Known as “The Cradle of Naval Aviation,” the Naval Air Station Pensacola is one of the primary training bases for naval flight officers and aviators. Operated by the United States Navy, this facility is located just outside of Pensacola, Florida. If you have been notified of impending disciplinary hearings against you while serving at NAS Pensacola, contact attorney Patrick J. McLain right away.
Military Discipline at NAS Pensacola
If you are accused of violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice, there are two types of proceedings you might face at NAS Pensacola. The first is known as nonjudicial punishment. The second is trial by court-martial.
A common type of military discipline at NAS Pensacola is known as nonjudicial punishment (NJP). Informally known as Captain's Mast or Admiral's Mast in the Navy, this administrative punishment is not a formal criminal proceeding.
When you face an NJP, the process is overseen by your commanding officer. While there are rules, they are far more lax than a typical civilian trial. A conviction will not show up on your permanent criminal record, but it could carry steep consequences.
You are entitled to reject an NJP in favor of a trial by court-martial. There are risks that come with this decision, as a court-martial could lead to steeper penalties and a permanent criminal conviction. There are also some benefits, especially if you are concerned about getting a fair hearing from your commanding officer. This decision should not be taken lightly and should only be made after a discussion with a defense attorney.
Trial by Court-Martial
A trial by court-martial is a criminal hearing. It is similar in some ways to a civilian criminal trial. A military judge presides over the trial and is tasked with enforcing rules regarding testimony and evidence.
If you are convicted at your trial, you are entitled to appeal the decision. In some cases involving serious charges, an appeal will trigger automatically. There are two courts that hear appeals from Navy courts-martial proceedings: the Navy-Marine Court of Criminal Appeals or the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
Just like with a trial, you are entitled to your choice of civilian defense counsel at the appellate level.
Common Offenses at PAS Pensacola
If you are accused of violating the UCMJ, you could face either an NJP or a trial by court-martial. Some charges are more likely to result in a court-martial than others.
Common NJP Offenses
- Unauthorized absence (AWOL)
- Drunk on duty
- Violation of orders
- Destroying government property
Common Court-Martial Offenses
The penalties are similar in many cases regardless if you face a Captain's Mast or trial by court-martial. These penalties include:
- loss of pay,
- extra duties, or
- loss of rank.
There are steeper penalties that only apply to a court-martial, however. These include punitive discharge or confinement.
Reach Out to a NAS Pensacola Civilian Defense Counsel
You have the right to fight back against these charges. If successful, you will avoid the consequences discussed above. Contact our attorneys Patrick J. McLain and of counsel E. Allen Chandler to discuss your options.