What Should You Do as a Service Man or Woman if You Get an Article 15?

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What To Do if You Get an Article 15

If you have been accused of violating the army’s code of conduct by your commander, you will likely receive Article 15. Article 15 is often used for small, first-time, and/or minor offenses.

A Brief Insight Into Article 15

Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) gives commanding officers the authority to determine guilt or innocence and impose punishment for minor violations that do not warrant a court martial. Commanding officers can use this power to punish offenders for offenses such as disobeying orders, failure to obey regulations, or engaging in misconduct in public. 

The code allows an officer to take into account mitigating and aggravating circumstances when making a decision. For example, a commanding officer, just like a court-martial, may decide to take into consideration mitigating circumstances, such as if the accused was not aware of the regulation they were violating or if they exercised poor judgment in their actions. Aggravating circumstances that also need to be considered by the officer include knowing about the regulation but intentionally breaking it, exhibiting disregard for orders, or showing blatant negligence of duty.

What To Do if You Get an Article 15

If you are facing Article 15, there are a few things you can do. You can reject it and request a court-martial. Or, you can accept it and have your commanding officer decide. There is no right or wrong answer, but it is best to speak to a military defense lawyer at The Griffin Law Firm first. A skilled military defense attorney can help you know what options are available to you and this will help make the decision easier.

What Are the Consequences of Getting an Article 15?

These differ depending on the type of Article 15 you are charged with. The possible punishments for the three types of Article 15 (Summarized Article 15, Company Grade Article 15, and Field Grade Article 15) are listed below:

a. Extra duty for 14 days, restriction for 14 days, and/or an oral reprimand are the maximum punishments for a Summarized Article 15. 

b. Extra duty for 14 days, restriction for 14 days, an oral reprimand, the loss of seven days' salary, and/or a demotion of one grade are the maximum punishments allowed for a Company Grade Article 15.

c. Extra duty for 45 days, restriction for 60 days, an oral reprimand, the loss of half of your basic pay for two months, a demotion to E-1, or a demotion of one grade are the maximum penalties allowed for a Field Grade Article 15.

Filing an Appeal

If you are unhappy with a decision made by your commander, you may be able to appeal the decision. There are several steps that must be followed in order to file an appeal, but the process is relatively straightforward. The first step is to gather all of the relevant information related to your case. This includes not only the original decision that you disagree with but also any additional documentation or evidence that you may have. 

Once you have this information together, you will need to submit a formal appeal letter. This should be written clearly and concisely and should include detailed explanations of why you believe the original decision was incorrect. You should also provide any additional evidence or documentation that supports your position. You can also ask a military defense attorney at The Griffin Law Firm for guidance with the process of appealing your Article 15.

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