If you a member of the United States Coast Guard, then you can be subjected to non-judicial punishment (NJP). It is important to understand what NJP is and how it can affect you and your legal options while serving as a Coast Guardsman.
What is non-judicial punishment?
According to Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), if a Coast Guardsman commits a minor offense, his or her superior can carry out a non-judicial punishment in order to deter, punish, or correct behavior.
Only an officer in charge can enforce a non-judicial punishment. This officer is only supposed to resort to using NJP if he or she believes that reprimand alone will not correct the actions of the Coast Guardsman.
Your Rights During NJP Proceedings
If you have been subjected to NJP, you still have rights, including the right to reject the NJP. Some of your other rights include:
- Bringing a spokesman to your proceedings
- Examining the evidence against you and bringing your own to prove that you did not commit the offense in question
- Choosing to be present in the proceedings where the officer will examine the charges against you
- Examining witnesses who are brought in to prove that you committed the offense, and bringing in your own witnesses to provide an alibi
Possible Consequences Under NJP
There are several types of non-judicial punishments that can be imposed. The nature of the consequences you can expect to receive vary greatly depending on your unique circumstances. Some of the most common punishments include confinement to your quarters, pay cuts and extra duties assigned.
How We Can Help
Non-judicial punishment and the proceedings that come with it can be a difficult process to navigate, but working with a defense lawyer who understands military law can help. At Garrison Military Law, we can help guide you through the legal process and help you walk away with the best possible outcome for your situation. Get started today by giving us a call or schedule a free consultation online.
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