Formerly known as the Los Angeles Air Force Station, Los Angeles Air Force Base (AFB) is the home of the Space and Missile Systems Center. This center, operated by the United States Air Force, is in charge of researching, developing, and testing space and air missile systems for the military.
If you have been notified of impending charges while serving at Los Angeles AFB, contact attorney and retired military judge Patrick J. McLain right away.
Military Discipline at Los Angeles Air Force Base
When serving at Los Angeles AFB, there are two primary forms of discipline you might encounter. These include nonjudicial punishment and trial by court-martial. While these processes have their differences, they each carry significant consequences.
Nonjudicial Punishment at Los Angeles AFB
A common administrative form of discipline in the Air Force is nonjudicial punishment (NJP). An NJP is also commonly referred to as Article 15. Because these are administrative hearings rather than criminal proceedings, the result will not end up as part of a permanent criminal record. That, however, does not mean there are no consequences.
The ability to initiate an NJP falls to your commanding officer who will also oversee the hearing. The rules are far more lax compared to a court-martial, and appeals are heard up the chain of command instead of by a dedicated appellate court.
Article 15 is unique in that you have the choice to refuse to participate. If you reject an NJP, however, you will face a trial by court-martial. This decision might seem strange, as a court-martial carries steeper penalties, but there are advantages in the formal court-martial setting not available at an NJP. Either way, the decision is an important one that is best made with the assistance of legal counsel.
Court-Martial at Los Angeles AFB
A trial by court-martial is a criminal process unlike an NJP. If you are found guilty at trial, you will end up with a criminal record reflecting the conviction. The procedures of a court-martial are far stricter than an NJP, and the rules are enforced by a military judge.
Like with an NJP, you are entitled to appeal a conviction. However, following a trial by court-martial, these convictions are heard by formal appellate courts. In some cases, the courts will automatically take up your case whether you appeal or not.
Common Offenses at Los Angeles AFB
Common offenses that may result in a trial by court-martial or NJP are listed below.
Common NJP Offenses
- Unauthorized absence (AWOL)
- Drunk on duty
- Violation of orders
- Destroying government property
Common Court-Martial Offenses
Following a conviction in either proceeding, the potential penalties are similar. You could face the loss of pay, loss of rank, extra duties, and restriction in either an NJP or a trial by court-martial. However, a conviction at trial by court-martial also has the potential to result in punitive discharge or incarceration.
Los Angeles AFB Civilian Defense Counsel
You have the right to the civilian defense counsel of your choice. And your choice is important, as the right legal counsel could make the difference between a conviction or an acquittal. To discuss your case with an attorney dedicated to defending airmen accused of wrongdoing, reach out to Patrick J. McLain right away.