The Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island is part of the larger Naval Base Coronado. It is found in San Diego Bay, California, on the Coronado peninsula. Two deep-submergence rescue vehicles (DSRVs), two aircraft carriers, roughly 23 aviation squadrons, and another 80 tenant units call NAS North Island home. The large variety of aircraft flown on the base and other functions of the base make it one of the most significant facilities that the United States Navy controls. The large base resembles a small town and supports a large military community. When all the ships are docked in port, the base population can grow to 35,000 individuals. It is extremely important that those stationed at NAS North Island and their loved ones understand the military criminal justice system and how it works if a service member faces an accusation of criminal activity.
The Uniform Code of Military Justice
All members of the United States military are governed by civilian laws, but they are also governed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). This set of laws is divided into articles, each of which explains a different expectation or rule for servicemembers. Both enlisted and commissioned servicemembers are subject to the UCMJ and must always follow these articles. Not only does the UCMJ outline a criminal justice code, but it also provides a code of conduct. It sets forth strict mandates for appropriate behavior and good character for military servicemembers.
If you are facing a UCMJ violation charge, your first step to getting the best possible outcome should be speaking with a lawyer. Unfortunately, not all lawyers will have the knowledge and personality to take on a UCMJ violation charge for their clients. It takes an aggressive lawyer with military experience to effectively defend a client in this position. Service members stationed at NAS North Island or living in the nearby area should look no further than Aaron Meyer Law. We can provide a comprehensive legal defense that will help you approach your impending proceedings with greater peace of mind.
The Types of Cases We See
When you are looking for a local attorney to represent you, one of the most important aspects to consider is the attorney’s experience with your specific type of case. Although there are many ways the UCMJ mirrors civilian criminal justice codes, there are important differences in military penalties that typically result in harsher penalties than those that apply to civilians. It is important to connect with a top-tier lawyer that is experienced with cases similar to yours to ensure the best-case scenario. The types of cases we see include:
- Article 15 Hearings
- Administrative Separation Hearings
- Special Court Martial
- General Court Martial
Although the penalties for a civilian who has broken the law may be severe, the penalties are often harsher for service members who have violated the UCMJ. Penalties can include forfeiture of pay and allowances, demotion in rank, confinement in a military prison, and much more. A conviction during a court martial can easily result in the termination of your military career, ending your livelihood and way of life. Depending on how your career ends, the record can have negative effects on your civilian life.
Q: Which Two Aircraft Carriers Are Stationed at North Island?
A: Throughout history, many aircraft carriers have been stationed at NAS North Island. In 1935, North Island housed all four of the first US Navy aircraft carriers:
- USS Langley
- USS Lexington
- USS Ranger
- USS Saratoga
Currently, the Naval Base only houses two of the 11 currently active aircraft carriers:
- USS Carl Vinson
- USS Ronald Reagan
Q: Is NAS North Island the Same as Naval Base Coronado?
A: This question has both a yes and no answer. NAS North Island is a small part of the much larger naval complex that creates Naval Base Coronado (NBC). Established in 1997, the NBC was created by combining eight separate naval installations:
- Naval Air Station North Island
- Remote Training Site Warner Springs
- Naval Amphibious Base Coronado
- Naval Auxiliary Landing Field San Clemente Island
- Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach
- Camp Michael Monsoor
- Silver Strand Training Complex
- Camp Morena
Q: Who Is Subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Punishments Outlined in the Articles?
A: The UCMJ specifies who must comply with each article. Generally, it will apply to all active-duty members, activated National Guard and Reserve members, and students in a military academy. The UCMJ may also apply to civilians that are working in support of the military during wartime, military retirees that are entitled to pay, and others that are or were connected to any branch of the military.
Q: Why Do I Need a Civilian Military Lawyer?
A: Your main goal when you face legal trouble with the military should be protecting yourself. A successful civilian military lawyer will be intimately familiar with UCMJ processes. They will also have experience with general military practices that other lawyers are unlikely to have. It can be daunting to face the government, and a good civilian military lawyer will not be frightened by your case. Simply hiring an experienced and aggressive attorney may change how the military handles your case.
Q: Will I Be Held in Confinement If I Am Accused of a Military Crime?
A: Potentially. A service member could be held in custody if they are determined to be a danger to public safety or a flight risk. These are similar to the considerations addressed during bail hearings in civilian court, but bail is unavailable in the military system. A commander can also place limitations on a service member that fall short of confinement. This can include restricting their movement on base or requiring frequent check-ins with their superior officer.
Fighting Military Charges at NAS North Island
With firsthand experience in the military, Aaron Meyer Law saw how our nation’s warriors needed protection when they were accused of a crime. Yet, they were often denied support by their leadership. Even when service members are protected by their commanders, the military justice system can be abused to victimize vulnerable people.
Aaron Meyer Law was created to passionately fight for our clients’ best interests, regardless of how big the opponent is—including the United States Military. If you are ready to speak with an experienced military criminal defense attorney, contact us today and schedule a consultation with our team.