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Hello, My 19 yr old son want to join the Army but we were told that he can not because he has an arrest record.

New York, NY |

He was arrested when he was 16, taken to the precinct and was not allowed to call anyone. Then taken to central booking, arraigned the next day without my knowledge with a court date. I take him to court and he receives no legal representation before he is called before the Judge. He stand in front of the Judge alone so I stand up to say that he has not received any legal representation and the court clerk told me to sit down and be quiet or he will have to ask me to leave. My son was dismissed with an ACD and told to stay out of trouble for 1 yr. The arraignment charge was 221.40, 11/18/2010 dismissed/CPL section 170.56. The record states "government agency counsel assigned/no record of attorney readily available. Defendant states counsel was assigned source. HELP!!! What can I do

Can the court system do this even though my son was not provided or even given the oportunity to request and insist on legal counsel? He was only 16, is the precinct at any fault for not letting him make a call to me? I'm not understanding how this could be ok.

Attorney Answers 6

  1. 170.56 is a Marijuana Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal. As far as state law is concerned the case was dismissed and sealed at the end of the one year period. Unfortunately, more often then not, the federal government doesn't respect or adhere to state law. The military, being part of the federal program, will know of the original charges and while they shouldn't they seem to be holding it against him. Unfortunately there isn't much you can do anymore. The only thing available would be to move to reopen the case and start from scratch. This may not be successful and even if you do accomplish this he would then be facing the original charges all over again and whose to say that he would have a better outcome than receiving an MACD.

  2. Unfortunately the military is being pickier than they have been in the past. If he gets a couple of years of junior college in, possibly enrolling in an ROTC program, he may be in a better position.

    Legally, your son was not convicted. You might ask to speak to a JAG officer at a local base to see if they would have any other recommendations.

    Confidential information should not be disclosed in this Internet forum. I am a Wisconsin lawyer. The laws in each jurisdiction can be very different. I cannot give legal advice over the internet nor can I establish an attorney client relationship with you. You should NOT assume or otherwise conclude that there is an attorney -client relationship between any reader and this writer or his firm. These comments are only guideposts. They are not subject to any privilege protections. Indeed, these internet communications are neither privileged nor confidential. Accordingly, those using this form of communication need to be guarded in what they write. Because of the nature of these communications the information is general only and should not be relied upon in any specific case. This internet site is public forum, where the communications are not confidential or privileged. There may very well be merit to your defense or position in this type of situation. However, there are hardly sufficient details for an attorney to provide you with some path to follow. It is imperative that ALL of the facts in a particular situation be examined. No conclusion can be drawn from the communication that you have provided. There are some matters that are just better handled by an attorney familiar with the procedures of the courts in your area. Most, if not all, legal matters should not be handled via internet communication. At best, the responders on this site can give you a few hints and guidance. To deal with a legal problem, nothing is better than to consult with a lawyer who will give you some time and advice. If you cannot afford an attorney, there should be agencies in your area that can provide discounted, or even free, legal services. Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin Talking to the Police - Advice from Lawyers and Police:

  3. I took the liberty of adding "military law" and "military waiver" tags to your question in the hope that one of our military law colleagues will be more likely to see it and perhaps be able to offer a suggestion.

  4. Speak to the recruiter. The dismissal should not affect the army or his future.

    Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
    Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
    Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
    1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
    Garden City, NY 11530
    516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)

    I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.

  5. Unfortunately, your son will NOT be able to enlist.

    Dismissed or not, the charge is sufficient to make him ineligible for enlistment. True that the ineligibility is waiverable at the recruiting commanders level, but the services have more applicants than they need, and have for many years. The result is that they stop granting waivers for individuals who have any kind of disqualifying condition (physical, mental, legal etc). You son should definately speak to an Army recruiter, but they will tell him he is not eligible and they will not work a package up for him--same for the other services.

    READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. We have not established an attorney-client relationship unless we have a signed representation agreement and you have paid me. I give a 100% effort to get you on the right track with your issue. Sometimes that means legal educational information, sometimes that means counseling and non-legal guidance. 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.

  6. Are you certain he is permanently ineligible due to the arrest? Or, is he presently ineligible due to the ACOD? If the ACOD has not yet reached the dismissal date, it is technically still a pending charge and the military typically will not take anybody with a criminal case pending...however once dismissed I would suspect he would be ok.

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