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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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british army disciplinary hearing

Customer Question

my son has just come out of the army based in germany. there has been legal papers sent for him to attend an british army disciplinery hearing. he has been charged with battery and criminal damage. what happens if he does not go.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Why has he left the army please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


HE SIGNED OFF LAST YEAR AS HE HAD DONE HIS FOUR YEARS SERVICE AND HIS FINISHING DATE WAS THE 23RD AUGUST, 2013

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Ok. Thanks.

The summons does still require former servicemen to attend.

Generally speaking at the civilian courts if you didn't attend a court would just proceed in absence and issue a warrant for your arrest.

It is fair to say that the Judge Advocate tends to be less tolerant than the civilian courts. Probably they would just issue a warrant for his arrest. Also, you should bear in mind that failing to attend will lead to aggravation of the sentence. It is ultimately disobeying an order and we both know the Army's view of that. They cannot use a service offence because he is no longer a servicemen but they are not going to like it.

I'm very sorry but I can only give you truthful information.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


thank you for that. he has acutally not recieved the summons as we did not sign for the paper work as he is travelling abroad and as far as i am unaware he does not know that this was going to be issued. So can they still put a warrent out for his arrest.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
They do have to prove the summons was properly issued to him in order to issue a warrant for his arrest.

If it was sent to his last known address then there is an argument that is proper service. It depends what you mean by not signing the paperwork. If the summons was placed through the door and landed on the mat then that is proper service.

The civilian courts would probably give him the benefit of the doubt in a situation like this but we don't know what the military police and service courts are like.

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