Misawa Air Base Defense Attorney

Misawa Air Base is a United States Air Force installation on the Japanese Island of Honshu. It is the only joint service installation in the western Pacific Ocean. It houses units from the Air Force, Army, and Navy. Additionally, it is also home to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. If you are facing military discipline at Misawa Air Base, contact attorney and retired military judge Patrick J. McLain right away.

Types of Military Discipline at Misawa Air Base

While serving at Misawa Air Base, there are two forms of military discipline that you could encounter. They are known as nonjudicial punishment and trial by court-martial.

Nonjudicial Punishment

Commonly referred to as Article 15 in the Air Force, nonjudicial punishment (NJP) is an administrative proceeding that could carry steep consequences. While not a criminal proceeding, an adverse decision at an NJP could have a major impact on your career and your life.

Article 15 is both initiated and overseen by your commanding officer. If convicted, you can appeal the decision up your chain of command. While a conviction will not show up on your permanent criminal record, it can lead to separation proceedings from the Air Force.

You do not have to accept an Article 15. You have the right to reject an NJP in favor of a trial by court-martial, but this decision should not be taken lightly. A court-martial carries steeper penalties, but it also offers formal protections that can work in your favor. This option makes sense if you are unsure of receiving a fair hearing from your commanding officer as well. Speak with an experienced attorney before making a final decision to reject an NJP.


A trial by court-martial is a criminal proceeding. It carries serious penalties, and a conviction will remain on your permanent record even after you return to civilian life. A military judge will oversee your trial by court-martial and ensure the rules related to the introduction of evidence are followed by both sides.

If convicted, you have the right to file an appeal. In fact, many of the most severe cases receive an automatic appellate review. From trial to appeal, you are entitled to hire the civilian defense counsel of your choice.

Common Offenses at Misawa Air Base

Any violation of the UCMJ could result in either a trial by court-martial or NJP proceedings. Common charges 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 in both types of proceedings are similar. In either case, a conviction could net you loss of rank, loss of pay, extra duties, and restriction. For more serious court-martial cases, you could face confinement or a punitive discharge.

Your Right to Civilian Defense Counsel

No matter the charges you are facing at Misawa Air Base, you are entitled to work with the civilian defense counsel of your choice. To discuss your case with an attorney and retired military judge, contact Patrick J. McLain and attorney E Allen Chandler today.