The chain of command will usually go lighter on a Soldier that is honest, humble, and comes to the Article 15 hearing well prepared. Typically the command takes no pride or pleasure in punishing a Soldier. If you can put doubt in their case you may still be punished but usually it is very light. This also depends on the type of offense you are being charged with.
Unforgiveable Sin or Honest Mistake?
If it is what I call an unforgiveable sin, meaning something you knew was wrong and did it anyway like DUI then chances are you will get a stiff punishment.If what you did was an honest mistake with no intent behind it like you were 2 hours late for work because you overslept then chance are the command will be much lighter than the DUI example.