Will a Civilian Misdemeanor Conviction Get You Kicked Out of the Military?
We frequently receive inquiries about this question. We should start by repeating that we do not represent military members in civilian court cases. Our legal practice is focused exclusively on representing and defending military members who are facing military adverse actions – such as military investigations, military discipline, and military courts-martial. If a military member gets convicted of a crime in the civilian world, there are very likely to be negative consequences to his/her military career.
We should also point out that while we receive many inquiries about misdemeanor civilian convictions, this discussion addresses a civilian conviction, regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony. We cannot predict what exact negative consequences you will face in the military due to a civilian conviction. That is largely up to your command. The military consequences of a civilian conviction depend heavily on the specifics of your situation. If you are a military member and you are facing a military adverse action, you should contact an attorney who handles military cases as soon as possible.
The Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens is here to help. We represent military personnel in all service branches with a wide range of military adverse actions. We are not legal assistance attorneys. We are criminal defense lawyers. So, the issues we deal with involve defending military members against military actions being taken against them. We do not handle other types of law or issues, such as family law, property law, etc. If you are a military member facing a military adverse action, we can discuss your options with you, once we know more about the specifics of your case. When we are asked if a civilian conviction will get a military member kicked out of the military, like most situations, the answer depends on the specifics of your case.
Will a Misdemeanor Conviction Get You Kicked Out of the Military?
The short answer is – it certainly could. You could face an involuntary administrative discharge based on a civilian conviction, or other civilian court outcome that is considered to be “tantamount to a conviction.” Your military career could be ended by a civilian criminal conviction even if it is only a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors vary by state criminal codes. Misdemeanors can include anything from assault to public intoxication to drug possession. The specific civilian charge you face will often play a significant role in the severity of negative consequences in the military. There are a variety of possible negative military consequences for a civilian conviction.
Military enlistment documents require you to answer honestly about civilian criminal convictions. Military security clearance applications and updates require you to answer honestly about civilian criminal convictions. Service branch regulations can require you to report that you were arrested or convicted in the civilian world. Civilian criminal convictions can result in negative performance reports (evaluations and fitreps). Civilian criminal convictions can result in military disciplinary actions being taken against you, and they can be used as a basis to attempt to administratively discharge (separate) you from the service. In addition, it is not usually considered to be double jeopardy to be charged in the state civilian criminal justice system, and charged with the same offense in the military justice system. So, you could, theoretically, face a court-martial for the same offenses you were charged with in the state criminal justice system.
The short answer to the question posed at the beginning of this post is: “Yes, it is entirely possible for a servicemember to be kicked out of the military for a civilian misdemeanor conviction.” Each branch of the military has its own regulations and policies that dictate how these situations are handled.
If you are involuntarily discharged (separated) from your branch of the military, you face not just the loss of your military career, but the characterization of that discharge will impact your military benefits and entitlements. However, it’s important to understand that discussing worst-case scenarios does not mean you should resign yourself to the belief that you will face the harshest penalties without first speaking about the specifics of your case with an experienced attorney who handles military cases and military defense.
There are Legal Options for Servicemembers
If you have been convicted of a civilian misdemeanor, you should contact the Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens to speak to our team. Attorney Richard V. Stevens has been handling military cases since 1995, so he has many years of experience protecting the rights of our nation’s military members and aggressively defending them against all manner of military adverse actions. /p>
We will review your military case to determine your options and risks, and to see what defense or approach would be best for your situation. We will look for ways to reduce the possible impacts and punishments you are facing in the military. If you’ve been charged with a civilian misdemeanor, now is a critical time for your military career. If you face a military adverse action as a result of your civilian case, make sure you speak to an attorney who specializes in military law.
At the Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, we help members of all branches of our military, regardless of where they are located. If you are a servicemember that has been convicted of a civilian misdemeanor and has been notified that you will be facing a military adverse action, we encourage you to contact our team as soon as possible. Contact the Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens to get started. /p>