The military’s entrance requirements change from year to year. Each branch adjusts their minimum standards according to how badly they need new service members; sometimes, it’s possible for people with criminal records to join the military. If you’ve always wanted a military career but thought that you were ineligible for service due to a criminal record, there might still be hope. You may even be able to work with a Milwaukee expungement attorney to get your record expunged, which could make it easier to join the military.
Joining the Military with a Criminal Record
During the 2007 “troop surges” in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US military was allowing people with felony convictions to join their ranks. Once the surges were complete, the minimum entrance standards changed so that only people with misdemeanor convictions and those with no criminal records could join – and generally, it remains the same now.
While candidates with no prior convictions will always receive preference, it is possible to get a waiver from the military branch of your choice if you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor.
How to Join the Military with a Criminal Record
Before you do anything, consult with a Milwaukee expungement lawyer to see if you qualify to have your records sealed. Generally, you must have been under the age of 25 at the time of your conviction, and you must have successfully completed your sentence (including having paid all of your fines and fees) in order to qualify for an expungement).
Find a military recruiter who’s willing to sit down and talk to you. He or she will ask you if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime, and they’ll check the military’s current requirements to see if you qualify for enlistment. If you do, you’ll be asked to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB. It’s simply a placement test to see where you’d best be qualified to serve in the military.
While it’s not always easy to get into the military with a slightly tarnished record, it’s not impossible – but the first step is always to consult with a talented expungement lawyer in Milwaukee who can help you move out of the shadow of your past.