NOLF Imperial Beach Civilian Defense Attorney

Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach, better known as NOLF Imperial Beach, is a helicopter facility operated by the United States Navy. The base is located near Imperial Beach, California and has been in operation since 1944. If you are on notice of pending disciplinary hearings while serving at NOLF Imperial Beach, contact attorney Patrick J. McLain today.

Types of Military Justice at NOLF Imperial Beach

Two of the most common forms of military discipline used in NOLF Imperial Beach include:

  • Nonjudicial punishment, and
  • Trial by court-martial

Nonjudicial Punishment

Nonjudicial punishment, also known as NJP, is an administrative form of military discipline. In the United States Navy, NJP is informally known as Captain's Mast or Admiral's Mast. An informal proceeding, an NJP is overseen as by your commanding officer as opposed to a military judge. You have the right to appeal a conviction up the chain of command should the NJP not go your way.

A Captain's Mast does not have the formal rules of a criminal trial. The rules regarding evidence and witness testimony are far less strict than in a court-martial. The potential punishments are typically lighter than a court-martial, however.

It is important to understand that you have the right to reject an NJP and demand a trial by court-martial. While this would open you up to the stiffer penalties of a court-martial, there are also potential advantages. In many cases, a service member will reject an NJP because they feel they can't get a fair hearing from their commanding officer. You should never make a decision on rejecting an NJP without first speaking with experienced defense counsel.


A trial by court-martial is a formal criminal proceeding. If you are found guilty, your permanent criminal record will reflect the conviction. The rules of a trial by court-martial are significantly stricter than an NJP, and the proceedings are overseen by a military judge.

If you are found guilty, you still have other options to fight your case. You have the right to appeal any conviction in a trial by court-martial. Judicial review is triggered automatically in certain types of cases. Whether at trial or on appeal, you have the right to hire experienced civilian defense counsel.

Common Offenses at NOLF Imperial Beach

Any violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) could result in an NJP or trial by court-martial. Some of the offenses that commonly lead to these disciplinary hearings include:

Common NJP Offenses

  • Unauthorized absence (AWOL)
  • Drunk on duty
  • Fraternization
  • Violation of orders
  • Destroying government property

Common Court-Martial Offenses

Potential Penalties

If convicted, the penalties you could face following an NJP or Captain's Mast can be costly. The penalties include

  • Restriction
  • Loss of rank
  • Loss of pay
  • Extra duties

In serious cases, penalties can also include confinement or even dishonorable discharge. These penalties are not guaranteed, however. If you are successful at trial, you will avoid these punishments.

Contact NOLF Imperial Beach Defense Counsel

If you are facing an impending Captain's Mast or court-martial at NOLF Imperial Beach, you will benefit from discussing your case with former military judge and civilian defense counsel Patrick J. McLain right away.