There are not as many military bases in the East Bay as in other parts of California but there are still plenty of U.S. military service members passing through the area at any given time. Lots of service members are from East Bay communities and visit family and friends when they are on leave. While off-base, service men and women may get caught up in suspected crimes and end up under arrest in city or county jail.
Certain types of criminal offenses are handled under the military code of justice. However, like non-military civilians, sometimes service members can use the experience of a California criminal defense attorney to help clear them of charges and avoid a criminal record. There are even military diversion programs for some military service members and veterans to have charges dismissed after completing the program.
If you or a family member in the military was arrested for off-base offenses, contact an experienced California criminal defense lawyer who can explain your rights and legal options.
What Are Common Criminal Charges for Off-Base Service Members?
Military service members in Oakland, Fremont, Hayward, or other areas in the East Bay may be visiting friends or family, or even be in the area as part of San Francisco's Fleet Week. Whatever brings them to the area, they can get caught up in some of the same common offenses as non-service members. Some of the most common state criminal charges for military members off base include:
Drunk Driving Arrests
Driving under the influence is a common reason for arrest for many people in California. In some cases, a driver who has only had a couple drinks can appear to be impaired because they are tired, stressed, or driving in an unfamiliar area. Even if they are not over the limit, they can still end up under arrest and threatened with jail time if they don't take a guilty plea deal. Make sure you understand your rights before you plead guilty to anything.
Assault or Battery
Like a lot of people, having too much to drink can bring out some unpleasant events. Lots of fights happen after the people involved have had a few drinks. It can raise tension levels and increase aggression. Getting into a fight after having too much to drink can be regrettable, especially if it threatens your future career options. Talk to an experienced attorney about how to get assault charges dropped or reduced.
Like drinking and driving or drunken assaults, alcohol can have a negative impact in family disputes. Most people don't do their clearest thinking after having a few rounds of cocktails, beers, and shots. When a couple is having a dispute, it can quickly escalate and raise to the level of violence. An arrest for domestic violence in California can be a wakeup call and help some people seek out help for substance abuse issues and anger management, to avoid future violent conflicts with loved ones.
There are lots of reasons people decide to take something without paying for it. Some people don't have the money, others think they were ripped off and are trying to get even, and in some cases, someone will take something and simply forget to pay for it before leaving. You should have your chance to challenge the criminal theft charges before you are convicted of a crime. Talk to your attorney about diversion court options after an arrest.
Can I Find a Private Criminal Defense Lawyer to Handle My Case?
You can contact a private criminal defense attorney as soon as you get a chance to make a phone call or are released from custody. If you are still in custody, your family may be able to call a lawyer who can find out where you are held, and help secure your release.
Military members may have a lot of questions and concerns about how a criminal arrest or criminal conviction will impact their military career. Your attorney can explain your legal rights and options, and help you avoid getting a criminal record, and reduce the impact of a single bad night on the rest of your life.
East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 39 years of DUI and criminal defense experience and understands the consequences for service members under arrest. Representing the military and their family in Contra Costa and Alameda County, Lynn Gorelick is familiar with the local criminal defense laws, local officers, and the prosecutors involved. Contact East Bay defense lawyer Lynn Gorelick today.