Article 15/Non-Judicial Punishment Defense
We have the skill to help you!
The Attorneys at Capovilla & Williams have been representing service members at Article 15 hearings or Captain’s Mast for over a decade and we have literally represented hundreds of service members across all branches of the armed forces who have been accused of various acts misconduct. Our attorneys have the experience, the judgement, and the skill to help you navigate your case through the NJP process.
What is Article 15?
An Article 15 or Captain’s Mast is a non-judicial proceeding, or NJP, where your commander determines whether you committed the alleged misconduct. Article 15 offenses are generally not serious, and will consist of DUI, minor theft, or low-level assaults. Typically speaking, if you are found guilty at the Article 15 hearing, your command will likely initiate separation, which is one thing to keep in mind if you plan to make a statement during the NJP hearing.
The authority for commanders to give an Article 15 is found in Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Often, the most difficult decision for a person facing an NJP hearing is to either accept the NJP or refuse it and request a trial by courts-martial. This is a very important decision with MASSIVE consequences. Call us today if you are in this position and want the advice of an experienced military defense team.
You have the right to appeal!
If your commander finds that you are guilty during the NJP hearing, you do have the right to appeal that decision to the next higher commander for relief. The appeal must be submitted within five days of your hearing. There are three grounds for appeal: (1) there was not enough evidence to find you guilty; (2) the punishment imposed was too severe; or (3) the commander did not follow proper procedures. The commander considering your appeal can overturn a finding of guilty, lessen the punishment or keep the punishment the same. The commander acting on your appeal cannot make your punishment more severe.