Ei Incumbit Probation Qui Dicit.

Proof lies on him who asserts, not on him who denies. The concept is that one is innocent until proven guilty. Regardless of what the law says about reasonable doubt, there is an unwritten presumption within the ranks of the military that if you are charged with sexual assault, then you are guilty. The stakes are your life! Your military counsel works for the same military that charged you. Consider that as you choose who represents you in your potentially life altering case.

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What Are the Penalties for Article 15 Charges?

Article 32

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) provides military commanders with a tool for maintaining discipline, and gives them the authority to impose non-judicial punishment (NJP) under Article 15 for minor offenses. Article 15 hearings, as they are known in the Air Force and Army, are also known as Captain's Mast in the Coast Guard and Navy, and Office Hours in the Marine Corps. All accused service members have the right to accept NJP or request a court-martial. An experienced military criminal defense attorney can be of assistance during this initial stage.

By accepting an Article 15 hearing, your commander will become the judge and jury of the case and will have the power to impose NJP. The punishment imposed in by a commander will depend on the nature of the offense and other unique circumstances of a case. The grade of the commander imposing the Article 15 will also determine the maximum punishment you may receive.

The following lists the maximum penalties that can be imposed under Article 15:


Company Grade

Field Grade


  • 14 days
  • 14 days
  • 60 days

Extra Duty

  • 14 days
  • 14 days
  • 45 days

Pay Forfeiture

  • None
  • 7 days
  • ½ month for 2 months

Rank Reduction (E4 & below)

  • None
  • 1 grade
  • 1 or more grades

Rank Reduction (E5 & E6)

  • None
  • None
  • 1 grade

Rank Reduction (E7 & Up)

  • None
  • None
  • none

If you or someone you know if facing the prospect of an Article 15 hearing, Captain's mast, or Office Hours, military criminal defense attorney Joseph L. Jordan can help review your case, inform you of your options, and guide you through the process.

To learn more about Article 15 and the penalties you may face, call 888-616-6177.

Categories: Article 15

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