As a military service member, you are subject to the military code of justice. But, when you are off base, you are subject to the laws and statutes of the state and county in which you live. In Colorado Springs, military members serving on Fort Carson or within Colorado Springs often find themselves arrested for crimes – and these crimes are charged on the state-level instead of in military courts. While you can still be court-martialed for your offense later, you will still have to face the local court system for your crime.
In the state, there are some offenses more common to military members than others. Even if you have been arrested for something different, contact a criminal defense attorney right away who specializes in representing military members.
What Civilian Crimes Can Military Members Be Charged With?
When you are off base, you are subject to the statutes and laws of the area in which you are. Some common crimes that military members are charged with while off base include:
- Domestic Violence – Colorado has extremely harsh penalties for domestic violence offenders. If you are convicted, you could face state and federal penalties, including losing your military service, being unable to carry a weapon, etc. Because you would not be able to carry a weapon, your military career may end or you may be forced into a position that no longer suits you. You could also be considered non-deployable for missions, ineligible for overseas contracts and assignments, ineligible for leadership or promotion opportunities, barred from reenlistment, separated from the service, and prohibited from attending military schools or training programs.
- DUIs – Another common civilian crime that military members are charged with is a DUI or DWAI. This occurs when military service members choose to drink and drive off the military installation to which they are assigned. When this happens, the local precinct will arrest the military service member, and the local prosecutor will represent the case in court. Even if you are a member of the military, you can be charged with a DUI in the state of Colorado. If you are, you could face a letter of reprimand in your military service file, revocation of your base pass, mandatory referral to a substance abuse treatment facility, corrective training, or even an administrative reduction in rank. In severe cases, you could be forced to leave the military and be barred from reenlistment.
- Assault – Military service members are trained in hand-to-hand combat – but that training is not meant to be used outside of military service or on civilians. If you are in a fight, you could be convicted of assault – and not only face jail time, but lose your military opportunities altogether.
- Drug Possession – Whether you are using marijuana or caught using another illegal drug (including illegally obtained prescription medications), you could face serious penalties. You could also encounter jail time – depending on the amount of drugs in your possession at the time of your arrest. Also, the military could force you into a substance abuse training program, reduce your rank, or remove you from service entirely.
Have You Been Arrested for a Civilian Crime? Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Immediately
If you are a military service member and have been arrested for a civilian crime off of the base, contact Christian A. Schwaner, P.C. today. He is familiar with clients in the armed forces and works closely with his clients to help report crimes to commanding officers and represent your rights zealously in civilian court. Get started with a free consultation now by calling 719-577-9700, or contact him online via the contact form.