While a less than a Court-Martial, nonjudicial punishment (made legal by Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice) still hurts. It is a way for a commander to punish lesser offenses without the time and expense of a Court-Martial. However, this can mean lost time, lost money, lost rank, and a lost career.
Depending on your rank and the rank of your commander, you could find yourself reduced to the grade of E-1, loss of half of your pay for two months, 45 to 60 days of restriction, 45 days of extra duty, and bad paper in your official military file (destroying any hopes of a long career or promotion).
One thing remains the same between nonjudicial punishment and courts-martial, always seek the advice and representation of a qualified attorney.
Reasons to Obtain Legal Counsel for Nonjudicial Punishment
1. If you are innocent, or the evidence against you is insufficient, it may be in your best interests to fight and demand a trial by court-martial. Your most important consideration at nonjudicial punishment is whether to demand a trial by court-martial or not. To make this decision in an educated fashion, you must consult qualified legal counsel.
2. Even if you decide to accept the nonjudicial punishment, you can still fight your case, prove your innocence, or show why you should not receive a harsh punishment. In order to do this, you must be well prepared and understand the rules. Treading down this path alone is not smart, and qualified counsel is an absolute necessity.
3. After nonjudicial punishment is imposed, you have the right to appeal the decision to a higher commander, but the process is both technical and difficult. Your chances of success are increased tremendously if you retain someone who knows the process.
Don’t take this laying-down. Use your rights and fight for the things that are important to you. You owe it to yourself and everyone who cares about you.
If you need representation, please Contact Us.