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Can Convicts Join The Military


The Role Of Felony Waivers

Do You Have a Criminal Record and Want to Join the Military?

Here, exceptions come in the form of felony waivers. By definition, a felony waiver is a special permission for felons applying to be in the military.

Statistically speaking, the Air Force grants fewer felony waivers than the Army. They are said to be pickier in who they recruit. This also implies that your chance of joining the Army with a felony is higher.

But felony waivers are important in all military branches. You will need them to clean out your records and qualify as an applicant. However, not all offenses can be waived. The likelihood of them being accepted also relies on the demand for military personnel.

Unacceptable Offenses

  • Involves intoxication, drug use, or possession of illicit substances
  • Is currently pending during enrollment
  • Exceeds five misdemeanors before enlistment applications

You cannot serve in the Air Force.

Other problematic offenses are serious civil convictions committed more than three times, theft, rape, and sexual crimes.

More Waivers Now Than Before

The number of felony waivers has gone up and the Army believes its necessary. They believe the larger number of waivers is due to the way the mainstream has changed. This isnt just for felonies, but also for medical issues, such as obesity and asthma.

The amount of time that has passed since the crime also matters. For example, if you have been convicted of two or more DWI/DUI offenses, you will have to wait 12 months from the date of the last conviction.

Enlisting In The Military

Criminal record or no, all who want to enter military service are required to submit to a background check which includes questions about past legal issues. You are likely to be asked, in a recruiting office setting or something similar to it, the following question:

Have you ever been charged, cited, arrested, fined, or held in custody by a law enforcement agency or official?

Answering that question truthfully is a step closer to a successful enlistmentlying about your background doesnt help as the background investigation will uncover any official records that are accessible which may or may not include sealed or expunged records. Sealed or expunged status is not a guarantee the record wont come up in the investigationfailing to disclose these can hurt your chances at being accepted into the military.

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Can A Criminal Court Judge Order Someone To Enlist

But can American courts do that? Can a criminal court judge sentence a person to military service as an alternative to jail? Can a prosecutor mandate someone to join the military as an alternative to criminal prosecution?

While a judge or prosecutor can do whatever they please , it doesn’t mean the military branches are required to accept such people and, in general, they don’t.

Here’s how the separate branches address the issue:

Which Offenses Require A Waiver

Can You Join The Army With A Felony

Offenses that need to and can be waved will depend on the military branch you are going to apply to. However, as a general rule, the following offenses need to be waived:

  • Minor traffic offenses. If youve had six or more minor traffic offenses fined at least $100 per offense, a waiver will be required.
  • Minor non-traffic offenses. If you have had three convictions for minor non-traffic offenses, you will again need a waiver.
  • Juvenile offenses. Juvenile offenses are those that have been committed under the age of 18. Again, keep in mind that you will need to reveal all the offenses committed as a juvenile, including offenses that have been expunged, dismissed, sealed, or pardoned.
  • Misdemeanor crimes. If youve had 2-4 civil convictions or other dispositions qualified as misdemeanors in the Armed Forces, a waiver will be required. A waiver will not be issued if you have four or more civil convictions.
  • DWI/DUI.If convicted for DWI/DUI two or more times, you will need a waiver. A waiting time of 12 months must pass from the date of the conviction for you to receive a waiver.
  • Felony offenses. The US Armed Forces have their own definitions of what constitutes a felony, though they mostly correspond with state definitions. Felonies are the most problematic among recruitment offenses.

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Be Honest With Your Recruiter

If you want to make sure you dont enlist, lie to your recruiter about a felony or another criminal offense. Even if you were arrested, but not changes, you still need to report this to your recruiter. Give them the 100% truth because if you get caught telling a lie, you will likely not have a chance of joining the military.

A few other crimes that will disqualify you include:

  • Getting drunk or being on drugs during the enlistment process
  • Getting kicked out of the military for alcohol/drug abuse
  • Three or more drunk driving convictions
  • Being on parole or probation
  • If you have a history of selling or using marijuana

You cannot use the military to escape pending charges. If you try to join, they will find out before you make it into the enlistment process.

Make sure youre fully honest if you want to join the military. Felons may still have a chance, but you cannot lie about your crimes or you will lose your opportunity before the military recruiting process starts.

Obtaining A Waiver For A Criminal Record

Pursuant to Section 571.3, the military can choose to waive certain offenses and meet the basic qualifications for enlistment. Applicants who require a waiver are not qualified for enlistment until a waiver is approved. The burden is on the applicant to demonstrate that his or her acceptance will benefit the military, regardless of his or her criminal past. If you need one of these waivers, you are not alone. Nearly 12% of all army recruits required waivers for their criminal records in order to join.

Recruiters themselves do not have waiver approval/disapproval authority. Some waivers can be approved/disapproved by the Recruiting Battalion Commander, other waivers must be approved/disapproved by the Commanding General of the Army Recruiting Command. Unless otherwise stated in the waiver document, waivers are valid for six months.

Waiver authorities will consider the “whole person” concept when considering waiver applications. Having a conviction expunged, vacated, set aside or sealed increases the chances of receiving a waiver. While you still need to disclose a cleared conviction, having it cleared shows that the court has forgiven the offense or considers your rehabilitated. Contact an attorney who specializes in record clearing to discuss your options on increasing your chances on obtaining a waiver or removing the requirement to obtain a waiver.

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Can You Join The Army With A Felony

Many have heard the anecdotal stories of the judge who said, go to prison or join the Army. And while that may have been an option in the Vietnam-era and before, todays US Army believes that your moral character is an important factor in your success as a soldier.

So, can you join the Army with a felony? The answer might surprise you.

Lying And Fraudulent Enlistment

Convicted Felon Wants To Join Army

Some may lie about their history to a recruiter. And some may even get away with the lie long enough to be given a slot in basic training and beyond. But those who think theyve succeeded in these instances often do not realize that they can be punished for fraudulent enlistment long after basic training is complete.

Fraudulent enlistment is listed under Article 83 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and is punishable by dishonorable discharge, and up to two years of confinement.

How is fraudulent enlistment detected? It depends on the deception. In cases where a military member lied about their physical condition and the deception is later uncovered through a physical exam or other means, it may be reported via military medicine channels. In cases where someone lied about a criminal record and later requires a background investigation for a security clearance, the vetting process may reveal the fraudulent enlistment.

However it is uncovered, the punishment may vary depending on the nature, severity, and visibility of the issuethe process requires actions at varying levels of the chain of command up to and including your base or area commander depending on circumstances.

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Career Opportunity For Felons

Honesty and Integrity play a critical role in this job. Felons must truthfully reveal all information related to their past criminal record in the job application form of National Guard. A determined and committed felon can excel and succeed in the duties of the National Guard. National Guard focuses on teaching felons how to meet basic moral requirements. It is a good idea if felons can expunge their record easily.

Dedication, hard work, determination, and ability to work under pressure assists felons to secure a fair opportunity to join National Guard with a clear criminal record. Felons can use a court order to get their record expunged. As per moral standards, National Guards should demonstrate moral values and become role models for society.

Felons demonstrate immoral values and do not put efforts to seek forgiveness, hence society perceives them as undeserving candidates for National Guard Service. They should respond calmly and reveal all facts which assist them to remove specific limitations for joining National Guard. Felons must focus on taking specific corrective measures to rectify past mistakes and open opportunities for becoming a part of such a prestigious service.

Joining The Military With A Criminal Record

by MilitaryBenefits

Joining the military with issues in your past such as a criminal record is not impossible, but much depends on the age, nature, and severity of the issues that led to run-ins with the law. What do you need to know about enlisting in the United States military with a criminal history?

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Offenses That Cannot Be Waived

There are some offenses as well which will prevent you from being enlisted in the US Armed Forces. Some general disqualifying offenses are:

  • Offenses including intoxication, drug use, or possession of thereof during the enlistment process.
  • Any pending charges at the time of the enrolment.
  • Serving parole, probation, confinement, or other forms of civil restraint.
  • Convictions for the sale, distribution, or trafficking of controlled substances.
  • Three or more DUI convictions in the 5 years preceding the application.
  • 5 or more misdemeanors preceding the application.

Do keep in mind that there are plenty of factors that may come into play while the reviewing officials are deciding whether or not to accept your application. You may have committed just a minor felony, but certain factors may make you ineligible for military service in the US Armed Forces.

You should also realize that you are not going to find information specific to your case online. There are plenty of variables in play, and no one can provide you with accurate information but a recruiter. Only after speaking to a recruiter will you be able to learn whether or not you are eligible for army service, so if you are still wondering, the best thing to do would be to go and chat with a recruiter in your area.

To get started, pay a visit to the websites of US military branches:

The Navy And Punitive Sentences

Can You Join The Army With A Felony

Interestingly, the Navy Recruiting Manual, COMNAVCRUITCOMINST 1130.8F, does not appear to contain specific provisions which would make such applicants ineligible for enlistment. But as a general protocol, the Navy will not accept applicants for service as an alternative to criminal prosecution or another punitive sentence.

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Does The Marine Corps Accept Felons

Working for the military is a job wanted by many. A felon may wonder if he/she is still fit to serve in the disciplined forces after a conviction. This article looks at some of the questions felons have about joining the Marine Corps.

The questions that will be answering are:

1 Who is the Marine Corps?

2 Do the Marine Corps accept felons?

3 What kinds of felonies are accepted?

4 How far do they conduct a background check?

5 What are the qualifications for joining the Marine Corps?

Do You Have To Tell Military Recruiter You Are A Felon

You will want to tell your military recruiter about your felony during the process. There is no such thing as sealed when it comes to the military and expunged doesnt work either. While not all felonies or crimes have a waiver to allow you into the military, some do.

The Army and the Marine Corps did this back in 2008 with the Army granting 511 felony waivers, which was up by nearly double from the year before. The Marines also offered 350 waivers.

You will want to tell your military recruiter about your felony during the process. There is no such thing as sealed when it comes to the military and expunged doesnt work either. While not all felonies or crimes have a waiver to allow you into the military, some do.

Given that a felony stays on your criminal record, many people do tend to look at getting their records expunged in an attempt to bypass this process. Unfortunately, theres really no such thing as an expunged record when it comes to the military.

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Military Recruiting Felons: Four Categories Of Offenses

Not all branches of the military handle crimes the same way, but the Army uses four categories of offenses. These include:

  • Those with six or more minor traffic offenses
  • Three or more minor non-traffic offenses
  • Two or more misdemeanors
  • One or more felonies

If you fall into one of these categories, you will need a waiver to join the Army. This is basically the case in any branch of the military, although other branches may be stricter.

How Far Does The Marine Corps Conduct A Background Check

Could I Join The Army With a Felony?

A background check is mandatory when applying to a Marine Corps as with other employment. The marines conduct the background checks at the initial phase of the recruitment. The check includes juvenile-related crimes, traffic offenses, misdemeanors, and other felonies.

In short, the Military Corps background check can go far back to underage years. In most cases, the background check goes ten years back. Without any offense, the Marine Corps assumes no threat to its standards. You will be fit to join them.

The Marine Corps conducts a thorough background check for the following reasons:

1 To avoid enlisting candidates who have no discipline. Marine Corps is a serious designation that requires sober-minded persons.

2 They can keep away persons with bad social habits. The habits might pose difficulty in a units best performance.

3 To ensure that applicants are not linked in any way with criminals.

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What Is A Felony Waiver And When Is It Applied

Strictly speaking, felons are not eligible to serve in any of the US Armed Forces branches. However, this doesnt mean that felons will not be enlisted in the Armed Forces.

This is done via a felony waiver. A felony waiver is a special permission granted to applicants with a criminal record.

Some offenses can be waived, while others cannot. Recruiting officers themselves do not have the authority for waiving. Some waivers may be approved or disapproved by the Recruiting Battalion Commander. Others need to be reviewed by the Commanding General of the Army Recruiting Command.

However, if your criminal offense can be waived, it doesnt necessarily mean that you will be accepted into the US military.

As an applicant and a felon, it would be your responsibility to prove to the authorities that youve overcome the disqualifications for enlistment and that youve been able to reintegrate with society. In addition, you would need to prove that your acceptance is in the best interests of the Armed Forces.

Again, if your offense can be waived, it doesnt mean that it will be waived. Among the factors that may be considered during the review of your application are:

Moral Character Screening Of Criminal Background

Enlistment moral standards deal with the acceptability of individuals with court records, convictions, or adverse juvenile judgments. Moral screening thus is the process during which the applicants credit and criminal backgrounds are reviewed by recruiters.

The standards screen out individuals who are deemed inappropriate for the military due to possible serious disciplinary cases and harm to the military mission. Aside from initial screening, interviews are conducted with applicants who have criminal backgrounds.

The screening procedures in the US military are extensive and in-depth. The eligibility of the applicants for recruitment is based on the severity of the offense they have committed.

Applicants are required to disclose all incidents that resulted in an arrest or charges, including all sealed, expunged, or juvenile records. Under the law, applicants with a pardon, expungement, or dismissal have no records of conviction, but a felony waiver will nonetheless be required to authorize their enlistment.

Failing to disclose information or provision of false information is considered a federal offense, so you as a felon should be honest and clear about all the convictions youve had. Your background is going to be thoroughly checked, and if you lie about something, it will be found out.

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Army Marines Up Enlistment Of Ex

WASHINGTON – The Army and last year doubled the number of convicted felons they enlisted, raising new concerns about the strain on the military from fighting two wars.

About 861 enlistees convicted of felony assault, burglary, possession of hard drugs and even rape and other sex crimes went into uniform for the first time last year, a House panel reported Monday.

The Army and Marines recruited 115,000 men and women in 2007, two years after reports first surfaced about enlistment standards being watered down to meet quotas.

“Concerns have been raised that the significant increase in the recruitment of persons with criminal records is a result of the strain put on the military by the Iraq war and may be undermining military readiness,” said House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman .

In 2006, the regular Army granted 249 waivers to felons so they could join up. But the number jumped to 511 last year, Waxman said, citing statistics provided by the Pentagon‘s top personnel official, David Chu.

The Marines went from 208 waivers to 350 during the same period, Waxman said.

Those numbers are even higher if active-duty and Army Reserve waivers for those charged with felonies who were never convicted are factored in.

Army Recruiting Command spokesman Douglas Smith said the Army uses a 16-step review process to “look at the whole person” seeking to enlist – and the waivers are signed by generals.

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