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Non-Judicial Punishment – Article 15

If you are on active duty and have been accused of misconduct or a minor infraction, you do not have to accept a nonjudicial punishment (exceptions apply if you are embarked upon a U.S. Navy vessel). If you have the right to refuse NJP and have a trial instead. However, your rights will change once you elect to accept a nonjudicial punishment. By accepting a nonjudicial punishment, you will be waiving your right to go before a judge. In many cases, accepting a nonjudicial punishment is your best option. However, it is still important for you to recognize the full implications of accepting the punishment. You will be giving up process rights. And there may be some cases where it would be in your best interest to refuse NJP and demand a court-martial. The only way to know for sure is to speak with an experienced military law attorney who can assess the specific facts of your case and make a recommendation you can rely upon.

You have the following rights when faced with an NJP

  • Refuse NJP
  • Appear before the CO during the NJP
  • Remain silent or make a statement
  • Have a spokesperson (other than an attorney)
  • Confront witnesses and documents used against you
  • Plead guilty or not guilty
  • Present matters in your behalf (letters, documents, etc.):
  • Have witnesses appear in your behalf
  • Have NJP proceedings open to the public
  • Appeal (if punishment is unjust or disproportionate to the offense)

Maximum Punishment

Company Grade (Company Level) NJP

  • Restriction: 14 days
  • EPD: 14 days
  • Forfeitures: 7 day’s pay
  • Reduction: None (CO must have promotion authority to be able to reduce

Field Grade (Battalion-Level) NJP

  • Restriction: 60 days (45 if in conjunction with EPD)
  • EPD: 45 days
  • Forfeitures: ½ of pay for 2 months
  • Reduction: 1 pay grade
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