No less than seven major Supreme Court decisions are distilled in the these words from Goldman v. Some of the crimes that can keep you out of the army are larceny, assault, rape, drug related and murder. The government and military still show the felony on your records and so you will not be able to join by getting the felonies expunged from your record.
Weinberger: The military is, by necessity, a specialized society (separate) from civilian society….‘The military must insist upon a respect for duty and a discipline without counterpart in civilian life,’ in order to prepare for and perform its vital role…. Obviously the more violent the crime, the more serious the crime, the less likely the military is to overlook it. Some criminal offences can be waived The Army divides criminal offenses into one of four categories: Applicants with six or more minor traffic offenses (where the fine was 0 or more per offense), or three or more minor non-traffic offenses, or two or more misdemeanors, or one or more felonies, requires a waiver.
The essence of the military service ‘is the subordination of the desires and interests of the individual to the needs of the service.’ The history of the courts deferring to the judgment of military leaders on matters affecting the Armed Forces is one of the most consistently upheld principles of constitutional law. Some minor crimes may be overlooked if significant time has passed since you were convicted and have since had no other felonies.
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One of the most common questions we get is “Can I Join the Army if I have a Felony”. All branches of the military are different when it comes to recruiting standards, but they all have regulations regarding felonies.
This FAQ answers that question and outlines what other offenses may keep you from joining the U. The military maintains a high “moral” standard for recruits and is the basis for not allowing most felonies.
If the felony occurred when you were a juvenile you have a better chance of getting in the military but if the felony occurred as an adult you may have a hard time getting in, if at all.
In either case it all comes down to the type of offense and how long ago it was.
When you apply to the military you are required to tell the recruiting of any incidents that resulted in arrest or in charges being filed. There’s no such thing as a “sealed” or “expunged” record, as far as the military is concerned.
The military requires (under federal law) that such records be revealed on enlistment and security clearance paperwork. Congress and the courts have held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which ensures all individuals are treated equally before the law with respect to civilian employment, does not apply to the military profession. Government and it is a felony not to disclose any criminal record when applied for the army. Having a felony expunged from your record is a civilian procedure.