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Military Discharge Lawyers

Working Hard to Upgrade Your Discharge

You sacrificed a lot in the military, so having your service to this country end with a less-than-honorable service characterization can be truly devastating. No matter the misconduct that you are accused of, a less than honorable discharge can negatively impact the rest of your life, robbing you of your career, income, and the benefits that come with being a veteran. Whether you need representation for a hearing before an Administrative Discharge Board or wish to appeal the decision and petition for an upgrade of your discharge, John Malek Law Group can help.

Administrative Separation

An administrative separation is when your commanding officer, or higher ranking officer, has determined that your service to our nation is no longer needed, usually due to alleged misconduct. During this process your separation from service will be recommended to the installation commander or general officer. Depending on the service characterization, you will have different rights. In all situations you are able to submit a written statement to your commander and the decision authority documenting why you believe you should remain in the armed forces. A few basis for separations require mandatory action by the commanding officer, however, that does not mean that separation is mandatory. When presented with an administrative separation you should always seek legal counsel for education on your rights and for representation throughout the process.

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Discharge Review

All branches of service have a discharge review board with the authority to correct or modify discharges or dismissals, and a process for challenging a separation's characterization or basis. This is inclusive of administrative separations, officer dismissals, and discharges received from courts-martial, though the process will vary greatly depending on what type of discharge was issued and time since separation. The process of a discharge review will not return the separated member back to their previous military status, such as active duty, but if successful it will upgrade the basis of separation or the service characterization the member received. This can be a lengthy process requiring review and submittal to multiple boards and agencies.

We work with veteran service members from all eras to upgrade their service characterizations or basis of separation, to a more favorable one. Our attorney, John Malek, has represented hundreds of veterans in their efforts to challenge service characterizations and basis of separation, and has the skills, experience, and determination to deliver a positive outcome. Depending on the branch of service and when separation occurred, will dictate the specific process of appeal. Our firm is experienced with helping members of all branches and service dates petition their separation and receive benefits previously denied.

Dial (208) 747-0053 or complete our online form to get in touch with our military discharge lawyer to discuss your situation.

Types of Discharge Service Members Can Receive

A military discharge occurs when any service member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or other branch is relieved of their duties. Not all discharges are negative, some are given routinely for reasons such as the completion of a military contract, or a voluntary decision to leave service. Knowing more about the types of discharges you may receive will help you to understand your options and how we can proceed.

Administrative Separations

When being recommended for an administrative separation, you may be eligible to request a hearing in front of an administrative separation board to present evidence and request consideration of either retention in the military or a higher service characterization. By retaining an experienced military discharge attorney, you will have the expertise to present your case and receive the best possible resolution.

  • Honorable Discharge

An Honorable discharge is given to service members who have met standards of acceptable conduct and performance. They will have received the highest rating for their performance and conduct and may have the opportunity to reenlist. An honorable service characterization is typically received at the completion of the members contract for time of service. It is also an option available for administrative separation.

  • General Discharge Under Honorable Conditions

This type of discharge is given to members who have generally met standards, but a significant negative aspect of their service outweighs the positive. Also referred to as a General Discharge.

  • Less Than Honorable Discharge

This type of discharge is given to military members that have demonstrated behavior or conduct that significantly departs from standards expected of military members. Also known as an “Other Than Honorable” (OTH) separation

  • Punitive Discharges

When facing a court-martial, you need experience by your side to navigate the military legal system and ensure that your rights are not infringed upon. Court-Martials allow for prosecution to recommend for the highest punitive discharge characterizations, which can lead to federal convictions, confinement, loss of pay and benefits, as well as loss of rights after discharge from service.

  • Bad Conduct Discharge or Dismissal

Only a court-martial can pass down a bad conduct discharge or dismissal. A Bad Conduct Discharge is only given to enlisted members of the military, where a dismissal is given to officers. A Bad Conduct Discharge is a consequence of being found guilty of a felony, but not viewed the same as a Dishonorable Discharge.

  • Dishonorable Discharge

The most severe form of discharge, a dishonorable discharge can only be received from a General Court-Martial. A Dishonorable Discharge is akin to a felony conviction in civilian court. Dishonorable Discharges are usually accompanied by a confinement sentence.

Why You Should Have Your Discharge Reviewed or Upgraded?

When it comes to your service characterization, the stakes are high. Your career, reputation, future and earned veteran benefits could be on the line. If you received any characterization other than Honorable, it is in your best interest to get in touch with our experienced attorney at John Malek Law Group to petition for an upgrade of the service characterization with the appropriate administrative board.

By not contesting a discharge, you risk:

  • Missing out on greater career opportunities
  • Being denied educational benefits
  • Damaging your reputation
  • Being denied government assistance
  • Being disqualified from veteran benefits

At the John Malek Law Group, we understand how critical it is to have your service records in favorable standing. An uncontested service characterization of anything other than Honorable, can significantly affect the trajectory of your income, your future, and the benefits you may be entitled to. With so much on the line, you cannot allow a negative service characterization to go unchallenged.

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Why Choose Us?

  • Hundreds of Defense Cases Handled
  • Setting Clear, Realistic Expectations
  • Personal Care Dedicated to Defending Servicemembers
  • Former Active Duty JAG Lawyer

Hear From Our Happy Clients

At John Malek Law Group, your satisfaction is our priority! See for yourself what our clients have to say about working with us.

    "I've been Impressed with John! Highly recommend!"
    His attention to detail and commitment to serving his clients are unmatched. As a former member of the military, he brings a unique perspective and discipline to his practice.
    - David D.
    "John has the convictions of a battleship and will go to war against injustice anytime, anywhere."
    Having known John personally and professionally for 10+ years, I cannot recommend a more caring, knowledgeable, determined, and driven attorney. John has the convictions of a battleship and will go to war against injustice anytime, anywhere.
    - RK
    "10/10 recommend"
    John Malek Law Group has by far been the most professional and respectful law firm I have ever talked to and worked with. Hands down I won’t use anyone else but them. 10/10 recommend
    - Carol B.
    "I would happily recommend him to my own family and friends."
    I’ve known John Malek for several years. He is a thoughtful, creative thinker, passionate about the law, and honest in all of his dealings. He is a hard worker, and dedicated to his clients. I would happily recommend him to my own family and friends.
    - David T.
    "He is a good man and I am confident in his work."
    John Malek has many years of legal experience. In the years I've known him, I've seen his passion for what's right, his enduring loyalty to the people he represents, his strong attention to detail, his clear headedness in tough situations, his continuing commitment to his work, and his optimism throughout it all. He is a good man and I am confident in his work.
    - Mandy H.
    "John Malek is an experienced professional, his knowledge shines through."
    As another legal professional I believe how opposing treats support staff is always a true indicator of who they are. I have always been treated with dignity, respect and kindness from Mr.Malek even being on the opposing side.
    - Paula P.