Can you join the military with a misdemeanor? The question comes up more than you might think because life happens! Joining the military is truly a heroic decision—no matter which branch you go into. Becoming a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Marines often means dedicating years of your life to something larger and more meaningful.

But what if you have a charge on your record? Can you still join the military with a misdemeanor on your record? Maybe you were arrested in the months leading up to Boot Camp and you aren’t sure whether your situation will get in the way of trying to serve your country. This blog will explain how to act if you find yourself in trouble with the law before you begin your military career and how our team can help mitigate any potential consequences of your predicament.

The High Standards to Join the Military

We know that the stakes are high when joining the armed forces. Especially in Texas, we pride ourselves on our strong branches of military and our unquestionable willingness to protect and serve our nation. That being said, joining the military is not for everyone.

Possessing a confident level of physical strength does tend to help you through the process—think Boot Camp and that training. However, military recruiters and personnel are also looking for strong moral character standards in their recruits. The standards for joining any of the military branches are stringent and rigorous, and all branches have been known to turn applicants away for even the pettiest of reasons. Perhaps stories or friends’ experiences have led you to wonder if you can join the military with a misdemeanor or criminal record.

Misdemeanors and Joining the Military

“Can you join the military with a misdemeanor?” and “Can you join the military with a felony?” are two of the most common questions recruiters receive from potential applicants. The hard fact of the matter is that an arrest record could potentially keep you from enlisting. But so could other factors!

This may sound crazy but the military has been known to turn away applicants with poor credit history. In other words, rejection has been issued even when no law was broken. So, it all depends on your unique situation. What’s important is talking to your recruiter about your personal record and applying for waiver requests when it’s necessary. In some situations, you may find that you can join the military with a misdemeanor. Here’s what you need to know.

Criminal Record Waivers and Joining the Military

How can you join the military with a misdemeanor? Enter criminal record waivers. Misdemeanor charges generally include crimes that are less serious and may be less reflective of an individual’s moral compass. Put plainly, we all find ourselves in bad situations or might make a poor decision in a tough time.

For these reasons, misdemeanors and sometimes other crimes may be waived when applying to join the military. After conducting a background check, recruiters will review the applicant’s file and decide if he/she would be a good fit for the branch they are applying for.

Common misdemeanor charges that might be waived include:

    • Minor drug offenses
    • Reckless driving
  • Vandalism

Even DUI and DWIs can be waived if the applicant has shown enough growth and maturity to satisfy the recruiter. This is exactly why it’s so important to get a Houston drug attorney or Houston DWI attorney that has dealt with a number of drug and DWI cases involving service members, and his record shows that he has gotten these charges waived.

How can a DWI Charge get Waived?

You may now be wondering how you join the military with a DWI misdemeanor. Well to start, there are countless problems with field sobriety tests for alcohol in the state of Texas. Let’s face it, everyone is nervous when they get pulled over. Officers purposefully ask difficult questions that can disorient even the soberest nun and make her look intoxicated—when in fact, she’s just nervous and confused.

Not to mention, officers are notorious for violating citizens’ rights during the field sobriety test. Hiring an attorney that is an expert in finding those violations and actively holds the officers responsible is key in getting your DWI charge waived when joining one of the armed forces. A legit law firm would be able to help you with other situations such as what do if you have a warrant, or what to do if someone gets arrested. You might also consider an attorney that offers military discounts.

Are You Trying to Join the Military with a Record?

If you’re wondering, “Can you join the military with a misdemeanor?” there might be more help and hope for you to enlist and serve than you’d thought! We all run into forks in our paths that we couldn’t have expected nor planned for. For some of us, that means having to deal with an unexpected criminal charge in the time leading up to a military enlistment.

If this sounds like you, don’t hesitate to contact us and request a free consultation. Not only will we look out for your best interests, but we’ll also do everything we can to help you get your misdemeanor expunged. It is also our goal to get you accepted into your desired military branch.

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Thiessen Law Firm

Mark Thiessen is an aggressive trial lawyer best known for his devotion to justice for his clients and high rank as a DWI Super Lawyer in Texas.