What is an Article 15?
An Article 15 is considered non-punitive in nature, and consists of a decision reached by your commanding officer in any minor incident of which you are involved. Basically, an Article 15 affords you the opportunity to defend your position in less serious matters and present your side of the story and any supporting evidence to your commanding officer, without further involvement at the court-martial level of the military justice system. You are agreeing, in this process, to allow your commander to reach both a decision and any resulting punishment without further military or court-martial involvement. You are not allowed to have legal counsel physically represent you in this matter, however you are allowed to obtain advice and guidance, as well as request a court-martial if you do not agree with your commanding officer’s decision.
Some of the benefits of agreeing to an Article 15 process are that you avoid the lengthy and costly process of a court-martial, and you will be exposing yourself to much less severe punishments at the Article 15 level than at the court-martial level.
You will also be allowed to remain in active military service after an Article 15 – something that may or may not happen after a court-martial as one of the punishments available at court-martial is a discharge of either a punitive or administrative nature.
As an experienced military criminal defense attorney John L. Calcagni will be able to offer you advice specific to your unique situation and circumstances, and provide you with the guidance you will need to face your Article 15 alone, as well as help you to make the difficult decision of whether or not you should accept the ruling of your commanding officer or proceed to the higher court-martial level for adjudication. Mr. Calcagni is a former military prosecutor in the U.S. Army JAG Corps and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice. He is admitted to practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals, as well as the state and federal courts in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Florida.
Even in the seemingly straight-forward process of an Article 15 there are considerations that need to be addressed regarding the type of Article 15, and which decision will be in your best interest should you choose to allow the process.
If you are facing an Article 15, contact The Law Office of John L. Calcagni III today for a free consultation at (401) 351-5100.