What Happens When You Get a DUI in the Military


If you have a legal issue while serving in the military, it’s important to consult a military attorney. Military lawyers can help you in even the most minor cases such as speeding. Did you know that on average, 112,000 drivers are ticketed for speeding on a daily basis? In addition to helping with minor offenses, they’re critical in helping you with major offenses such as DUI. Here’s what you need to know if you get a DUI while serving in the military.

 

Who has jurisdiction?

 

It won’t always be the case that your DUI is tried in a military court. In some cases, depending on where your DUI took place, a civilian court will have jurisdiction. This is usually when a criminal offense occurs outside of a federal military installation. In other cases, the military and civilian courts may both file charges and work together on a prosecution. Additionally, it’s also possible that a civilian court can acquit you of a DUI, while at the same time a military court will still pursue punishment, such as a court-martial. It’s important to have a military attorney to prepare you for all of these possibilities.

 

What happens if I’m arrested for DUI on base?

 

If you’re arrested for a DUI on base, you will be charged by the military based on the Uniform Code of Military Justice, in Section 911: Article 111. You will be potentially subject to administrative actions and a court-martial. Criminal charges by civilian court will not be pursued. Instead, the state will choose to suspend your license and apply any non-criminal penalties that will restrict your driving privileges.

 

What happens if I’m arrested for DUI off base?

 

If you’re arrested for a DUI off base, it’s likely that only criminal charges will be pursued in civilian court. As mentioned earlier, it’s possible the military will decide to file charges after the civilian case has concluded. Even if the military elects not to file any charges, they can still choose to take administrative action. They may even file other charges outside of DUI, such as disorderly conduct.

 

How will the military punish a DUI offense?

 

Your commanding officer will be involved in deciding what your punishment should be. The punishment can be either punitive or administrative. One example of a punitive punishment can involve a court-martial. This could mean you could have your grade reduced or pay forfeited, be imprisoned, and even possibly be dismissed from the military. Administrative punishment can vary in many ways. This can include revoked pass privileges, mandatory substance abuse treatment, reduction in grade, and corrective training. In general, for a first time offense, you should expect a suspension of driving privileges, a fine, and an ignition interlock device installed on your car.

 

If you have a legal issue while you’re in the military, it’s important to have lawyers knowledgeable in these types of cases. Military attorneys have the knowledge necessary to help you move forward in the best way possible. Be sure to seek a consultation with one to know the options you have in your specific case.

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