Military DUI Lawyer in San Diego, CA

Defense for Military Personnel Charged with DUI

While all DUI offenses are serious, individuals in the military are likely to face heightened penalties and amplified disgrace. The military is held to a higher standard than civilians and no branch of service goes easy on DUI offenders. The United States Armed Forces have a zero tolerance policy regarding driving under the influence, meaning that thousands of soldiers each year find their lives and careers threatened by DUI charges.

The San Diego area is home to many military bases, such as Naval Station San Diego, Naval Base Coronado, Camp Pendleton, MCAS Miramar, North Island Naval Complex, Point Loma Navy Base, and MCRD San Diego. If you have been charged with a DUI offense while stationed at any of these military bases, you may find yourself facing California DMV charges, a DUI criminal trial, and court-martial by your military branch.

Military bases are on federal land and are therefore different than state lands governed by state law. If you were charged or arrested for DUI as a member of the military, you should immediately enlist the services of Mark R. De Yoe. He is experienced in handling these types of cases and provides the care necessary to get the best results possible for his clients. Call 24/7 for a free initial consultation.

What Are the Consequences of Military DUI Charges?

Military DUIs do not have a maximum legal sentence, so it all depends upon the discretion of the court. A DUI in the military can result in a dishonorable discharge, which will end your career, or you could be unable to advance in rank or pay grade. Regardless, a military DUI conviction becomes part of your permanent military record. Other typical consequences can include being inducted into a military alcohol abuse treatment program, a one-year revocation of base driving privileges and punishments such as restriction to quarters, letters of reprimand, and so forth.

In the Navy, most DUI offenders go through a Captain's Mast. In the Air Force, Army and Marines, non-judicial penalties (NJP) are also common (also known as "Article 15" or "Office Hours"). While DUI charges against members of the military are usually handled in state court as well as the military court system, offenses that occur on a military base are usually prosecuted in the federal court system. These cases are usually handled by a Special Assistant United States Attorney, who is also a member of the branch of the service that controls the base on which the offense occurred.

Penalties for a Federal DUI in California

Drivers in California agree to abide by the rules of the road. This means that the Department of Motor Vehicles is responsible for governing the license-holders in the state. A driver in California with a DUI may find that a DUI arrest results in their license being taken from their possession. Additionally, since military bases are considered federal land, you can find yourself facing penalties associated with a federal DUI.

Unlike California law, penalties for a federal DUI include:

  • Six months in federal prison
  • $5,000 in fines
  • 5 years of probation
  • Charges for a breath test refusal
  • No right to a jury trial

If you were stopped and charged with a DUI on federal land or a military base, whether you are a citizen or military personnel, you need someone on your side who knows how the justice systems involved function and what will need to be done to get results. Attorney Mark R. De Yoe has the knowledge and experience to help you fight these charges no matter what your circumstances are. Time is important in these matters.

What Are Your Legal Rights?

If you turn down an Article 15 or NJP, you have the right to demand a court-martial trial. If you accept an Article 15 or NJP, you lose your right to a trial by court martial. The primary DUI laws and penalties pertaining to military personnel are contained in the Manual for Court Martial (MCM) and the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Under Article 31 of UCMJ, you have rights as a member of the military:

  • You cannot be compelled to incriminate yourself or answer any question that might incriminate you
  • You must be informed of the nature of your accusation
  • You do not need to make any statements regarding the offense
  • Any statement used against you could be used as evidence in a trial by court martial

How Attorney Mark R. De Yoe Can Help

In 1901, a significant Navy presence began in San Diego, with the establishment of the Navy Coaling Station in Point Loma. The city's military presence grew during World War I and World War II. Today, San Diego remains a very military friendly town, with military bases including U.S. Navy facilities, Marine Corps bases and Coast Guard stations. Mark R. De Yoe, APLC is a friend and resource to members of the military and their families.

There are many defenses that can be used on your behalf and, after researching the details surrounding your case, Mr. De Yoe will choose the defense that is best for you. In one recent, attention-garnering case, a DUI defense lawyer was able to persuade a Special United States Attorney to drop DUI charges against a military officer, saying the individual had been driven to binge drinking as a result of recent traumatic experiences.

Attorney Mark R. De Yoe can help you combat your charges, but you need to secure his help before it is too late. Often waiting to secure legal services until a Captain's Mast or other non-judicial proceeding can significantly reduce your chances of achieving a successful case outcome.

Call now to schedule your free consultation with Attorney Mark R. De Yoe -- you need to act quickly before anything has been set into motion. Let Attorney De Yoe put his more than 30 years of legal experience to work for you in your military DUI case!