Barksdale Air Force Base, also known as Barksdale AFB, is the largest military installation in Bossier County, Louisiana. Home to the 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale AFB has been in use since 1933.
If you are facing a disciplinary proceeding at Barksdale AFB, contact retired military judge and attorney Patrick J. McLain today.
Types of Military Justice at Barksdale AFB
There are two commonly used forms of military justice in the Air Force: nonjudicial punishment and trial by court-martial. While each process is different, both carry steep penalties.
The most common form of discipline in the Air Force is nonjudicial punishment (NJP). Also known as Article 15, an NJP is an administrative procedure as opposed to a formal criminal proceeding. While an NJP will not end up on your criminal record, it can still derail your career.
An NJP is initiated and overseen by your commanding officer. The process is somewhat informal, and the outcome is ultimately decided by your commanding officer. You have the right to appeal an unfavorable result in your NJP, but appeals go up the chain of command instead of through a dedicated appellate court.
You have the right to reject an NJP in favor of a formal trial by court-martial. While a court-martial carries tougher penalties, you may benefit from the formal evidence rules used in a court-martial setting. In some cases, rejecting an NJP may be wise if you are concerned about your ability to get a fair hearing from your commanding officer.
The decision to reject an NJP is serious and should be made with the advice of a seasoned military defense attorney.
Unlike an NJP, a trial by court-martial is a formal criminal hearing. A conviction at your court-martial could wind up on your criminal record and even follow you into civilian life. Any violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice may lead to a court-martial, but the process is typically used for more serious offenses.
If your court-martial results in a conviction, you have the right to appeal. Many cases require mandatory appellate review. Appeals from an Air Force court-martial are heard by either the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals or the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
A court-martial will not automatically result in a conviction. You have the right to fight back at trial, and an experienced civilian defense counsel may be able to help you emerge victorious.
Common Offenses at Barksdale AFB
Common offenses that may result in an Article 15 or court-martial are listed below.
Common NJP Offenses
- Unauthorized absence (AWOL)
- Drunk on duty
- Violation of orders
- Destroying government property
Common Court-Martial Offenses
There are a variety of potential penalties available in an NJP or trial by court-martial. These penalties may include:
- Loss of pay
- Extra duties
- Loss of rank.
In more serious cases, you could also face confinement. Any type of conviction during a disciplinary hearing can also lead to separation proceedings.
You have a Right to Civilian Defense Counsel
No matter the type of discipline you face, you are entitled to representation from an attorney. The Air Force will appoint an attorney to represent you, but a dedicated civilian defense attorney may be able to provide resources appointed counsel cannot match.
To discuss your options, contact former Marine Corps military judge Patrick J. McLain.