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Should You Hire an Attorney for a GOMOR?

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Any soldier on the receiving end of a GOMOR should take it seriously and hire a civilian military lawyer. A GOMOR on one's military record can have negative consequences to not only their military service but also their retirement. 

Don't try and defend against military legal issues alone. Call an experienced Columbia military attorney at (803) 879-4499 to help you navigate the legal process, hearing experience, and possible outcomes. Touma Law Group is here to help with any military criminal defense charges. 

What Is a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand?

So, what is a GOMOR? It stands for General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand. It is similar to what it sounds like, a letter that a soldier receives from an army general officer in your chain of command about bad conduct or an allegation of misconduct.

Bad conduct is a very vague term since the range of offenses can be as small as a dress code violation to very serious offenses like a DUI or even sexual assault. It's important when hiring a military law attorney that they have experience in handling military offenses like those at Touma Law Group. 

Why are GOMORs Issued?

GOMORs can be issued for a wide variety of actions and misconduct carried out by soldiers. Both civilian and criminal offenses can warrant the issuance of a GOMOR. 

Types of civilian offenses:

  • Disturbing the peace
  • Toxic leadership environment
  • Inappropriate sexual relationships

Types of criminal offenses:

  • Assault
  • Sexual harassment
  • DUIs
  • Rape

Typically, a GOMOR is issued in response to any one of these types of actions when they don't want to take the case to trial. The military gets to decide what to take to trial or what not to take to trial as well as issuing a GOMOR or not. 

What Should I Do While Waiting to Receive My GOMOR?

If you know you are about to receive a GOMOR from your superior officer, the best thing you can do is contact an experienced military attorney or JAG. They will most likely get you started down the right path by suggesting you make a list of everyone who might support you and be used as a character reference. You may also be asked to collect any official documents or relevant evidence to assist in your rebuttal statements. 

A JAG like criminal defense attorney Adam Touma and his outstanding service and experience can help you if you receive letters of reprimand.  

Do I Have to Respond to the General Letter of Reprimand?

The general answer to this question is yes, you should respond to a general letter of reprimand with a letter of your own. There are generally two ways to respond to a GOMAR. The first is by denying the claims against you and claiming innocence.

The second is to explain the circumstances that led up to the actions detailed in the GOMOR with the purpose of a defense. In some cases, a non-response can be taken as an admission to the accusations in the general letter of reprimand issued.

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Consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney is an extremely smart decision if you are given a GOMOR. If you submit a rebuttal to the GOMOR, the superior officer who issued it will review it and any substantial evidence and determine if it still stands. 

How to Effectively Respond to a GOMOR

An effective GOMOR response can be submitted without the help of an attorney but having an experienced civilian military defense attorney by your side can speed the process along, work in your favor, and provide strong rebuttals. They have the skills needed to find convincing evidence in your favor and any weaknesses of your situation and make an effective plan for you moving forward. The secret to an effective GOMOR response is to hire a military defense attorney like JAG Adam Touma of Touma Law Group. 

What Are the Outcomes of a GOMOR?

Regardless of the outcome, no one wants to be on the receiving end of a GOMOR. If you and your criminal defense attorney decide to file a rebuttal against the general letter of reprimand issued, your supervising officer will review it.

There are two possible outcomes here. First, your supervising officer can decide that the GOMOR no longer stands which usually happens when your criminal defense lawyers have provided strong supporting documentation in your defense.

The second outcome comes with disciplinary actions and can have severe consequences for your military career. If the supervising officer decides that the GOMOR stands, future reenlistment or promotions may be denied. Depending on the allegations, you could potentially face administrative separation from service or non-judicial punishments.

In some cases, if the offense is minor, the letter may stay on your record for three years but not be visible to promotion boards. More than likely, however, these letters will stay on your military record for the entirety of your career unless appealed. 

Who Makes the Final Decision?

The person making the final decision is the supervising officer who issued the general letter of reprimand in the first place. They will review any and all rebuttal matters and supporting documents and decide if the GOMOR should stand. 

How Can a Military Defense Attorney Help?

When you hire a civilian military lawyer, they will be able to go through the GOMOR with you. They will typically go over each alleged offense as well as any other supporting documents that were sent. Your military defense lawyer will be able to start creating your defense and ask for any further actions to be taken that might support your defense.

These further actions can include forensic reports or evidence, as well as talking to any witnesses who might be able to support your defense.  Give Touma Law Group a call today to discuss any military legal questions you may have. 

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