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Experienced NAF El Centro Defense Attorney

Experienced NAF El Centro Defense Attorney

Naval Air Facility El Centro, often shortened to NAF El Centro, is the permanent home of the Blue Angels. Built in 1946, the U.S. Naval facility also serves as a training ground for units conducting air-to-air training.

Your Right to Civilian Defense Counsel at NAF El Centro

Your conviction is not guaranteed. In fact, many charges are defensible and we will fight for you. Attorney Patrick J. McLain has an extensive track record protecting the rights of those accused of violating the UCMJ.

If you have been notified of an impending disciplinary proceeding against you, contact former military judge and civilian defense counsel Patrick J. McLain today for a consultation.

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Types of Military Justice at NAF El Centro

At NAF El Centro, there are two commonly-used forms of military justice: nonjudicial punishment and trial by court-martial.

Nonjudicial Punishment

Nonjudicial punishment is a type of judicial discipline available in all branches of the military. Known as Captain's Mast or Admiral's Mast in the Navy, nonjudicial punishment is initiated by a commanding officer and does not count as a formal criminal proceeding. That does not mean a NJP lacks serious consequences. In some cases, you could face discharge due to the outcome of an NJP. You have the right to appeal an unfavorable outcome in an NJP up the chain of command if you believe the outcome was unjust or the punishment was disproportionate.

It is important to know that you have the right to reject a Captain's Mast. Alternatively, you have the right to demand a trial by court-martial. While a court-martial carries tougher potential penalties, there are also potential benefits. Before you make a decision on facing nonjudicial punishment, contact retired Marine Corps military judge and attorney Patrick J. McLain to weigh your options.


Unlike an NJP, a trial by court-martial will result in a mark on your permanent criminal record if you are convicted. The rules of evidence are more formal during a trial by court-martial, which is overseen by a military judge. Any violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) could lead to a court-martial.

Remember you have the right to appeal any conviction following a court-martial. While an NJP appeal goes up the chain of command, appeals stemming from a trial by court-martial are handled in two dedicated appellate courts: the Navy-Marine Court of Criminal Appeals and the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

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You Need a Civilian Military Lawyer


  • Former Federal Prosecutor & Military Judge
    Attorney Patrick J. McLain's years of experience across the aisle provide him with a unique perspective.
  • Over Two Decades in the U.S. Marine Corps
  • Our Firm is Top-Rated & Award-Winning
  • Over 3,500 Cases Successfully Handled

Common Offenses at NAF El Centro

Some common offenses that may lead to an NJP or trial by court-martial are listed below.

Common NJP Offenses

  • Unauthorized absence (AWOL)
  • Drunk on duty
  • Fraternization
  • Violation of orders
  • Destroying government property

Common Court-Martial Offenses

Potential Penalties

The penalties imposed after a Captain's Mast or a trial by court-martial can change your life forever. Some of the most common penalties involve:

  • restriction,
  • loss of pay,
  • extra duties, or
  • loss of rank.

Penalties are much tougher in more serious cases. They can include confinement or even punitive discharge with life altering consequences.


    "Amazing strength and integrity with the combination of experience, insight, and knowledge of military law."

    I have found my lawyer Patrick McLain, to be honest, right to the point, consistently giving me realistic outcomes through the whole process of my case. He's definitely no nonsense, cut to the chase. As a client…I've never been left hanging; he makes sure all my correspondence is returned. He's got amazing strength and integrity with the combination of experience, insight, and knowledge of military law. He stands behind his words and expects the same in return. I say my blessings every day for him taking my case. With him as my attorney, I've achieved best possible outcomes.

    - Gina F.
    "I won my military case due to his diligence, knowledge and experience in military law."

    I cannot recommend Patrick highly enough. I won my military case due to his diligence, knowledge and experience in military law. Had I proceeded on my own, I would have lost, for the process was simply too complex. When working with Patrick, there was never a time when I felt left in the dark on my case, nor a time when his assessments and instructions were unclear. Should you be in any difficult circumstance, Patrick will work his tail off for you and keep you clearly informed on the status of your case. Again, I highly recommend the services of Patrick McLain.

    - Dan C.
    "Great lawyer and better person"
    Mr. McLain helped me through the most difficult experience in my life. As a Marine Officer facing an upcoming board of inquiry for conduct issues, I was fearful of losing a career that I deeply cherished. Mr. McLain not only gave me perfect legal advice throughout the process, but also reached out many times to see how I was doing on a personal level. A great lawyer and better person, Mr. McLain helped me become successful in my board of inquiry and keep moving forward in my career. His knowledge and experience are top notch, and his military experience and personal qualities make him the best lawyer out there to defend military personnel. Would highly recommend to anyone.
    - Jonathan
    "I was entirely impressed with mclain’s work on my case."

    I called McLain when the military charged me with some B.S., McLain immediately jumped into action and made things happen in my favor. Don't do it alone … your military chain of command will try to make you think that your cooperation will help you, it will NOT. I was entirely impressed with McLain's work on my 

    - Chris C.
    "Thanks to him I am now able to get on with my life."

    It took some time to make it happen, but it did just like Patrick said, he is a hard charging guy that can help you get what you deserve, Thanks to him I am now able to get on with my life.

    - Chip
    "He is a hard worker and will fight for you the moment you choose him to be on your team!"

    My husband hired Patrick for his summary court martial and Patrick and his team were there every step of the way. They communicated everything they needed and were even there when either me or my husband had any questions. He is a hard worker and will fight for you the moment you choose him to be on your team!

    - Angela
    "Amazing lawyer who fights for you!"
    A tremendous lawyer in a time of need. After being accused of conduct unbecoming an officer for personal conduct while off duty, I hired Mr. McLain to help me through the process. He diligently worked behind the scenes to make sure my voice was being heard. Despite my inability to listen to his direction early on, Mr. Mclain was patient and continued to fight on my behalf. Mr. McLain helped me win at a board of inquiry with no other disciplinary action. A sincere man, who is dedicated to his clients. Would strongly recommend and is a great asset to military clients everywhere.
    - Former Client
    "Always made me feel as though I was his most important client, and was knowledgeable on all subjects."

    He completely cared, took my case personally, always made me feel as though I was his most important client, and was knowledgeable on all subjects. I give him the highest rating possible and totally recommend him to anyone who is 

    - Mike
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