Article 15, Non-Judicial Punishment
Article 15, also referred to as non-judicial punishment (NJP), is a form of disciplinary action that can be taken upon those service members accused of minor offenses. This will depend upon the nature and gravity of the offense and is under the sole discretion of the commanding officer as to whether non-judicial punishment will be used or a case will go to a court-martial. If you have been accused of a minor offense, you will likely face non-judicial punishment as covered under Article 15. If you have been accused of a crime such as assault, rape, robbery, or murder, you will most likely face a court-martial.
Nashville Military Attorney James Phillips is experienced with Article 15s and successful strategies to ensure they do not go to court-martial or include excessive punishment. As a service member, you have the right to have representation at your Article 15 hearing. You can work with a military attorney who can present evidence and witness testimony to your commanding officer, possibly getting your charges dropped or keeping your penalties to a minimum.
If your commanding officer has reason to believe you have committed an offense covered under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), he or she will have the sole discretion as to how you will be disciplined. Article 15 is an option afforded to minor offenses: traffic violations, disobeying an officer, disrespect to a superior officer, etc. However, it is up to your commanding officer to decide if you will face a court-martial. Upon observing or hearing of an offense, your commanding officer can: