I got a Positive UA for cocaine. I'm an E-5 (sergeant) so I know I am going to get administratively seperated, but my questions are; what other punishment can I receive? How long will the process take? When will my board hearing be? The Chain of Custody was not followed nor was the temporary storeage followed per AR600-85. Since it wasn't stored correctly is there any chance I can fight the charge and win?
I know you are looking for immediate answers--but your best course of action is to contact a military law attorney (a civilian defense attorney or a JAG from defense services) and discuss your specific situation--much depends on factors you did not post and many of the answers you seek do not have exact precise answers but depend on your command, the base etc. A local attorney is going to be better positioned to help you.
Your chain of custody observation could be part of your defense--it depends.
Immediately reach out to the JAG Defense services to address your basic questions and take a look at hiring a miilitary defense attorney with a background defending against UA cocaine charges.
READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. Addressing your issue does not create an attorney-client relationship and I AM providing you educational information NOT legal advice. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.
You will probably be offered a Field Grade Article 15, which if you accept the Article 15 , you will probably receive a one grade bust, forfeitures of pay, and extra duty. The results of the Article 15 are used to justify your separation board.
If you decline he Article 15 you will be offered a Summary Court Martial, If you decline a Summary Court Martial, you will probably be referred to a Special Court Martial, where you will be able to have an JAG attorney or other attorney defend you; and offer defenses such as improper chain of custody, and possibly improper lab procedures or other processing defenses. If you are found not guilty at the court martial that will end the case and you proceed on with your career.
However, the advantage of the Article 15, even if your Battalion Commander finds you guilty, is there is no possibility of jail time and no criminal record to follow you in civilian life.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline