Enlisting In The Military And Dwi Convictions
If you have been convicted of DWI in New York, you might be wondering how your conviction will affect you if you want to enlist in the military. If you have a DWI conviction you should be aware that the military has increased the number of waivers granted to recruits who otherwise would not have met weight, medical or moral requirements for military service. In the past several years, the number of convicted offenders who enlisted in the U.S. military almost doubled, and more than 125,000 people with criminal records have joined the military.
The power to prescribe the requisite qualifications for enlisting in the military rests with the Secretary of Defense, who establishes physical, mental, moral, professional, and age requirements for enlistment. Under 10 U.S.C. Section 504, those with felony convictions, including DWI felonies, are generally prohibited from entering the military. This disqualification is based on moral character and usually applies to those individuals with significant criminal records.
The severity of the criminal offense is the most important factor determining whether a waiver request will be granted.
The attorneys at the law firm of Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are experienced in handling DWI cases. If you need a Rochester DWI lawyer who can help you obtain the best possible outcome in your DWI case, call the law firm of Nave DWI Defense Attorneys.
DWI charge? Find out what your options are by contacting our team today.
The Basic Facts Of Federal Law And Marijuana In The Military
Some states have legalized the possession and use of marijuana in small amounts for recreational or medical use. Regardless of state laws, however, active-duty service members are still subject to arrest by federal authorities under federal law.
In addition, service members on federal duty are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Article 112a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice has the following maximum punishments:
- Possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and confinement for five years
- Possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and confinement for two years
- Possession with intent to distribute, growing, importing or exporting marijuana dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and confinement for 15 years
Even if the Uniform Code of Military Justice doesnt apply to you, if you test positive for marijuana through a military drug test, your commander depending on the service branch will or can initiate a separation action to remove you from service and may refer you for rehabilitative treatment.
Military Branches Require Waivers For Dui Charges
You may be able to join the military after a DUI conviction if you take some extra steps when signing up. All branches of the military, including the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force, will require you to request a waiver for your DUI conviction.
Note that a military waiver for DUI charges is generally only good for one conviction. This means that if you have multiple DUIs on your record, you are likely to be excluded from any type of military service currently.
The military branch you want to join must approve your waiver before you will be accepted. Note that, generally, you can only apply for a waiver if your DUI occurred at least a year ago. Additionally, your waiver will likely only be approved if:
- You were charged with a misdemeanor, not a felony
- You did not commit a DUI causing injury
- You served out all penalties associated with your conviction, including probation
You may be allowed to join the military after a DUI if your waiver is approved.
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Considering The Legal Implications Of Drunk Driving And Marijuana Use
The information contained on this website is designed to educate and inform service members and their families on their personal legal affairs. Nothing contained in the website is a substitute for the competent legal advice of a licensed attorney. Service members and their families seeking legal advice should consult the staff of the nearest installation Legal Assistance Office.
Whether youre living on or off an installation, driving under the influence or possessing or using marijuana can get you in serious trouble in the military. You should understand the consequences of these issues and how to handle them if you do land in legal trouble.
Drunk Driving On A Military Base
Section 911, Article 111 of the UCMJ prohibits members of the military from operating or physically controlling a vehicle, aircraft, or vessel while impaired or under the influence. Impairment is defined as having a BAC exceeding the limit set by the state or the UCMJ, whichever is less. The state threshold for drunk driving is .08 percent. The military standard for impairment is much lower. The BAC limit is .10 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
When you are charged with a DUI on a military base, your commanding officer has the option of taking administrative action, recommending a court-martial, or issuing an Article 15.
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Plea Bargains Can Impact Your Ability To Join The Military
You should be aware that it can be difficult to join the military if you are found guilty of a DUI in California. You may also be disallowed from military service if you:
- Take a plea bargain for some DUI charges
- Pled No Contest to your DUI charges
- Had a past DUI conviction expunged from your record
The military treats all of the above situations as a DUI conviction. Even a DUI charge that was dismissed in California could make it challenging for you to join the military. Make sure you handle DUI charges aggressively to protect your future options by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as you are arrested. You can reach the Simmrin Law Group by calling at .
Penalties For Military Dui
Any military member that is found guilty of drunk driving while on the military base is punishable by his/her commanding officer. Since the commanding officer has authority to decide on how to proceed with the case, the offender may get a non-judicial penalty as per Article 15, a court-martial or the commanding officer may punish the offender through administrative penalties.
These penalties will fall into two main categories namely punitive action and administrative action.
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Can You Join The Air Force With A Dui
The Air Force is more stringent when it comes to DUI offenses.
In any case, if the applicant cannot be trusted with driving a vehicle, it would be more difficult to trust them with flying an air force jet or even working on one.
Essentially, every time you attempt to drive a vehicle while under the influence not only puts your life at risk but also jeopardizes the safety of those around you. The risk is heightened when flying a plane.
For this reason, it is highly unlikely that your application to join the air force will be approved.
What is more discouraging to DUI offenders is that the air force has over 10,000 applications waiting for approval.
Out of these, a high number of applicants are of impeccable behavior.
This means that a DUI offender might have a hard time getting onto the waiting list, let alone finding a slot in the air force.
Nevertheless, in some instances, you may receive a waiver if you get hold of a high-ranking air force recruiter.
However, you have to be clean for at least 5 years after your last DUI conviction.
In addition, your application will still have to go through a flight chief, a squadron commander and a wing commander for approval. From the look of things, it is almost impossible to join the air force with a DUI.
The United States Marine Corps is undoubtedly the most popular branch of the military in terms of pay and benefits.
The US Marine Corps is actually one of the more prestigious branches of the US Military as well.
Drunk Driving Off Base
You will not automatically face military sanctions or charges when you are arrested for a DUI off base. The military and state will determine which charges are most appropriate. The state typically has jurisdiction to file criminal charges. Your commanding officer will determine if military charges or action is appropriate.
You may not be court-martialed for a violation of Article 111 of the UCMJ. However, your commanding officer may feel that charges for related military violations including disorderly conduct or conduct unbecoming of an officer are warranted. You may also be subject to administrative sanctions or an Article 15.
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Why You Need A Dwi Expert
If you’re a military service member facing a DWI, you need an expert in DWI defense to handle your case. You need an attorney who is well versed in local court procedures and is familiar with the UCMJ, non-judicial punishments, courts-martial, and the administrative and career consequences that a military member can face after a DWI conviction.
Only Board Certified DWI attorneys can call themselves Texas DWI experts. The board certification process ensures that attorneys have extensive DWI litigation experience and advanced education and training in DWI legal and technical defenses and the science behind DWI testing. Attorney Doug Murphy is one of only two attorneys in Texas Board Certified in both DUI Defense from the National College of DUI Defense , accredited by the American Bar Association and the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and Criminal Law from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Doug represents people charged with DWI stationed at bases across Texas, including:
- Brooks City Air Force Base
- Dyess Air Force Base
- NAS Kingsville
- Medical Education and Training Camp Fort Sam Houston
The Houston Press called Doug “a drinking driver’s best friend” for a reason. He works hard to ensure his clients receive justice when the stakes are high. Doug can help you too. Call us at 713-229-8333 today to set up a consultation.
How To Get A Dui Waiver Approved
You are most likely to get your DUI waived if:
- You have completed all aspects of your sentence and probation.
- Your DUI wasnt a felony.
- No one got hurt in your DUI.
There is no hard and fast rule, however. The best thing you can do is talk to your recruiter about your DUI and ask them what they recommend. In some cases, a recruiter will take up your case and help you get your waiver approved.
Remember, what you tell your recruiter about your DUI is confidential, and they cannot share it. They are your best avenue to get your DUI waived.
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Avoiding A Conviction Is The Best Option
If possible, the best way to ensure your enlistment goes smoothly is to avoid having a misconduct offense on your record. If you can fight the drunk driving charges and avoid a DWI conviction, it will make the military recruitment process go more smoothly. It may even make it possible to join the branch of your choice instead of considering who will most likely accept you.
At Eddington Worley, our Texas DWI attorneys will help you develop a strong defense strategy and fight the charges. Depending on the facts of your case, we may be able to:
- Convince the District Attorney not to file charges
- Negotiate a plea bargain for lesser charges and penalties
- Present a strong case for acquittal in court
- Negotiate a sentence you can stipulations you can complete faster, so you can attempt to enlist sooner
Military Entrance Processing Questions Answered
Lying at MEPS
I had a misdemeanor, petty theft, and my Navy recruiter told me to lie. I was scared, and confused on why he wanted me to lie, though my offense wasn’t even disqualifying. My fine was not paid for when I signed, and I had no idea that it was illegal to be processed without fines being paid. I refuse to go into the USN with inaccurate papers. Is it too late to change my papers … what will happen afterward?
1. Need some clarification. Did you admit to the charge? If so and your fine just isn’t paid, go pay it. If you didn’t mention it, pay the fine and mention it when you ship.
Or you can pay your fine and divulge this to the recruiter. It may void your enlistment contract … and may require you to choose another rate. However, you don’t have to worry about when big brother will come knocking. And you will be in compliance. Peace of mind is everything.
Is asthma a disqualifying condition?
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Civilian Vs Military Dui
While civilian DUI cases are tried at a regular court hearing, a military DUI case will be tried in a military court. Your DUI attorney should be reputable and well versed in regular DUI cases. They should also understand the unique process and consequences that you face as a member of the military. The first step in dealing with a DUI charge is finding a good DUI attorney. In civilian cases, the court hearing and overall process can take a long time. This means that civilians have time to consider multiple lawyers before deciding on the best one. But, military DUI cases usually take much less time. So, it is important that you act quickly if you want to hire a good DUI lawyer. Most attorneys will offer you a free consultation. Use this opportunity to ask questions and determine the competency of the attorney. It is important that you feel comfortable with your attorney. This is because your representation in court could be the difference between a conviction of guilty versus not guilty.
If A Civilian Is Arrested For Dui On A Military Base
If this ever happens, the defendant will be charged in a federal court and not in a state court, though the states DUI laws will be used to convict him/her. This is because there are currently no federal DUI statutes that could apply to civilians. This is something that could happen to a member of the service members family, his/her friends and also civilian employees working on the base or those who have access to the military base.
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What To Expect When Enlisting In The Military After A Dui
If you have a DUI on your record and are looking to start the military enlistment process, you will be required to take care of any DUI charges or orders. This may consist of paying any fines and court fees, completing any DUI classes or community service ordered by the court, and waiting until the probation period is over. Once all of this is taken care of, you may begin the enlistment process.
Since each military branch has its own unique requirements, the process of enlisting can be long and complicated. Therefore, its a good idea to meet with a military recruiter so that you can find out if you meet the basic requirements for eligibility. During this conversation, the issue of your DUI conviction will come up. The factors below will determine whether youll be able to join the military:
- When your DUI conviction occurred
- Whether you have more than one DUI
- Whether drugs were involved in your DUI
- Which branch of military youre interested in joining
- How many waivers are available
- Whether recruitment numbers have been met
- Your qualifications
Following your meeting with the military recruiter, you will arrange a visit to the Military Entrance Processing Station where you will be evaluated. At that time, you will undergo a background check and an assessment of your physical and moral qualifications. Your goal should be to demonstrate how you have changed and improved your personal character since your DUI.
How You Handle Your Dui Matters
If youre convicted of DUI, how you conduct yourself from that point forward will be important to the military, as your efforts toward doing what the court tells you to do and rehabilitation will be closely scrutinized.
If you show that you accepted responsibility and took care of your court-ordered penalties quickly, your chances of being accepted are higher. Be aware that if youre accepted in the military after a DUI conviction, you must be on the best behavior because they will not want to keep you if you are not holding yourself to the highest standards of conduct.
Also, any comments by the judge, whether written or verbal could weigh heavily on your recruitment decision, so you want the judge to see that youre doing everything within your power to comply with his or her orders.
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Reckless Driving And Military Service
If you’re currently enlisted, you’ll be required to report your reckless driving arrest to your commanding officer. Penalties are specific to your branch of service. However, one common issue of concern is maintaining an active security clearance.
Security clearances in the military have three levels: confidential, secret, and top secret. If you’ve been convicted of reckless driving, getting or renewing your security clearance may be problematic. A conviction isn’t automatically disqualifying, but factors into evaluations of trustworthiness, reliability, loyalty, and honesty.