As a member of the United States Marines, it is important that you understand what non-judicial punishment (NJP), is and how it can affect your career. Because NJP deals with minor offenses without a trial, it is important that you consult an experienced military attorney if you believe you are being punished unfairly.
Non-Judicial Punishment According to the UCMJ
NJP is outlined in Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). NJP is implemented when a marine commits a minor offense that can be dealt with without a court martial. This enables the Officer in Charge (OIC) to issue a punishment at his or her discretion, which means that there is often no way to provide evidence to the contrary if you are falsely accused.
Your Rights Under NJP
If you believe that you are being punished unjustly, it is important that you understand your rights listed out under Article 15 of the UCMJ. These include:
- The OIC who issued the punishment must tell you that his or her intention is to begin NJP proceedings against you.
- The OIC must explain the reasoning behind the NJP and the evidence against you.
- You can refuse the NJP and opt for a court martial instead.
- You are allowed to examine the evidence being used against you.
- You can confront any witnesses called to prove the offense.
- You are able to provide your own witnesses.
- You can have a spokesperson with you to speak on your behalf.
It is important to note that the OIC is duty bound to examine all of the evidence that you provide and base his or her final decision off of all evidence both for and against you.
How We Can Help
If you have been placed under NJP you could face a myriad of consequences, including forfeiture of pay, confinement to quarters, correctional custody, restriction to specific limits or extra duties.
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