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Vandenberg AFB

Vandenberg AFB Defense Lawyer

Sitting 10 miles north of Lompoc, California is Vandenberg Air Force Base. Operated by the United States Air Force since 1941, the base is a prominent missile testing site. It also supports the LGM-30G Minuteman III Ballistic Missile evaluation program. If you are facing disciplinary action while serving at Vandenberg Air Force Base, do not hesitate to contact attorney Patrick J. McLain right away.

Your Right to Civilian Defense Counsel

You are entitled to hire a civilian attorney at any point during these disciplinary proceedings. 

To discuss how a skilled attorney could benefit your defense, contact retired Marine Corps judge Patrick J. McLain right away at (888) 606-3385.

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Military Discipline at Vandenberg AFB

There are two common types of military discipline you could encounter while serving at Vandenberg AFB: nonjudicial punishment and trial by court-martial.

Nonjudicial Punishment

Better known as Article 15 in the Air Force, nonjudicial punishment (NJP) carries significant consequences despite not being a formal criminal hearing. While a conviction will not show up on your criminal record, it has the potential to lead to separation proceedings from the Air Force.

Your commanding officer will oversee your NJP, and in many cases will also initiate the process. You have the right to refuse, however. If you reject an NJP, your case will be taken up as a trial by court-martial instead. This decision has risks and rewards, as court-martials carry the potential for heavier penalties. However, a trial also offers some formal protections that are absent in an Article 15. No matter what you choose, you should always discuss your options with an attorney first.

You have the right to appeal an unfavorable decision in an NJP. However, the case will not be heard by an appellate court. Instead, the appeal will go up your chain of command.


Unlike an NJP, a trial by court-martial could result in a mark on your permanent criminal record. The process also carries significant penalties, but it also involves formal rules of evidence that could work in your favor. Instead of your commanding officer, a military judge will preside over a trial.

If you are found guilty, you are entitled to appeal the decision to a designated appellate court. In many cases, appellate review will occur automatically. During both trial and appeal, you have the right to select your civilian defense counsel to represent you.

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You Need a Civilian Military Lawyer


  • Former Federal Prosecutor & Military Judge
    Attorney Patrick J. McLain's years of experience across the aisle provide him with a unique perspective.
  • Over Two Decades in the U.S. Marine Corps
  • Our Firm is Top-Rated & Award-Winning
  • Over 3,500 Cases Successfully Handled

Common Offenses at Vandenberg Air Force Base

Some charges are more likely than others to result in a trial by court-martial. Common examples of the offenses heard at each proceeding 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

With a conviction at either NJP or court-martial, you are likely to face penalties that include:

  • restriction,
  • loss of pay,
  • extra duties, or
  • loss of rank.

In some trials by court-martial, you could also face more serious charges like punitive discharge or confinement. Remember, these penalties are not guaranteed. If you prevail in your hearing, you will avoid these consequences entirely.


    "Amazing strength and integrity with the combination of experience, insight, and knowledge of military law."

    I have found my lawyer Patrick McLain, to be honest, right to the point, consistently giving me realistic outcomes through the whole process of my case. He's definitely no nonsense, cut to the chase. As a client…I've never been left hanging; he makes sure all my correspondence is returned. He's got amazing strength and integrity with the combination of experience, insight, and knowledge of military law. He stands behind his words and expects the same in return. I say my blessings every day for him taking my case. With him as my attorney, I've achieved best possible outcomes.

    - Gina F.
    "He is a hard worker and will fight for you the moment you choose him to be on your team!"

    My husband hired Patrick for his summary court martial and Patrick and his team were there every step of the way. They communicated everything they needed and were even there when either me or my husband had any questions. He is a hard worker and will fight for you the moment you choose him to be on your team!

    - Angela
    "Amazing lawyer who fights for you!"
    A tremendous lawyer in a time of need. After being accused of conduct unbecoming an officer for personal conduct while off duty, I hired Mr. McLain to help me through the process. He diligently worked behind the scenes to make sure my voice was being heard. Despite my inability to listen to his direction early on, Mr. Mclain was patient and continued to fight on my behalf. Mr. McLain helped me win at a board of inquiry with no other disciplinary action. A sincere man, who is dedicated to his clients. Would strongly recommend and is a great asset to military clients everywhere.
    - Former Client
    "Thanks to him I am now able to get on with my life."

    It took some time to make it happen, but it did just like Patrick said, he is a hard charging guy that can help you get what you deserve, Thanks to him I am now able to get on with my life.

    - Chip
    "I won my military case due to his diligence, knowledge and experience in military law."

    I cannot recommend Patrick highly enough. I won my military case due to his diligence, knowledge and experience in military law. Had I proceeded on my own, I would have lost, for the process was simply too complex. When working with Patrick, there was never a time when I felt left in the dark on my case, nor a time when his assessments and instructions were unclear. Should you be in any difficult circumstance, Patrick will work his tail off for you and keep you clearly informed on the status of your case. Again, I highly recommend the services of Patrick McLain.

    - Dan C.
    "Great lawyer and better person"
    Mr. McLain helped me through the most difficult experience in my life. As a Marine Officer facing an upcoming board of inquiry for conduct issues, I was fearful of losing a career that I deeply cherished. Mr. McLain not only gave me perfect legal advice throughout the process, but also reached out many times to see how I was doing on a personal level. A great lawyer and better person, Mr. McLain helped me become successful in my board of inquiry and keep moving forward in my career. His knowledge and experience are top notch, and his military experience and personal qualities make him the best lawyer out there to defend military personnel. Would highly recommend to anyone.
    - Jonathan
    "I was entirely impressed with mclain’s work on my case."

    I called McLain when the military charged me with some B.S., McLain immediately jumped into action and made things happen in my favor. Don't do it alone … your military chain of command will try to make you think that your cooperation will help you, it will NOT. I was entirely impressed with McLain's work on my 

    - Chris C.
    "Always made me feel as though I was his most important client, and was knowledgeable on all subjects."

    He completely cared, took my case personally, always made me feel as though I was his most important client, and was knowledgeable on all subjects. I give him the highest rating possible and totally recommend him to anyone who is 

    - Mike
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