De`ser´tion Pronunciation: dė`zẽr´shŭn
DESERTION, crim. law. An offence which consists in the abandonment of the
public service, in the army or navy, without leave.
2. The Act of March 16, 1802, s. 19, enacts, that if any non-
commissioned officer, musician, or private, shall desert the service of the
United States, he shall, in addition to the penalties mentioned in the rules
and articles of war, be liable to serve for and during such period as shall,
with the time he may have served previous to his desertion, amount to the
full term of his enlistment; and such soldier shall and may be tried by a
court-martial, and punished, although the term of his enlistment may have
elapsed previous to his being apprehended or tried.
3. By the articles of war, it is enacted, that "any non-commissioned
officer or soldier who shall, without leave from his commanding officer,
absent himself from his troop, company, or detachment, shall, upon being
convicted thereof, be punished, according to the nature of his offence, at
the discretion of a court-martial." Art. 21.
4. By the articles for the government of the navy, art. 16, it is
enacted, that "if any person in the navy shall desert to an enemy, or rebel,
he shall suffer death;" and by art. 17, "if any person in the navy shall
desert, or shall entice others to desert, he shall suffer death, or such
other punishment as a court-martial shall adjudge."
DESERTION, torts. The act by which a man abandons his wife and children, or
either of them.
2. On proof of desertion, the courts possess the power to grant the
'Wife, or such children as have been deserted, alimony (q.v.)
DESERTION, MALICIOUS. The act of a husband or wife, in leaving a consort,
without just cause, for the purpose of causing a perpetual separation. Vide
, French leave
, absence without leave
, disappearing act
, fall from grace
, going over
, hasty retreat
, lapse from grace
, quick exit
, running away
, turning traitor