Established in the years following the Civil War, Fort Huachuca is a United States Army facility located in southeast Arizona. Originally constructed to secure the border with Mexico during the Apache Wars, Fort Huachuca is now home to the United States Army Intelligence Center and other occupants. If you are facing military discipline at Fort Huachuca, reach out to attorney and retired military judge Patrick J. McLain today.
Types of Military Justice at Fort Huachuca
Military justice comes in two common forms at Fort Huachuca: nonjudicial punishment and trial by court-martial.
Nonjudicial punishment (NJP) is an administrative disciplinary proceeding that does not result in a criminal conviction on your permanent record but can still result in serious penalties. Commonly referred to as Article 15 in the Army, these proceedings are first initiated by your commanding officer. Instead of a military judge, your commanding officer will also oversee the proceedings.
A unique aspect of Article 15 is your ability to reject the proceeding in favor of a trial by court-martial. This might seem unusual, given that a court-martial carries steeper penalties. However, they also offer more procedural protections at trial. The decision to reject an NJP should never be taken lightly and should only occur following guidance from an attorney.
If an Article 15 does not go your way, you have the right to appeal the decision. However, these cases are not heard by a formal appellate court. Instead, the appeal is heard up the chain of command.
Trial by Court-Martial
A court-martial differs from an NJP, in that it is a formal criminal proceeding. If convicted at trial, the conviction will be placed on your permanent record. This can impact you long after your military service is over.
A trial by court-martial is more formal than an Article 15 and is presided over by a military judge. There are also formal rules related to the admission of evidence that do not apply in an NJP. If you are convicted, you have the right to appeal the decision. In many cases, appellate courts will automatically take up your case.
Common Offenses at Fort Huachuca
Any violation of the UCMJ can result in either nonjudicial punishment or a trial by court-martial. However, minor charges are more likely to result in an NJP at Fort Huachuca. Some common offenses are listed below.
Common NJP Offenses
- Unauthorized absence (AWOL)
- Drunk on duty
- Violation of orders
- Destroying government property
Common Court-Martial Offenses
The potential penalties from an Article 15 or trial by court-martial can have a long-lasting impact on your life. Common penalties in an NJP include:
- loss of pay
- extra duties
- loss of rank.
In addition to these penalties, a conviction at a trial by court-martial could also include incarceration or a punitive discharge. Additionally, a conviction in either proceeding can lead to separation proceedings.
Your right to a Fort Huachuca Civilian Defense Counsel
If you are facing disciplinary proceedings against you at Fort Huachuca, it is important to reach out to your choice of civilian defense counsel. Call attorney and former military judge Patrick J McLain today.