Joining the Military After a DUI
All branches of the military have been getting more selective over the years. In part because of military cutbacks, military recruiters can be more selective and have raised recruitment standards. This usually means that someone who has a DUI conviction on their record will not be able to enlist, or reenlist. However, a DUI arrest does not have to mean a DUI conviction. A skilled DUI defense lawyer can often get DUI charges reduced or even dismissed, and leave their clients with a clean criminal record.
DUI Conviction to Military Recruiters
Military officials have taken a stricter approach to DUI convictions and other drug and alcohol violations. In the past, recruiters could provide a waiver to allow a recruit with a DUI to enlist. Generally, different branches of the military have different selection requirements. The Air Force is often more strict on DUIs than the Army, but waiver availability changes over time depending on military personnel cuts and enlistment rates. However, currently it may be getting more difficult for a DUI to be waived. For applicants looking to get into Officer Candidate School (OCS), the selection process is even more stringent.
A DUI may first come up during an initial screening by the recruiter. After that, an applicant will undergo a background check, including an FBI check, through the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). MEPS will evaluate the applicant's physical qualifications and moral standards.
At a minimum, after a DUI conviction, the defendant will have to complete their probation, pay all court fines and fees, complete any DUI school, community service, and counseling programs ordered by the court before the military will even consider an applicant. The more recent the DUI, the bigger problem it will be for the hopeful enlistee. If the applicant has more than one DUI, it may be impossible to ever join the military.
The military will look at a DUI as an indication of a person's poor judgment, lack of self control, and possibly signal a potential drug or alcohol problem. In order to counter that image, the applicant should show that they have learned from their mistake, and become a better person since that incident. This includes owning up to the arrest, admitting their mistake, taking care of the court ordered penalties, and that they have avoided overconsumption of alcohol since that time. However, this is no guarantee to enlistment.
A DUI can also affect an enlistees possible military occupation specialty (MOS). Different occupations in the military have different security clearance requirements. A waiver that allows a recruit to enlist in the military will not waive their security clearance.
Military Recruit DUI Defense Lawyer
If you are looking to a future career with the United States military, and have been arrested for driving under the influence here in the Metro Atlanta area, you need the courtroom experience of a DUI defense lawyer who knows what a DUI means for your future. A DUI arrest does not have to end in a conviction. With my practice legal practice devoted to DUI defense, I will use my training and DUI knowledge to get your charges dropped or reduced. Call my office today.