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Can I join the Army if I have a felony on my record?

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Many young adults in Georgia choose to serve our nation by enlisting in the Army. While this is a brave and noble choice, if a young adult has a felony on their record, they may wonder if this will keep them from serving in the armed forces. The following is a brief overview of whether a person can enlist in the Army if they have previously been convicted of a felony crime.

Moral character standards

The Army requires soldiers to meet a certain standard of moral character. If you have previously been convicted of a felony crime, this may bar you from joining the Army on grounds that you do not have the requisite moral character, which could be a security risk or disruptive to the order and discipline necessary to serve in the Army. However, you may be able to apply for a wavier that will allow you to enlist in the Army.

Waiving a felony conviction

In some cases, it may be possible for convicted felons to obtain a waiver so they can join the Army. First you will have to pass a screening. Then, you will have an interview with an Army recruiter. The Army wants to see that you have served your time and have successfully reintegrated into civilian life. You may need a letter of recommendation regarding your character. Depending on what job you are interested you may also have to submit to a computerized background check.

When a waiver will not be granted

There are some felony crimes that cannot be waived. They include assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, statutory rape, multiple DUIs, credit card fraud, kidnapping and rape. In addition, you cannot enlist with the Army if you are currently on probation or parole, if you are in jail or if you have criminal charges filed against you and you are awaiting a trial. Keep in mind that obtaining a waiver is a matter of judgment — there is nothing that says the Army must grant you a waiver.

Learn more about criminal defense in Georgia

If you are facing felony charges and dream of serving our country, you will want to seek the help necessary to have the charges against you reduced or even dismissed. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on criminal defense in Georgia may be a good starting point for those who are facing felony charges and are interested in learning more about their rights and options.