Trusted Naval Base Point Loma Civilian Defense Lawyer

Naval Base Point Loma is located outside of San Diego, California. The base has been operated by the U.S. Navy since 1959, but its history is traced back to a Spanish fort built on the site in 1795. If you are facing disciplinary charges while serving at Naval Base Point Loma, contact attorney Patrick J. McLain right away.

Types of Military Justice at Naval Base Point Loma

Two commonly-used forms of military discipline at Naval Base Point Loma are nonjudicial punishment and trial by court-martial.

Nonjudicial Punishment

Nonjudicial punishment, or NJP, is an administrative form of a disciplinary hearing in the U.S. Navy. Informally known as Captain's Mast or Admiral's Mast in the Navy, this form of discipline is initiated and overseen by your commanding officer. If convicted, you have the right to appeal an NJP up the chain of command.

These proceedings are not as formal as a court-martial. The rules regarding evidence are lax, and there are fewer limitations on who can testify. However, the potential punishment for an NJP is often lower than at a trial by court-martial.

It should be noted that you have the right to refuse an NJP proceeding and demand a trial by court-martial. While this can open you up to tougher penalties, you may benefit from the additional protections that come with a court-martial. This decision is important and should never be made without first consulting with legal counsel.


Formal criminal proceedings in the Navy are known as trials by court-martial. Court-martial proceedings are closer to a civilian criminal trial than a Captain's Mast, and a conviction will leave a mark on your permanent criminal record. Trials are overseen by military judges and have more restrictive rules than an NJP.

Your case isn't over if you are convicted as you have the right to appeal your case to one of two military appellate courts. In fact, certain types of convictions automatically trigger an appellate review. At both the trial and appellate level, you have the right to experienced civilian defense counsel.

Common Offenses at Naval Base Point Loma

Any violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) could result in a Captain's Mast or trial by court-martial. Common examples of 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 you could face at an NJP or trial by court-martial can be steep. These potential penalties may include:

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

Additionally, any conviction could result in separation proceedings against you. In the most serious cases, you are at risk of confinement.

Contact Naval Base Point Loma Defense Counsel

If you are placed on notice of an impending NJP or court-martial, you do not have to face these proceedings on your own. Attorney Patrick J. McLain is a former military judge that has dedicated his practice to defending the rights of service members. Call today for a consultation and get your questions answered.