Hawaii Board of Inquiry Lawyer
Why You Need a Lawyer — Board of Inquiry
A BOI or Board of Inquiry is a board that is formed to determine whether an officer should be administratively separated, or eliminated, from military service. Officers are sent to a Board of Inquiry for various reasons, but mostly due to either misconduct or substandard duty performance.
Even in cases of minor misconduct, the Board of Inquiry process can have lasting and damaging consequences to your military career and reputation. If the BOI decides you committed misconduct or have performed poorly, you may be separated or eliminated from military service and you could be given a less than honorable discharge. Separation by a BOI could result in the end of your career and loss of benefits from your service and the VA.
Understanding the Board of Inquiry
As an officer, you can be sent to a Board of Inquiry for incidents that recently occurred and even for things that occurred years ago which are documented in your military records. For example, an Article 15 (nonjudicial punishment) or a relief for cause evaluation report filed in your military records could trigger a BOI years after the underlying incident took place.
If a BOI is convened to consider your case, you will receive written notification that informs you that you will need to “Show Cause” to the board. This means you will have to be prepared to defend yourself. A civilian attorney with military experience can help you through this process and can represent you at the board.
How is a Board Formed?
A Board of Inquiry is a body of three senior officers, all of whom should be unbiased and of higher rank than you, who come together to review your situation. You, as the individual coming to address the board of inquiry, are called the “respondent.” The military is represented by a military attorney called the “recorder” who presents the case against you to the board. You need an experienced attorney on your side to counter the evidence the military attorney will be presenting against you.
If you are worried that one of the board members may not be unbiased, a civilian defense attorney with military experience can help get those individuals replaced by new unbiased members.
The Purpose of a Board of Inquiry
While on the surface, having to go before a BOI seems less serious than receiving a court martial, both of these proceedings can have devastating impacts on your career and will follow you for the rest of your civilian life.
This is why a strong defense is so essential. An experienced attorney who understands how to communicate with the board can work to skew results in your favor. This can prevent potentially devastating outcomes and punishments.
Having a Lawyer to Represent You
When you’re about to face a board of inquiry, you may be nervous or uncertain about the proceedings. It can be easy to decide to wait on getting legal representation until you meet with the inquiry board. You should be fully aware that an inquiry is an adversarial process. This means that they are not on your side, and the consequences of a poor defense may mean you get a premature separation from your service.
You need an experienced civil defense lawyer who understands the BOI process to stand up for your rights. A lawyer can help you work through your charges and help drastically reduce or eliminate potentially life-altering decisions the board could make, like career-ending separations and less than honorable discharges. If you, a loved one, child, or spouse will be facing a board of inquiry, get the legal help you need. Contact us for a consultation today.