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A Military Base DUI Case is Handled in Federal Court

A military base DUI case is handled in Federal Court downtown San Diego if the base is in San Diego County.  The main bases in San Diego County include Camp Pendleton, Fallbrook Weapons Center, MCAS Mira Mar, MCRD (Recruit Depot), 32nd Street Naval Base and Naval Base Coronado (including NAS Coronado).  The criminal prosecution of these cases include civilian and military personnel who are arrested for DUI (driving under the influence or driving with a .08 or more blood alcohol level).  

Before this year, military personnel with military base DUI cases had their cases handled by the command usually as NJP (non judicial punishment) with restriction, loss of pay, loss of rank and only civilian violators were prosecuted in Federal Court. Now both military and civilian personnel are prosecuted in Federal Court, with military personnel also still receiving NJP in many cases.  If someone received NJP for the offense, this is an important factor to be considered in these cases and how they are resolved.

Both Military and Civilian defendants, when arrested, receive a Federal Citation with the charges without a COURT DATE.  Those citations are processed and the defendant is notified usually within 60 to 90 days of a Federal Court date.  Additionally, defendants are given a Base Magistrate appearance date concerning their driving privilege on base.  Unlike state cases, the California DMV does not get involved.  Contacting a DUI attorney familiar with both military and civilian cases can make a difference in the outcome of your case.  Call Christoph Law Offices at 760-941-5720 for a free consultation.  Attorney William Christoph, a former USMC Captain, and his son Nicholas have handled several thousand DUI and criminal cases for civilians and military personnel  during the last 34 years their office has been located across from the Vista Courts in North San Diego County.

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