Warning for Post Trial Chapter 10 clients.
We have been hearing of numerous cases in which the client took a post-trial Chapter 10 (Discharge in lieu of Court Martial) thinking that the Convening Authority would disapprove the findings of the trial so that you would not have a conviction and went ahead and still approved the findings. Be aware that the Convening Authority Can Approve the Chapter 10 Request and Still Approve the Findings.
AR 635-200, paragraph 10-1c, states that the GCMCA may approve a Soldier's Chapter 10 request after the Soldier has been tried. It further states: "In this event, the officer who convened the court in his/her action on the case should not approve any punitive discharge adjudged. The officer should approve only so much of any adjudged sentence to confinement at hard labor or hard labor without confinement as has been served at the time of the action." The GCMCA could not be in a position to approve or disapprove anything within the sentence without first approving the findings. So the convening authority can approve the Chapter 10 request and still approve the findings. If you are considering a post-trial Chapter 10, make sure your court martial defense lawyer advises you of all the potential issues, including that your findings may still be approved. Don't hesitate to contact a court martial defense attorney from our firm today.