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Members of the military who are stationed here and are confronted with an arrest for a violation or crime in a civilian situation will often learn that the case can impact their military career. Having a legal defense is important, but when the allegations are harming a person’s standing in the military, it is also wise to have help from a law firm that specializes in military matters such as disciplinary procedures. Losing a command because of an arrest is one such situation and it happens relatively frequently.

In the span of two weeks, two Marine commanders lost their position in the military because of drunk driving arrests. Both incidents occurred in Virginia. The second incident involve a colonel who commanded the Cyberspace Operations Group and his dismissal from that position came five days following the arrest. The major general who removed him issued a statement of lost confidence. The colonel had been given an award for his leadership and service in February.

The 49-year-old colonel will be in court in June to face the DUI charges. With a guilty verdict, he could lose his driving privileges and be fined $250, in addition to his already-lost stature in the Marines. The other incident involved a colonel and the commander of the Headquarters and Service Battalion in Quantico. His dismissal came about two weeks after his DUI arrest. His court date is in May.

Military disciplinary procedures differ from civilian cases and can cost the service member greatly even before they have been convicted in a civilian court. Discipline by commanding officers can be arbitrary and having legal advice when defending against allegations and trying to keep a standing in the military can be complex. When confronted with a civilian arrest and its consequences extending to damaging a notable military career, it is imperative to have legal help to mitigate the penalties.

Perhaps, if the civilian DUI arrest results in an acquittal, the command can be restored. Other possible solutions can be reached. Having advice from a law firm that understands military law is essential when lodging a defense to handle issues that can hinder their military life.