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Can You Join the Military With a DUI?

 Find the answer to your question about joining the military with a DUI. Learn about enlistment and physical standards from a DUI Lawyer at Scrofano Law.

Can You Join the Military With a DUI on Your Record?


Many individuals across the US consider a career in the military. But, people who have been convicted of certain criminal offenses may not be allowed to join the military.

Officially, all United States Armed Forces branches have a zero-tolerance policy for those convicted of felony crimes and some other offenses. These crimes include driving under the influence, also called driving while impaired or intoxicated in some states.

So if you are wondering, “Can I join the military with a DUI on my record?” the answer is – it depends. The answer to this question in each instance is influenced by many variables you might be unable to control.

So, if you are facing drunk driving charges but are considering joining the military, avoiding a conviction is imperative! The first thing you can try is fighting your charges with the help of a dedicated DC DUI lawyer.

Can You Join the Armed Forces With a DWI?


Your DUI or DWI may be taken so seriously that you are barred from joining the US Armed Forces in general. Although, the Army may be the most lenient towards drunk driving offenses on your record compared to other military branches.


How Does a DUI Affect Your Military Career?

There are several reasons why the US military will, in most cases, reject individuals who have a DUI on their record. A DUI conviction can be associated with addiction or a substance abuse problem. Although one DUI shows poor judgment, it doesn’t necessarily imply the individual in question has an addiction problem.

Another reason individuals convicted of DUI can be rejected is that they may have difficulty getting security clearances. A security clearance is necessary for some military jobs, and having a DUI on your record may jeopardize that. The military cares about the quality of their recruits, so the recruiters may not be interested in recruits with a DUI conviction.

In addition, a DUI conviction may affect the ability to get a driver’s license, which can affect one’s suitability for military service.

So, if you are considering enlisting for any military branch, hiring a Maryland DUI Lawyer can help you keep your driving privileges intact if you are facing DUI charges. At Scrofano Law, we do not judge you or your actions. Instead, we fight to protect your rights and do everything we can to get your DUI charges dropped or reduced.


Can You Still Join the Military With a DUI Conviction?

In deciding the admissibility of recruits, the military places a lot of weight on a person’s character and not just a criminal record or lack thereof. In other words, candidates won’t be automatically ruled out if they have a DUI conviction. Their situation, as well as the circumstances of the crime, would be considered.

Although some may not pass the first step of the recruiting process due to a DUI conviction, full disclosure is crucial. Recruits might need to provide all information about the offense in question to the recruitment officer considering their application, even if they were accused or arrested for a DUI without a conviction.


How Long After a DUI Can You Join the Military?

If the DUI conviction occurred several years ago, you would probably be allowed to join the military eventually. But, you may need to apply for a waiver or seek letters of recommendation from a probation officer if community service was part of your sentence.

You will probably have to wait at least five years after a DUI before joining the military. At least, that is the duration you will have to wait to apply for a waiver request. But, it is not a definite number. Sometimes, it may take even longer for a recruiting officer to look at your application.

Your DUI conviction must not be less than one year old, and you must complete all your sentence requirements before requesting a waiver.


Can I Join the Military With Two DUIs?

If you have two DUI convictions on your record, you probably won’t be able to serve in most branches of the US Army. It can be possible only if an individual gets a conduct waiver. However, that can be hard to obtain, but not impossible.

During your previous DUI trial, you might have pleaded ‘no contest’ and received a reduced sentence or a conviction for a lesser crime. Regardless of this circumstance, the military may still treat it as a DUI conviction. Even if you had your past DUI conviction expunged from your record, it might still be held against you.

It is far more likely that it would be considered that you haven’t learned anything from your first offense and that your drinking has become a problem.


How Does the Military Find Out About DUIs?

Like many other employers, the military conducts rigorous background checks on all its recruits. They investigate each candidate’s criminal history, and their background check process may require a drug test.

Remember that you are obligated by the law to inform the military of any run-ins with the law. Giving false information or hiding any criminal charges or convictions can be enough for disqualification.

Your behavior will be closely observed from the moment you apply to join the military. With that in mind, the best course of action may be to disclose any incidents you had with the law and any positive actions you have taken to improve your behavior since then.

If you are already a member of the military, and you’re facing a DUI charge, your case will be handled differently than it would be if you were a civilian. Military DUI cases are tried in a military court. Everything can happen very quickly, so it’s vital to hire an experienced DUI lawyer who understands the unique process and potential consequences you may face.

Although different branches have their criteria and every DUI case is unique, potential penalties can include pay reduction, rank reduction, and even a dishonorable discharge.


Getting a DUI Waiver Approved

Although there are no straightforward rules on DUI waiver approvals or denials, the chances of approval are high if:

  • The DUI you were convicted of wasn’t a felony.
  • No one was injured.
  • All aspects of your sentence (including probation) are completed.

One of the possible ways to get your DUI waived is by telling your recruiter about your DUI. The waiver means the military is aware of your past legal troubles and is willing to overlook them.


Which Military Branch May Look Past a DUI?

All military branches have their own set of conditions. For example, it’s highly unlikely that you can join Air Force with a DUI conviction on your record. The Marine Corps only enlist a small number of recruits, so it would also be hard to enlist with a conviction for a DUI-related crime. However, the Army may be more likely to give a recruit a waiver.

The Department of Defense (DOD) has set certain standards on how all military branches should conduct waivers for previous criminal convictions and arrests. In the case of DWI or DUI, the DOD classifies it as misconduct.

However, the Military Services don’t want to be viewed as a center for rehabilitation, nor do they want to admit those who would disrupt discipline and morale. That is why the waiver procedure is not automatic. Every approval is based on the circumstances of the individual’s case.

The ideal course of action may be to fight to avoid a DUI conviction in the first place. When you work with Virginia DUI Lawyer Joseph A. Scrofano of Scrofano Law, you can rest assured that you have a dedicated legal advocate on your side each step of the way.

Our DUI lawyers are passionate about getting favorable results in any case we handle. That means we can dedicate ourselves to your cause and work towards a desirable outcome for you. Please take advantage of our consultation offer, and let us review your case today.


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