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What is a “Failure to Repair” in the Military?

By Joseph Low on April 14, 2014

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“Failure to repair.” To a civilian, it sounds like a mistake in an auto shop. But to members of the armed forces, a failure to repair – also known as a “failure to go to appointed place of duty” – is just one of the many forms that an absence without leave (AWOL) may take. A conviction of failure to repair can carry significant penalties.

According to article 86(1) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), a failure to repair includes the following elements:

  • A certain authority appointed the accused to a certain time and place of duty,
  • The accused person knew of that time and place, and
  • The accused person failed to go to the appointed place of duty at the appointed time, without authority to do so.

What facts must be presented in a judicial proceeding in order to establish each of these elements depends, in part, on what actually took place. For example, the “appointed place of duty” must be a specifically-appointed place, not merely the accused individual’s unit. A “sign-in” point may, however, be considered “specific” enough to meet the requirement if a service member failed to appear at the sign-in place at the appointed time. In some situations, a violation of an order to report to a particular place at a particular time may be charged as a failure to repair.

If you are facing charges of failure to repair or another absence or disobedience-related offense, do not hesitate to contact an attorney experienced in military criminal defense to learn more about your legal rights and to help you fight for the best possible outcome.

Posted in: Military Defense

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