Do I Need a Lawyer for an Article 15 Hearing?
Article 15 UCMJ, otherwise known as non-judicial punishment (NJP) provides for a commander to take action against you for a minor infractions or misconduct. No matter what branch of the military you are in, it’s understandable to be worried and anxious if there is a pending adverse action against you. While Article 15 is related to a minor infraction or misconduct, you can still be facing serious punishment (NJP).
How Non-Judicial Punishment Works
Article 15 hearings are held between you and your commander, which is why there is some incentive to settle at that level. Your commander essentially acts as the judge and jury. You do not have the right to bring an attorney, nor is there a prosecutor present. You may request a trial by court-martial in lieu of NJP where you will receive all the rights of a criminal defendant and the government must prove the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt. However, unlike NJP, you risk confinement in a military prison and a federal criminal record if convicted.
If you are a National Guard soldier, the rules for NJP will differ from state to state.
How a Military Administrative Law Attorney Can Help
When you are facing an NJP, you need to think about the legal steps you should take. It’s important to mitigate the actions that can be taken against you. At Citizen Soldier Law, we can help you understand what is at stake and help you made an educated decision on the route that’s best for you. Without proper preparation, you could be facing a conviction that results in a variety of penalties. Some of these may include confinement, restrictions or even a forfeiture of pay.
Contact a Military Administrative Law Attorney
If you are facing NJP don’t go into it blindly. Proper preparation is key. Before making a decision on which route to take, contact a Military Administrative Law Attorney at Citizen Soldier Law today to schedule an initial consultation.