At Kevin Courtney Law, our NJP Attorney helps service members decide if they are going to fight their NJP or accept it and mitigate the punishment. It does not matter if you’re in San Diego, Hawaii, Virginia, Germany, or Spain, our team can fight your NJP. Not every case should end with non-judicial punishment. Instead, you may want to challenge the false allegations at court-martial.
What is NJP under Article 15, UCMJ? Can an NJP Attorney Help?
According to Article 15, UCMJ and Part V of the current Manual for Courts-Martial, NJP is the process military commanders use to address minor misconduct within their units. Service members can get help from an NJP Attorney to defend their case. NJP is also called Article 15, Captain’s Mast, and Office Hours depending on the branch of service. The officer’s rank will determine the maximum punishment for the service member which could include loss of rank, restriction, loss of pay, extra punitive duties, and reprimands. While the punishments are not as harsh as a court-martial, there is still a loss of reputation and stigma associated with an NJP.
Maximum Punishments for NJP | Max Punishment at Article 15, UCMJ
Company Level NJP
Company level NJP can occur when the person exercising the NJP authority is a captain or above and in a billet that holds command. Some punishments that a Marine could suffer at Company Level NJP include:
- Loss of pay for seven (7) days
- Restriction for up to 14 days
- Extra duties for 14 days
- Reduction in one rank for Corporals and below (no rank reduction for Sergeants and above)
Battalion Level NJP
Battalion Level NJP can occur when the person exercising the NJP authority is battalion command or higher. Punishments at Battalion NJP include:
- Loss of one-half month’s pay for two months
- Forty-five (45) days of extra duty.
- Restriction for 60 days, or 45 days when added to 45 days of extra duty.
- Reduction of one rank for Sergeants and below. Reduction of rank for Staff NCOs and above cannot happen at Battalion NJP. Commanding officers cannot reduce Navy CPOs at NJP.
NJP Triggers an ADSEP Board
Although not a direct punishment from an NJP, service members may face an ADSEP Board due to a guilty finding. For example, if CO finds you guilty at NJP for using drugs, you will likely go to an ADSEP Board. At the ADSEP Board, you can lose your reputation, career, and VA benefits.
Speak with an experienced NJP Attorney today to avoid the maximum NJP punishment.
Denying Article 15 and Demanding Court-Martial with the Help of an NJP Attorney
Service members from every branch should consider denying their NJP when the evidence is weak. The reason rests with the burden of proof at NJP: preponderance of the evidence, which is about 51%. All the command needs to prove is the allegation more likely than not happened. However, at a court-martial, the burden of proof is much more difficult and rests with the prosecutor. The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the allegation occurred. If they cannot do that, you will be found not guilty.
Our experienced team at Kevin Courtney Law can help you decide whether to deny NJP or not. We will help review the evidence and give you a plan of attack.
Private Article 15 Attorney to Defend You for Your Hearing
It is your right to work with an attorney for legal matters. In many cases, our clients do not deserve an NJP for the allegations. Instead, the command is overreacting. Unfortunately, the JAG attorneys at the installation cannot represent you because they have yet to detailed to your case. But it is your right to work with a private NJP Attorney. Our accomplished team can review the evidence and advise you on your next steps. In some cases, we can draft a playbook for your own defense at the NJP / Article 15 hearing.
I can’t thank Kevin enough for how he handled my case and helped me get my case dismissed. During our consult, he gave me a game plan of what needed to happen and what I needed to provide him in order for him to get to work on my case. –– Sergeant, USMC, Camp Pendleton
Service members have the right to appeal disproportionate, unjust punishments or results not rooted in the law. If your command punished you too severely, learn your NJP Appeal options here. But don’t wait, there is a strict five day deadline. Waiting too long will waive your appeal rights.