I have an arrest record with a felony and misdermeanor charge, but...

I have an arrest record with a felony and misdermeanor charge, but no convictions. Can i join the military?

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I was arrested the beginning of my second year of college because one of the guys i moved in with was selling dope. There was an ongoing investigation from the year prior, and myself and three other guys who had nothing to do with it were at home when the police decided to raid the house. I was falsely charged with a felony because the cops messed up the charges when they were handing them out. The charges against my roommate’s and I were later dropped and expunged from my record. I am now at a point in my life where i have a strong calling to join the military, but im worried that this ARREST record is going to look terrible on my part. I am getting conflicting answers from people, some say no way, and others say that since the charges were subsequently dropped, i have nothing to worry about. Does anyone have any answers out there?


  1. The military recruiter might ask if you were arrested – be honest and tell him if he asks. If he asks if you have ever been convicted then you can honestly tell him no. It should not affect your enlistment in the least – the charges were dropped so it’s like it never happened in the first place. During a background investigation for your security clearance it might come up but as long as you are honest you have nothing to worry about.

  2. convictions only affect your ability to enlist and if you are honest and upfront about your arrest record you should still be able to join just make sure you don’t get a conviction while your in the military the penalty is stiffer on a soldier than a civilian

  3. you’ll be fine there is no honor in the military anymore they let anyone in when i went home on leave to help with recruiting efforts my recruiter told me that they didn’t deal with murderers or rapists everyone else they could get waivers for so yea you’ll be all right go ahead and apply. but if they tell you that you need a certain clearance for a certain job check it out first they tricked me and i hate my job good luck

  4. Well if you have no convictions then it won’t matter, and with the Army meeting it’s recruitment needs, and the economy being as shitty as it is, they can afford to be selective, since everyone is beating down the recruiters doors trying to get in.

  5. The fact that it was expunged won’t keep it from showing up, so DEFINITELY don’t try to hide it. There’s no such thing as expunged/sealed/juvenile records in the military.

    However, once you tell them about it, it shouldn’t be a big dead because not only were you not convicted, the charges were dropped. So yes, there was an arrest, and they’ll want to know why, but you do ot have a felony record.

    It’s possible this could be a problem for highest security levels or something, since they look at moral character, and might feel that you were wrong to have lived in a house with drugs, and might assume you were smoking them as well. However, an arrest with no conviction that was later dropped is not an auto DQ; in fact, it doesn’t even require a waiver because there is no proof of wrongdoing and the police/lawyers themselves basically admitted you’d done nothing wring when they dropped it.

    So in a nutshell…don’t hide it, whatever you do, but don’t expect it to keep you from enlisting. Do expect that it *might* be an issue for certain special jobs requiring high security clearances and such.

  6. An arrest is not a good thing but it is not as bad as a conviction…If the charges were dropped then I think that you have a good chance of being accepted in to the military.

    Any arrest never looks good…but there are times when stuff happens and given the circumstances surrounding it…if it is like you explained it, then it shouldn’t be a big problem.

    I don’t know if it will keep you from ever getting a security clearance or not. I’ve seen people pass the investigation with all sort of strange things and seen other people denied for the littlest of things…it is a case by case thing and what ever the investigator feels when he/she does the investigation…but don’t worry about a deep investigation unless you want a security clearance…that would be a coin toss.

    All you can do is try. You will have to speak with a recruiter for an actual answer. We can all do our best to give an opinion…but if you want real answers the recruiters know who is and isn’t qualified and the waiver process…I think you should still be able to join…

    Did you finish college? You still may even be able for an officer program. It is worth a shot.

  7. As I say often with most situations, the United States Military is NOT so cut and dry.

    What you need to do, is not state the detailed circumstances about what took place on whatever day, BUT instead, find out what your final judgment states and provide a copy to the recruiter so he knows what hes working with.(he will find out during processing anyways, so be upfront with him/her)

    he needs to know what you were actually charged with, punished with, and the final outcome on file. Get the official documentation, from the police station, your lawyer, or the courts filing.

    Then, take that to your recruiter. Show him and let him provide you with the "waivers" in which you will sign ahead of time, and prepare to be submitted. You can get waivers approved with such cases as yours and this happens ALL the time.

    however, if you fail to mention this, or even worse, lie about it, you will be rejected for enlistment, and if unnoticed until later, you will be kicked out from service later when they do find out(and they WILL find out).

    Worse case scenario for lying, providing false statement– you could be jailed for up to 5 years imprisonment and fined $100,000.

    SIDE NOTE: If you are rejected for that branch of service, you may still have a chance in other services, as restrictions are often changed, limitations are changed, etc, based on the NEEDS Of The Military. At the current time, it is more difficult to get certain types of waivers for the USN and USMC as the manning is at high levels. So if they reject you, try the Army. They are undermanned and have to be a little more leneint and forgiving than the other branches.

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