DUI and Military Members in San Diego
San Diego County is where thousands of our fine Military families including the Navy, Coast Guard, and Marines as well as members of the Department of Defense call this beautiful city home. So when their lives are turned upside down because they get arrested for DUI we understand that many military families are asking themselves all kinds of question. What will the civilian process be, what about my drivers license and ability to drive on base, what will my chain of command do, am I required to report my arrest, will I get chaptered or disqualified or worst yet kicked out of the military, how will my future record be effected, and who can understand all these concerns and help me? If you are currently enlisted in the military and you were arrested for DUI, you will most likely face consequences from your command as well as the State court, which could possibly lead to separation from the military. Attorney Vincent Ross at Ross Law Center has almost 30 years as an experienced DUI lawyer and has commonly handled DUI’s involving people in the military to help them to understand their options and to utilize all the resources possible to get the best result on each case.
How the Department of Defense deals with a person arrested for DUI can depend on a number of factors and can vary between the different branches of the military. If you are an officer, a first time DUI could mean the lost of your commission, a demotion in rank and pay, and in some cases even separation from the military. If you are an enlisted person, a first offense in most circumstances does not usually result in a separation of the military, however, it may be more closely scrutinized if you have other alcohol or drug related incidents of disciplines in your personnel file. With that said, if you have certain types of clearances or you hold a job or title such as a pilot or an air traffic controller a first offense DUI could be catastrophic to your career in the military. Every person’s case is different which is why having an experienced attorney like Ross Law Center in your corner is so important, and even more critical is to call right away so we may discuss your case with you. Since each person’s case is unique, you can “typically” expect one or more types of punishment from the military. A person may lose a month’s pay, possible demotion, and/or be restricted to a base or ship. You may be restricted from driving onto the base and may have to enter the base by foot or relay on someone else to transport you while on the base. The military may also ask that you go through their substance abuse for evaluation and perhaps classes. In each case the particular punishment a person receives is up to the command. Lastly, it important to keep in mind that an arrest or conviction of a DUI will result in an unfavorable and negative performance report and that a demotion could make it very difficult for you to make your rank scale by the age you are required to have it completed by resulting in your military career prematurely coming to an end. If you are convicted of a second or subsequent DUI, you are supposed to be expelled out of the military. This rule has become even stricter over the past few years, however, in some cases, your command may elect to keep you if they feel you are a very valuable asset to them. It repeats saying, that hiring an experienced and LOCAL attorney that handles these circumstances and cases on a routine bases is very important in dealing with a DUI case. Making a call to Ross Law Center starts the wheels in motion and will help to reduce your anxiety especially in knowing that your case will be handled carefully to assure that nothing is overlooked.
After the Military has determined your disposition, you still must confront and face the civilian court as anyone else would. Commonly that means you might be facing fines, jail time, classes, public work service, Ignition Interlock Device, lost of drivers license, SR22, 5 years probation and more. It can be very helpful to your criminal case if your attorney has local experience in negotiating DUI cases with judges and prosecutors that involve people in the military and well as those civilians with military clearance. At Ross Law Center we will often instruct our military clients to keep track of all the documents and log everything that happens with your command and the action they take against you and bring this to each consultation you have with your attorney. This documentation can become useful in the future for your attorney in trying to mitigate and negotiate a positive settlement in your case.