Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (MCAS Miramar) is the home of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. This facility, which is operated by the United States Marine Corps, was first opened in 1917. The air station is located in Miramar, just north of San Diego, California. If you are facing charges while serving at MCAS Miramar, reach out to attorney Patrick J. McLain immediately.
Types of Military Justice at MCAS Miramar
At MCAS Miramar, there are two common forms of military justice. The first is nonjudicial punishment, and the second is trial by court-martial. You could encounter either form of discipline depending on the nature of your charges.
Unofficially known as “Office Hours” in the Marine Corps, nonjudicial punishment will not lead to a conviction on your permanent record. It can, however, lead to serious consequences. In some cases, a bad result could trigger separation proceedings that could end your career.
Office Hours are overseen by your commanding officer. The process is fairly informal, and appeals are heard through the chain of command. The most important factor to consider with an NJP is your right to reject the process entirely. If you choose, you have the right to face trial by court-martial instead. This carries substantial risk, as the penalties from a court-martial are more severe.
Before you make a decision regarding an NJP, it is in your best interest to discuss your options with experienced civilian defense counsel.
Trial by Court-Martial
A trial by court-martial is a criminal proceeding that is similar in many ways to a civilian trial. If convicted, it will be reflected on your permanent record. The process for a trial by court-martial is more formal than an NJP. A military judge will oversee the proceedings and ensure that the formal rules of evidence are followed by both sides.
If you are convicted at trial, you are entitled to file an appeal. In certain types of cases, an appeal could be automatic. The two appellate courts that hear Marine Corps cases include:
- the Navy-Marine Court of Criminal Appeals; and
- the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
Common Offenses at MCAS Miramar
If you are accused of violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice, you could face either of the following two forms of discipline.
Common NJP Offenses
- Unauthorized absence (AWOL)
- Drunk on duty
- Failure to obey orders
- Destroying government property
Common Court-Martial Offenses
If convicted, the penalties in both NJP and trial by court-martial are similar in many cases. You could face:
- Loss of rank,
- Loss of pay, or
- Extra duties.
For more serious charges in a court-martial, you could also face confinement or a punitive discharge.
Civilian Counsel at MCAS Miramar
The penalties that come with these charges are often steep. It is important to remember, however, that if you win you will never face those consequences. To learn how you could prevail at trial, contact attorney and former Marine Corps judge Patrick J. McLain right away.