Resourceful Naval Base Kitsap Civilian Defense Attorney

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Naval Base Kitsap is a U.S. Navy facility created in 2004. Located on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington state, Naval Base Kitsap was formed through the combination of Naval Station Bremerton and Naval Submarine Base Bangor. If you are facing military discipline while stationed at Naval Base Kitsap, contact attorney Patrick J. McLain.

Types of Military Justice at Naval Base Kitsap

The two forms of military justice most frequently used at Naval Base Kitsap are known as nonjudicial punishment and trial by court-martial.

Nonjudicial Punishment

A common administrative form of discipline in the U.S. Navy is nonjudicial punishment (NJP). In the Navy, an NJP is unofficially known as a Captain's Mast or Admiral's Mast. An NJP is not a formal criminal proceeding, but its consequences are still potentially severe.

An NJP lacks the formality of a court-martial. Instead of a military judge, the proceeding is overseen by your commanding officer. The rules regarding evidence and witness testimony are also less restrictive. If convicted, you have the right to appeal the decision up the chain of command.

You have the right to refuse nonjudicial punishment in favor of a formal trial by court-martial. Choosing a court-martial might open you up to stiffer penalties, but it also has advantages in certain situations. The choice to reject an NJP can have major ramifications on your life and career and should never be made without first consulting experienced legal counsel.

Court-Martial

Unlike an NJP, a trial by court-martial is a formal criminal proceeding. In other words, a conviction could be reflected on your criminal record. A trial by court-martial is similar to a civilian criminal trial in that the rules of evidence are restrictive compared to an NJP. Additionally, the proceedings are overseen by a military judge.

A conviction at trial by court-martial doesn't mean the fight is over. You still have an opportunity to contest your conviction on the appellate level. In certain types of cases, appellate review is triggered automatically. At every stage of the court-martial process, you are entitled to experienced civilian defense counsel.

Common Offenses at Naval Base Kitsap

Any alleged breach of the UCMJ could lead to an NJP or court-martial. Some common offenses are provided 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 for a court-martial or Captain's Mast can be costly. Common penalties upon conviction include:

  • Restriction
  • Loss of rank
  • Loss of pay, or
  • Extra duties.

In more serious cases, you could face confinement or separation from the Navy.

Contact Naval Base Kitsap Defense Counsel

If you are on notice of a pending nonjudicial punishment or trial by court-martial at Naval Base Kitsap, you have the right to face those charges with civilian defense counsel at your side. Attorney Patrick J. McLain is a retired military judge that has dedicated his legal practice to defending the legal rights of service members. To discuss your legal options, call today for your free phone consultation.

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