Camp Butler Okinawa – formally known as Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler – is a Marine Corps facility located in the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa. Camp Butler is a series of facilities operated by the Marines since 1955. Before then, the base was an Army facility known as Fort Buckner. If you are facing military discipline while stationed at Camp Butler, Contact attorney Patrick J. McLain right away.
Military Discipline at Camp Butler Okinawa
At Camp Butler, there are two forms of military discipline: nonjudicial punishment and trial by court-martial.
An administrative form of military justice, nonjudicial punishment (NJP) will not result in a mark on your permanent criminal record if convicted. That does not, however, mean there are limited consequences. In addition to the potential penalties, a bad result in an NJP could lead to separation proceedings.
Also known informally as office hours, these proceedings are initiated by your commanding officer. It is your right to reject an NJP in favor of a trial by court-martial. While this may seem risky given the higher potential penalties of a court-martial, there are advantages in some cases. This decision is a significant one, and you should never make it before discussing your options with an experienced defense attorney.
You have the right to appeal the decision at your NJP. However, this process does not involve a dedicated appeals court as in a civilian trial. Instead, appeals are heard up your chain of command.
Trial by Court-Martial
A trial by court-martial differs from an NJP in that it is a formal criminal proceeding. A conviction will lead to a criminal record. A trial by court-martial is more formal than office hours; it is overseen by a military judge and has strict rules of evidence.
If convicted, you are entitled to appeal the decision. In fact, there are many cases where an appeal is triggered automatically. During the course of your appeal, you have the right to the counsel of a civilian defense attorney. Appeals from a Marine Corps court-martial are heard by either the Navy-Marine Court of Criminal Appeals or the Court of Appeals for the Armed Services.
Common Military Offenses at Camp Butler
While the many offenses Marines face at Camp Butler are common crimes in the civilian world, some offenses are specific to military life.
Common Military Offenses
- Unauthorized absence (AWOL)
- Drunk on duty
- Destroying government property
Common Court-Martial Offenses
Many penalties are similar for a conviction at either office hours or a trial by court-martial. In either type of proceeding, you could face:
- loss of pay;
- extra duties; and
- loss of rank.
However, there are other severe penalties only available in a court-martial. These include confinement or a punitive discharge. In either case, a conviction could lead to separation proceedings from the Marine Corps.
Contact an Experienced Camp Butler Civilian Defense Counsel
If you are facing either an NJP or trial by court-martial at Camp Butler, your freedom and career could be at stake. However, with a strong defense, you could prevail in your case and avoid any penalties. To learn more, contact retired Marine Corps judge and attorney Patrick J. McLain right away.