Just east of Marysville, California sits the home of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing: Beale Air Force Base. In use by the United States Air Force since 1948, the base was originally constructed using components from abandoned gold mines. If you are facing charges while serving at Beale Air Force Base, do not hesitate to contact attorney Patrick J. McLain immediately.
Military Discipline at Beale Air Force Base
At Beale Air Force Base – or Beale AFB for short – there are two types of military justice that are frequently used. They include nonjudicial punishment and trial by court-martial.
A common administrative form of military justice is nonjudicial punishment (NJP). Also referred to as Article 15 in the Air Force, NJP carries the less severe penalties compared to a trial by court-martial. That does not mean the consequences cannot impact the rest of your life, however.
An NJP is initiated and overseen by your commanding officer. Unlike a criminal trial, the procedure of Article 15 is informal. While there is a right to appeal an NJP, it is heard up the chain of command instead of by a formal court of appeals.
You have the right to reject an NJP in favor of a trial by court-martial. While a court-martial carries the risk of steeper penalties, it also offers rules and procedures that can protect you during trial. Before you make a decision about accepting or rejecting an NJP, it is in your best interest to confer with skilled legal counsel.
Trial by Court-Martial
Unlike an NJP, a trial by court-martial is a criminal proceeding that can result in a conviction on your permanent record. This conviction would follow you long after your military service comes to an end. These trials share a lot in common with civilian criminal trials: they have formal rules regarding evidence and testimony, and the process is overseen by a military judge.
Upon conviction, you are entitled to appeal the decision. In many cases, the appeals courts will review your case automatically. Throughout the process – during trial or appeal – you are entitled to select a civilian defense counsel to defend you.
Common Offenses at Beale AFB
Some common examples of charges for NJP or court-martial at Beale AFB are listed below.
Common NJP Offenses
- Unauthorized absence (AWOL)
- Drunk on duty
- Violation of orders
- Destroying government property
Common Court-Martial Offenses
In many cases, the penalties resulting from an NJP are similar to those in a trial by court-martial. Common penalties include loss of rank, extra duties, restriction, and loss of pay.
However, a court-martial can result in more serious charges, including punitive discharge or confinement. Further, in any of these proceedings, if the process does not go in your favor, it could result in separation proceedings.
That said, a conviction is never guaranteed. With the right civilian defense counsel, you could prove your innocence, beat the charges, and avoid the consequences.
Contact Beale AFB Civilian Defense Counsel
If you are notified of an investigation against you at Beale AFB, you should act immediately. Contact attorney and retired Marine Corps judge Patrick J. McLain and Attorney E. Allen Chandler of Counsel discuss your case.