March 26, 2015 at 8:45 PM EST - Updated July 21 at 3:11 PM
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM)
Heavy charges now rest on Bowe Bergdahl's shoulders. Bergdahl was a U.S. Army Sergeant who was captured by the Taliban and was released five years later. Bergdahl now faces serious charges of desertion and misbehaving before the enemy.
Military defense experts say the charges could come with high penalties.
"The misbehavior before the enemy, the maximum punishment is death, but you have to specially seek that," military defense attorney Kyle Fischer said.
The fate of Bowe Bergdahl will now lie in the hands of a military court. Bergdahl went missing from his base in 2009 while serving in eastern Afghanistan and was captured by Taliban forces.
Now the situation leading up to his five years held as a hostage is bringing him two serious charges.
"Article 85 desertion is a common charge and it's been a common charge between OIF and OEF," said Fischer.
That's Operation Iraqi and Enduring Freedom when desertion charges spiked Fischer explains.
However, misbehaving before the enemy charges are a little more rare.
"The last appeal that was filed on a service member who was convicted of misbehavior before the enemy was from OEF in 2004, it was a marine, Fischer said, "It's not a very common charge and the person previous to that was I believe it was a 1991 charge so it must have been Dessert Storm."
Following military court procedures, Bergdahl will now have an Article 32, or investigative hearing.
"The panel members, they're not going to be civilians and chances are they're all going to have combat patches."
Fischer explained that many charges service members in Columbus face are crimes that apply to civilians as well like DUI's and thefts, rather than military specific violations like desertion.
Bergdahl's court hearing is expected to take place at Fort Sam Houston in Texas.