Florida is home to the highest number of U.S. veterans aside from California and Texas. In Orlando, the U.S. Navy’s leading center for research and development (NAWCTSD) sits right outside the University of Central Florida, and Cape Canaveral’s Air Force Base is just a short distance away. There’s no doubt that Central Florida has a robust military presence.
But as is sometimes the case with civilians, active members of the military sometimes make mistakes that can have long-term consequences. If an active member of the military is charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI), the risks are high since a conviction can be detrimental to their career in the armed forces.
If you or a loved one on active duty is facing a DUI charge, it’s crucial to hire expert legal counsel as quickly as possible. A professional DUI attorney who protects members of the military can counsel you that what will happen next includes:
For the best likelihood of a favorable outcome after an active duty or military DUI in Orlando, seek legal representation from an attorney with a proven track record of helping active-duty members of the military in state or federal court. Civilian legal counsel can represent you during a formal review hearing at the Bureau of Administrative Review (BAR) with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) in state and federal court.
If you’re an active member of the military and are arrested for a DUI off your military base, hire an experienced DUI defense lawyer to fight against the suspension of your driver’s license. You have ten days after your arrest to demand a formal review hearing and plead your case to the Department of Motor Vehicles. It’s essential that you hire an expert DUI defense attorney before those ten days have passed to secure your best chance of keeping your driving privileges.
Your DUI defense attorney will also help your case being prosecuted in state court by the state’s attorney. In that event, your trial will follow the same course as any civilian DUI case. However, there are special considerations often given to active-duty members of the military.
Active members of the military who are arrested for a DUI on a military base are prosecuted in federal court. Typically, the incident is not reported to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. In many instances, even if the case is prosecuted in federal court, a non-judicial punishment under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice goes into effect. The goal of a non-judicial punishment is to have your case dismissed or your charges reduced. To have your case dismissed, your commanding officer in the military must file a request with the prosecutor in the State Attorney’s Office so the military can pursue an Article 15 resolution or court-martial under the UCMJ.
If the military is seeking an Article 15, you’ll receive a form called the “record of non-judicial punishment proceedings.” It gives written notice that your commanding officer has considered “non-judicial Punishment” as the penalty for your alleged misconduct. It also details your right to consult with a criminal defense lawyer before making any decision and to have a lawyer assist you throughout the proceedings. If you accept non-judicial punishment, you waive your right to trial by court-martial. Your commanding officer will decide your sentence based on the evidence and the situation. Possible penalties might be losses in pay or a reduction in your military-grade.
It’s imperative to seek DUI defense counsel immediately following your arrest to protect your military career and to win a favorable outcome. At The Umansky Law Firm, our attorneys have the experience and know-how to counsel you through every step of the legal process. As former state prosecutors and members of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, our Orlando-based lawyers will provide an aggressive and thorough defense in your DUI case.
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The Umansky Law Firm Criminal Defense & Injury Attorneys