Busting 5 Myths About Nonjudicial Punishment

Nonjudicial Punishment Also known as Article 15, Office Hours, or Captain’s Mast, nonjudicial punishment (NJP) is a part of military law that aims to punish those who commit minor or petty crimes.
Nonjudicial Punishment: Also known as Article 15, Office Hours, or Captain’s Mast, nonjudicial punishment (NJP) is a part of military law that aims to punish those who commit minor or petty crimes.[imagesource]
Nonjudicial Punishment: Also known as Article 15, Office Hours, or Captain’s Mast, nonjudicial punishment (NJP) is a part of military law that aims to punish those who commit minor or petty crimes.[imagesource]

Nonjudicial Punishment Also known as Article 15, Office Hours, or Captain’s Mast, nonjudicial punishment (NJP) is a part of military law that aims to punish those who commit minor or petty crimes. These crimes generally include:

·         Reporting late for duty

·         Destroying government property

·         Petty theft

·         Sleeping while on duty

·         Disobeying standing orders

·         Providing fake information

The punishments for NJP are relatively minor. But that doesn’t mean a service member shouldn’t fight back. They must seek the services of nonjudicial punishment lawyers at Military Law and other firms that are known for their experienced military lawyers.

These lawyers provide a range of benefits. In addition to skilled legal representation, they also help service members understand their crime, its consequences, the rights they’re entitled to, and more.

There’s another important advantage to hiring a private military lawyer. They help tackle misinformation.

Misinformation, or myth, has the potential to cause serious emotional stress to the service member. The action or lack of action that arises due to misinformation has the potential to ruin the service member’s career.

This article aims to change. It lists five popular myths related to nonjudicial punishment. Understanding the impact of these myths is crucial to a successful defense.

1.      NJP isn’t severe

False.

While it is true that the NJP is often awarded for minor crimes, the consequences aren’t minor all the time.

The punishments for an NJP offense generally include

·         Reduced rations

·         Denied access to specific areas (applicable to bases or ships)

·         Arrest in quarters

·         Correctional custody

·         Additional duty over existing ones

·         Grade reduction

·         Forfeiture of pay

·         Reprimand or admonition

NJP is less severe than a court martial. But the punishment depends on the commander and the circumstances under which the service member was awarded NJP.

2. Accepting NJP revokes my right to appeal the decision

No, it doesn’t.

If the service member feels that they have been unjustly or disproportionately punished for the offense, they can appeal to the next highest authority.

There are two grounds for appealing NJP. They are:

·         Punishment was unjust: There is insufficient evidence to prove the offense

·         Punishment was disproportionate: The punishment is too severe for the offense

The service member facing NJP can appeal the decision within five calendar days of the punishment being awarded. The right to appeal will be revoked if there is an absence of good cause.

The service member facing NJP can appeal the decision within five calendar days of the punishment being awarded. [NewsGram]
The service member facing NJP can appeal the decision within five calendar days of the punishment being awarded. [NewsGram]

3. NJP has no effect on my career as it is minor

Wrong.

NJP has an impact on a service member’s career. Although punishments like pay forfeiture, reduction in rank, and additional duty might seem minor, they will have consequences in the long run. It may play spoilsport with promotions and assignments in the future.

4. I can handle NJP without legal assistance

Legal counsel is crucial to understanding the rights a service member has. They help the service member take the steps necessary to successfully file an appeal and get out unscathed.

The right NJP lawyer is a reliable aide to have. They will be by the service member’s side throughout the legal process, ensuring that the decision’s made doesn’t have a lasting impact on the service member’s career.

5. Accepting NJP means that I’m guilty

No, it doesn’t.

If the service member chooses NJP, then it means that they chose it over court martial. Service members get the right to accept or reject NJP.

If the service member accepts NJP, then

·         The service member loses the right to trial

·         Their commander decides the service member’s fate

If the service member rejects NJP, then

·         The case is referred to trial by court martial

·         The military judge and court-martial members decide the service member’s fate

Final Thoughts

You just read some of the myths related to NJP. Knowledge about these myths helps service members get a better understanding of their rights and find out what the best course of action is.

Service members who’ve been charged with an offense must contact an experienced military lawyer to find out what their options are.

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