In the Military and Get a DUI? What You Can Expect
If you are in the military and get a DUI, you must find out what to expect next. DUI charges or a conviction can have a huge impact on your future in the military and on your life in general. Here is what you need to know.
Your Commanding Officer Will Find Out
If you have any illusion that your commanding officer will not find out about your arrest, forget it now. He or she will find out and order you back to base. Whether your fellow soldiers tell all or the police call the base, word will get back to the military that you were arrested.
The Presumption of Innocence and Your Right to Remain Silent
When you get arrested on criminal charges such as DUI, you have the right to remain silent. This means that you do not have to incriminate yourself by admitting to the other soldiers that you drove drunk. You can remain silent and refuse to tell people what happened.
Courts follow the “presumption of innocence”, or the belief that everyone is innocent until found guilty by a jury of peers or an impartial judge. Unfortunately, military members often judge someone guilty before he even has the chance to prove his innocence. You may find yourself ostracized on the base because people think you are definitely guilty of DUI even though you haven’t even gone to court yet. Remember that you have constitutional rights just like everyone else, and do not let people pressure you into admitting guilt.
What Could Happen Due to Your Arrest
Some military members see their DUI cases go to the local courts, while others have their cases heard by the military’s JAG. If you are arrested off base, it is more likely that your case will be heard in court. If you are arrested on base, it is more likely that JAG will take over.
Whether your case is heard on or off base, you should secure legal counsel to defend you. Talk to local criminal attorneys about taking your case. You need help with your legal defense because getting a DUI while in the military can have severe consequences. Not only could you face jail time and fines, but you might be discharged from the military, prohibited from promoting, or not allowed to re-enlist.
Have you been charged with a DUI in Oklahoma and don’t know where to turn? Seek out the attorney who knows the system. Clint Patterson, Esq., of Patterson Law Firm, a former Tulsa prosecutor now using his trial experience and expert-level knowledge of DUI science to defend drivers, has the experience and the insight to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case. To schedule a case evaluation, visit Patterson Law Firm online or call Clint’s office at (918) 550-9175.