If you are a member of the military and your superiors charge you with a minor violation of Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), you may receive nonjudicial punishment (NJP).
NJP by Branch of Service
Each branch of the military has a slightly different term for nonjudicial punishment:
- Coast Guard, Navy, and Marines: “Captain’s Mast”
- Air Force: “Office Hours”
- Army: “Article 15”
What Are My Rights?
Your commander will direct evaluate the facts, determine whether you are guilty and decide your punishment, or you can refuse to accept NJP and demand that your case be handled at court martial. This is a process best negotiated with the help of an experienced attorney.
The accused’s rights regarding legal counsel for NJP is covered under Section 815 of Title 10, United States Code. Each military branch has different legal counsel regulations:
- Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard service members do not have a right to free counsel regarding NJP, but may hire private counsel.
- Air Force members have the right to counsel prior to deciding between NJP and court martial.
- Army personnel may consult with counsel in deciding whether to accept NJP results or demand trial by court martial, unless the commander uses Summarized NJP proceedings.
Who Can Help?
With an extensive background in the military justice system, attorney Garrison Wood can help build a strong defense in support of your NJP. Get experienced professional help if you have been charged with a military offense. Remember:
- If you accept an Article 15, you forfeit your right to a trial by court martial.
- Accepting an Article 15 is not an admission of guilt; it means your commander decides whether you are guilty or not guilty. You no longer have the option of a court martial.