This article is designed to cover every case not elsewhere provided for in which any member of the armed forces is through the member’s own fault not at the place where the member is required to be at a prescribed time. It is not necessary that the person be absent entirely from military jurisdiction and control. The first part of this article—relating to the appointed place of duty—applies whether the place is appointed as a rendezvous for several or for one only.
The offenses of failure to go to and going from appointed place of duty require proof that the accused actually knew of the appointed time and place of duty. The offense of absence from unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid maneuvers or field exercises requires proof that the accused actually knew that the absence would occur during a part of a period of maneuvers or field exercises. Actual knowledge may be proved by circumstantial evidence.
The status of absence without leave is not changed by an inability to return through sickness, lack of transportation facilities, or other disabilities. But the fact that all or part of a period of unauthorized absence was in a sense en-forced or involuntary is a factor in extenuation and should be given punishment for the offense. When, however, a person on authorized leave, without fault, is unable to return at the expiration , that person is not absent without leave.
There are variations of unauthorized absence under Article 86, which are more serious because of circumstances such as duration of the absence, a special type of duty from which the accused absents himself or herself, and a particular specific intent which accompanies the absence. These circumstances are not essential elements of a violation of Article 86. They simply constitute special matters. The following are unauthorized absences: (a) Unauthorized absence for more than 3 days (duration).
(b) Unauthorized absence for more than 30 days (duration).
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