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Arizona Non-Judicial Punishment Attorney

Non-Judicial Punishment, Article 15, Office Hours, or Captain’s Mast

The term “non-judicial punishment” has many different names for the same action – the Navy and Coast Guard may call it “captain’s mast,” the Marines may call it an NJP or “office hours.” The Army and Air Force refer to it as an “article 15.” Whatever the name, the function remains the same: it is a kangaroo court proceeding that can ruin your career, your liberty, and your paycheck with little due process so speak with an Arizona non-judicial punishment attorney as soon as possible. Stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB, Yuma Proving Grounds, Luke AFB, or Fort Huachuca? Contact Stone Rose Law today to learn how we can help.

What Is Non-Judicial Punishment?

Non-judicial punishment serves as a way to discipline service members for minor misconduct formally – it’s the middle ground between negative counseling and a court-martial. While it is not a formal court proceeding, there are significant consequences that may occur. These consequences range in severity depending on the rank of the accused and the rank of the officer (or level of command) imposing non-judicial punishment. If you have further questions about what constitutes non-judicial punishment, reach out to an Arizona military law attorney.

Experienced Non-Judicial Punishment Lawyer in Arizona

At Stone Rose Law, we understand how case-specific every Article 15/NJP decision is and how important this decision is for you. It is important when you are charged at Article 15/NJP, seek legal help. Set up your free consultation with our Arizona non-judicial punishment attorneys today by contacting Stone Rose Law online or by calling our law office at (480) 498-8998.

Consequences of Non-Judicial Punishment

When an NJP is imposed by a Field Grade Officer (O-4 and above)

  • Formal reprimand
  • Forfeiture of up to 50% base pay for 60 days
  • Reduction in rank
  • 45 days extra duty
  • 30 days Correctional Custody
  • Restricted Liberty for 60 days
  • Diminished rations/confinement for three days (if accused is E-3 or below, and NJP is awarded by the ship’s captain while the ship is at sea)

When an NJP is imposed by a Company Grade Officer (O-3 or below)

  • Admonition or reprimand
  • Rank reduction if accused is E-4 and below
  • 7 days correctional custody
  • Forfeiture of 7 days’ pay
  • 14 days of extra duty
  • 14 days of restricted liberty
  • Confinement on diminished rations (when imposed by a Ship’s Captain at sea)

A special note: the most common punishments awarded at NJP are loss of pay, reduction in rank, extra duty, and restricted liberty. It is highly unusual for confinement or diminished rations to be awarded at NJP in modern times.

Who May Impose Non-Judicial Punishment?

In the Army and Air Force, only a commanding officer on actual orders may impose NJP. In the Marines and Navy, any Officer in Charge may impose NJP.

Your Rights When Facing Non-Judicial Punishment

While the NJP process is properly described as a kangaroo court, in which the person judging whether you are guilty is the same person who initiated the non-judicial punishment, you are not without rights.

Those rights include:

  • The right to refuse NJP
  • The right to appear before the Commanding Officer during NJP
  • Right to remain silent
  • Right to have an attorney
  • Right to confront witnesses and evidence used against you
  • Right to call witnesses
  • Right to a public proceeding
  • Limited right to appeal

When faced with non-judicial punishment, servicemembers have two major decisions to make:

  1. Should I hire an NJP attorney?
  2. Should I accept NJP or demand a court-martial?

Learn more about your rights when facing an NJP by consulting with a non-judicial punishment attorney in Arizona.

Should I Accept or Deny an NJP?

The NJP process has a much lower burden of proof than court-martial. Indeed, the convening authority is essentially the judge in the matter. Thus, accepting NJP can be considered the same as admitting guilt. However, the potential range of punishment is much lower than what can be awarded at court-martial.

Refusing NJP and demanding court-martial may sound scary, but there are numerous good reasons to do it! First, the burden of proof at a court-martial is beyond a reasonable doubt – unlike at an NJP, where the burden of proof is the “preponderance of evidence” (in other words, more likely than not). Second, the Military Rules of Evidence do not apply in NJP, whereas they apply in every type of court-martial.

These are many of the considerations that go into deciding whether to accept or deny an NJP – and they are considerations that an experienced and dedicated non-judicial punishment or court-martial lawyer in Arizona can help you make.

Free Consultation With a Non-Judicial Punishment Attorney in Arizona

The NJP process is slanted against the servicemember in almost every conceivable way. Level the playing field and contact the aggressive and experienced Arizona non-judicial punishment attorneys at Stone Rose Law for a free consultation. Contact Stone Rose Law today by calling our law firm at (480) 498-8998.