, and anything else the attorney feels may bolster your case.
- Once all information is received and reviewed, you will receive a third conference with the attorney, during which he will advise you on the legal theories, arguments, and strategies that will be employed. You will discuss these and, if you both agree on the approach, the attorney will begin the complex work of drafting a written brief to the Boards.
- Then we all wait. Reviews can take upwards of 3 years.
There is really no sense hiding the fact that upgrading a discharge from the Armed Forces is a big deal. It takes a lot of time, hours of research, and a deep understanding of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Plus, an attorney must draft a detailed brief detailing the reasons for requesting the upgrade. On average, our firm charges between $2,500 and $7,500 in order to perform all of the work necessary to change a military discharge. Sadly, we can never guarantee a particular outcome, but in general we only accept cases where we truly believe we can make a difference. Upgrading the character of your military discharge can change your life forever and give you the following:
- Better employment opportunities
- Better self-esteem
- Restore your image and good name
- Better college prospects
- Increase the chance of preserving certain licensure rights
- Restoration of FOID Card privileges (Illinois)
- Improve chances of law enforcement or paramilitary careers
- Restore right to GI Bill
- Restore right to VA healthcare, VA home loans, and other veteran's benefit programs
- Many others…too many to mention
As you can likely tell, it's worth it to try. If you think you received an unjust or undeserved discharge status from the Armed Forces, call (618) 515-5555 today, fill out the form below, or chat us up online.