Resting on more than 6,000 acres of land near Abilene, Texas, Dyess Air Force Base has been in operation since 1942. Originally an Army airfield, the base is currently under the control of the United States Air Force. Dyess AFB is the home to both the 7th Bomb Wing and the 317th Airlift Group. If you are facing charges while serving at Dyess Air Force Base, contact attorney and retired military judge Patrick J. McLain immediately.
Military Discipline at Dyess Air Force Base
Any violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) could result in discipline. There are two common forms of military justice used at Dyess AFB: nonjudicial punishment and trial by court-martial.
A common type of disciplinary proceeding in the Air Force is nonjudicial punishment. Also referred to as NJP or Article 15, these administrative hearings will not result in a permanent mark on a criminal record. Despite that fact, the consequences resulting from an NJP are significant.
Your commanding officer – not a military judge – oversees an NJP. While there are rules regarding evidence and testimony, the process is far more informal than a civilian trial. You also have the right to appeal a decision, but the appeal is heard up the chain of command as opposed to in a dedicated appeals court.
The most important thing to understand about Article 15 is that you have the right to reject it entirely. That does not mean you are out of the woods, as your case will then be decided in a trial by court-martial. This decision is serious, as there are costs and benefits in both directions. You should always discuss your options with an experienced attorney before you make any decision for or against rejecting an NJP.
A formal criminal proceeding, trials by court-martial carry steeper penalties than an NJP. What's more, a conviction will show up on your permanent record. These trials are formal, with complex rules related to the admission of evidence. These rules are overseen by a military judge.
If you are convicted, you could appeal your case to a dedicated appellate court. In fact, certain types of cases result in automatic appellate review. During the course of the trial and appeal, you are entitled to hire the civilian defense counsel of your choice.
Common Offenses at Dyess AFB
Some charges are likely to result in an NJP, while others are often lead to a court-martial. Examples of common charges are listed below.
Common NJP Offenses
- Unauthorized absence (AWOL)
- Drunk on duty
- Violation of orders
- Destroying government property
Common Court-Martial Offenses
There is a wide variety of potential penalties that can result from an NJP or a conviction in a court-martial. These shared penalties include restriction, loss of rank, loss of pay, and extra duties. In the most severe cases, you could also face punitive discharge or confinement.
Contact a Dyess AFB Civilian Defense Counsel
The reality of the charges against you is that a conviction is not guaranteed. By fighting back, you could avoid a conviction and any related penalties. To learn more, contact attorney Patrick J. McLain right away.