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appealing probation?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by HardKnox, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. HardKnox

    HardKnox Well-Known Member

    hi all, i was wondering if there was a way to appeal my probation so that i may join the military.

    although im ashamed to admit this, when i was a youth i fell into a bad crowd and made my share of poor choices. well i was arrested a couple of years ago and after a year long period of negotion with the DA i took a deal for 5 years of probation. I was adjudicated as a youthful offender.

    Since i was arrested i completely turned my life around, i got my GED and became a college student, full time on the books employee and regained my familys respect.

    Recently i spoke to a recruitment office for the Marine Corp and told them about my history, they said that my record (or lack thereof because of youthful offender status) would not be a problem. however I cannot join while im on probation.

    My Probation officer has told me that i have been a "role model" and am elligible for early discharge, but that wont be for another 2 years. I believe the military will benifit me in a lot of ways and I would love to help the country.

  2. Technosavant

    Technosavant Well-Known Member

    It probably depends on the offense in question and the laws of your state. You'd be best off finding a lawyer.
  3. El Tejon

    El Tejon Well-Known Member

    It is usually called a "Motion for Sentence Modification" or "Motion to Terminate Probation". If it was a plea, it may take the agreement of the prosecution.

    It would be in your best interest to contact an attorney.
  4. sara bellum

    sara bellum Active Member

    Good place to start: US military guides + law library

    I'm an attorney. If you'd like, you may PM me on this subject. However, here are some good places to start researching this interesting issue:



    Generally, it is not the probabtion, if at all, that would be challenged. Find out a) what the underlying conviction is, b) alternatively, what the probation was an alternative to. It seems that probation is an alternative to jail time. However, at the end of the probation a person might not have all the handicaps and impediments arising out of a criminal conviction lifted.

    I appreciate the prior recommendations from the above posters, suggesting that you contact an attorney. Your local public defender is a good start.
  5. El Tejon

    El Tejon Well-Known Member

    It's not the conviction that keeps guys out, it's being on probation that keeps them from signing. I've had the Marines and Army take guys with heavy convictions just so they were off probation when they went it.
  6. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Well-Known Member

    Write a letter to the Governor ... he has the power to make your probation disappear and might just do so for someone looking to join up during wartime.
  7. sara bellum

    sara bellum Active Member

    "what some guy told me" has no legal significance

    Hearsay is not an alternative to getting informed as to the law and DOD regulations.

    Too often in this forum the "some guy told me..." line is presented as a subsitute for being informed on the law and the cases interpreting the law. If there is any lingering doubt in your mind as to what to do, consult a law school civil justice clinic, public defender, law library, or US military online procedures manuals.

    Since this subject has piqued my interest here are some statute as food for thought:

    No person...who has been convicted of a felony, may be enlisted in any armed force. However, the Secretary concerned may authorize exceptions, in meritorious cases, for the enlistment of deserters and persons convicted of felonies. ​

    10 USC ยง 504

    The first clause makes it clear that no one convicted of a felony, any felony, may enlist. But, the second clause makes it clear that a person may seek a waiver. Notice that the waiver clause states, "...may authorize..." not "shall authorize." As such, the waiver is not automatic and is discretionary. The presumption is toward exclusion.

    Next, as to misdemeanors the DOD Qualifications Standards for Enlistment are a type of regulation that have the effect of law:

    E1.2.7. Moral Character. Persons entering the Armed Forces should be of good moral character. The underlying purpose of moral character enlistment standards is to minimize entrance of persons who are likely to become disciplinary cases or security risks or who disrupt good order, morale, and discipline. The Military Services also have a responsibility to parents who expect that their sons and daughters will not be placed into close association with persons who have committed serious offenses or whose records show ingrained delinquency behavior patterns. The Military Services are responsible for the defense of the nation and should not be viewed as a source of rehabilitation for those who have not subscribed to the legal and moral standards of society at large. Moral standards of acceptability for service are designed to disqualify the following kinds of persons: ​

    E1.2.7.1. Individuals under any form of judicial restraint (bond, probation, imprisonment, or parole).

    E1.2.7.2. Those with significant criminal records. Section 504 of reference (a) states that, "no person...who has been convicted of a felony, may be enlisted in an Armed Force. However, the Secretary concerned may authorize exceptions in meritorious cases, for the enlistment of...persons convicted of felonies."

    E1. Persons convicted of felonies may request a waiver to permit their enlistment. The waiver procedure is not automatic, and approval is based on each individual case. One of the considerations in determining whether a waiver will be granted is the individual's ability to adjust successfully to civilian life for a period of time following his or her release from judicial control. ​

    E1. In processing waiver requests, the Military Services shall require information about the "who, what, when, where, and why" of the offense in question; and a number of letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant's character or suitability for enlistment. Such letters must be from responsible community leaders such as school officials, ministers, and law enforcement officials.

    E1.2.7.4. Those who have exhibited antisocial behavior or other traits of character that would render them unfit to associate with military personnel.​

    DoDD 1304 (emphasis added)

    While not expressly including or excluding misdemeanors from disqualifying convictions/acts, the following language is drafted in the inclusive to include misdemeanors or conduct for which there is no arrest or conviction, "...who have committed serious offenses or whose records show ingrained delinquency behavior patterns" (E 1.2.7), "E1.2.7.2. Those with significant criminal records," antisocial behavior[/U] or other traits of character."

    Such exclusion of persons convicted of misdemeanors is consistent with the DOD's intent of maintaning disclipine, "The underlying purpose of moral character enlistment standards is to minimize entrance of persons who are likely to become disciplinary cases or security risks or who disrupt good order, morale, and discipline."

    It may be possible that the military has a policy allowing for broad discretion and a presumption toward admitting persons convicted of a misdemeanor. It is doubtful that a juvenile's conviction for a felony would be well received.

    But, the important message that I want to stress is to be wary of "my buddy told me" or "I know for a fact" statements as they have no legal significance.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
  8. BigRobT

    BigRobT Well-Known Member

    Even if the probation was released in order for someone to join the military, they would still not be enlistment eligible until the probationary period was over with. At least that's how it was through 1990. (There was a specific question regarding this subject on the DD Form 1966- Enlistment package).One can apply for a waiver, but it'll be a tough row to hoe and there is a good chance that it would be denied. Policies change over time, so I cannot say for a fact that you can't enlist. (I was a Navy Recruiter from 1986-1990) IF you can find a recruiter willing to work a waiver, don't get your hopes up. I DO know of an Army recruiter in Pittsburgh that works waivers all the time. PM me if you would like his email address. He's the Station Commander there.

    Also, it does help if you've had some positive community involvement and can obtain several glowing references for the waiver package. Completion of High School or college courses, etc also helps.
  9. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

    You cannot enlist if you are on any kind of probation or court supervision. Even court supervision from a speeding ticket so it stays off your record will keep you from enlisting until it is completed.

    Call an attorney who does criminal law, he/she will know the law in your state about these things. I can't speak for the other services, but before I retired in 2003, the Army would take you if you had certification from the court that you had been released from probation or supervision and it didn't matter that you hadn't completed all of it. All they cared about was that you were released and had no further obligation to the court.


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