Nonjudicial Proceedings, Article 15
Nonjudicial proceedings are covered by Article 15, Uniform Code of Military Justice, and are frequently referred to as Article 15, Captain’s Mast, or NJP.
If you are being offered nonjudicial punishment, you must take it seriously. While a guilty finding will not result in a conviction, you could be punished with extra duty, forfeiture of pay, reduction in rank, and restrictions on your freedom of movement.
You may also have a permanent blemish on your military record, which can lead to additional consequences, such as failure to promote or even administrative separation. A nonjudicial punishment proceeding involves a hearing with your commanding officer.
As with a summary court-martial, you have fewer due process rights, and you are expected to defend yourself. However, if you accept the offer of nonjudicial punishment, you are entitled to consult with an attorney about your case and have a personal representative at the hearing.
Under some circumstances, you can refuse the offer of nonjudicial punishment and demand a court-martial. Refusing an offer of nonjudicial punishment may be appropriate when the evidence is weak, evidence may be suppressed at trial, or the allegation fails to state an offense.
However, refusing an offer of nonjudicial punishment carries some risks, most notably a federal conviction if you are found guilty at a court-martial.
If you have been offered nonjudicial punishment, contact the Law Offices of David P. Sheldon PLLC. An attorney can review your case and provide sound legal advice which will enable you to make fully informed decisions.
- CDR HM