Courses of Action: Post-Trial Military Sex Offense Cases

If you have gone through trial and sentencing, your case is not yet over. After sentencing, you are in what is called the "Post-Trial" phase of the case. During the Post-Trial phase, one potential strategy (depending on the specifics of your case) is to have your military defense lawyer ask the convening Authority to disapprove findings, or change findings to a non-registerable offense. If you were convicted of sexual assault, rape or other Article 120 UCMJ offense, one option is to have your court martial defense lawyer explain the effects of sex offender registration to the Convening Authority in the clemency matters, pointing out that members may not have been allowed to know of the consequences.

A Convening Authority is NOT required to disapprove findings when approving a Chapter 10 leaving the accused with no appeal, an administrative discharge AND a conviction for a registerable offense. Though not specifically permitted or disallowed in Chapter 10, however, an accused may submit a "conditional Chapter 10" using language like, "This request is made on the condition that the Convening Authority, if he/she approves this request, will also disapprove the findings and sentence adjudged." Counsel should not attempt to "smuggle" conditional language into the request; put it in its own numbered paragraph up front.

While you may feel hopeless after being convicted for sexual assault, rape or other Article 120 UCMJ offense, the battle is not over once you have been found guilty. To discuss your clemency proceedings after a sexual assault trial, contact an experienced military defense lawyer with expertise in this area of military law.

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