I am interested in joining the military as an officer. Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Force are all of interest. This past summer i was arrested in GA for Disorderly Conduct, use of fighting words and unnecessary risk. I went through the pre trial intervention program, completed my hours of Comm Service and had the charges dismissed. I have requested to have it expunged but was told it could take 3 weeks to a year to occur. Will this incident affect my eligibility to join the military with the officer track? Should I wait until it is expunged to apply?
Military Law Attorney
It very well might. And expunging it might not be enough because the questions deal with arrests as well as convictions. A recruiter is the best person to answer your question.
This post is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney client relationship with Mr. Cassara.
8 lawyers agree
Criminal Defense Attorney
It could. Expunging your state criminal record, only means that the most people won't have access to the criminal record. Your state courts, law enforcement, and some other agencies still may. It depends on your state law. Also, arrest records are maintained by the FBI and the military departments will check the FBI data base. Expungement will not affect any information maintained in Federal data bases. Finally, some pre-trial diversion dispositions, even though ultimately dismissed, are nevertheless treated as convictions by Federal agencies. This is especially so, if, as part of the negotiated disposition, you had to admit to sufficient facts.
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Military Law Attorney
And an expungement wont matter because officers usually need a security clearance, and the SF86 requires you list arrests and cases expunged and PBJ'd.
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General Practice Lawyer
You have to disclose to your recruiter and it will be listed on your SF 86. It depends on what else is in your background. You may need a waiver... Depending on what happened and the service
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3 lawyers agree
Military Law Attorney
It could. Military recruiters evaluate potential recruits, and waivers are allocated, based on the underlying misconduct charged versus the actual outcome of the case. Unfortunately, in a lot of cases whether or not you are able to enlist may depend on how much effort the recruiter is willing to put forth. Recently, I had 2 clients who I assisted working through similar issues. Give me a call, I would be happy to discuss your options with you. The initial consult is always free. Good luck.
4 lawyers agree
Yes it will interfere.
Expungment MAY NOT impact the degree of interference in any way. FYI, the background investigation that will be part of your process WILL see the expungment--its doesn't simply melt away.
See an officer recruiter NOW about what is and is not possible.
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The military is, as you probably know, in the process of drastically reducing the size of the force. It is harder to get in, and harder to stay in. If everything else in your packet is good I do not think that the charges will be the deciding factor. Also, I would not wait to apply. If you are advised by a recruiter that there will be a problem, then wait for the record to be expunged.
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