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  • Domestic Violence and re-enlisting

    Ok I need the opinion of an expert here and not some google graduate. . . Can I enlist in the NG with a Domestic Battery that was reduced to a Disorderly Conduct?

    In 2008 my wife and I got into an argument about my son's healthcare long story short she called the police and I was stationed in GA and if the police are called someone has to be arrested. However after my wife calmed down and tried to drop the charges the state wouldn't allow her to drop the charges, so when we went to the hearing they first let me know that because I was in the military I was not eligible for a public defender and I was a Junior soldier at the time with a baby and one on the way so I couldn't afford a lawyer my wife came to testify on my behalf but wasn't allowed to stay because children were not allowed in the court room so she had to speak with the prosecutor outside the court room. The prosecutor threatened to bring my wife up on charges for lying to police and said we'd both be facing time, thus involving DSS. So in order to protect my wife and ultimately my son I agreed to plea guilty to a disorderly conduct charge under the GA first offender's Act. I was assured by the prosecutor that this would not affect my chances of continuing my military service, which turned out to be a lie. So my question is if my wife writes a statement stating what actually happens and I produce 3 recommendations from field grade officers as well as my 1st sgt at the time will I be able to enlist again? I have nothing else on my record, not even a speeding ticket.

    I've studied Army Regulations so again no Google Grads I understand the army has to look at the original charge, but it doesn't say its an automatic conviction it says it has to be reviewed by legal. The Lautenberg Amendment was never involved even with the original charge, it has also been expunged but I know it will still show up on an FBI background check. I realize that it was stupid to plea guilty to a crime I didn't commit but I thought I was doing the right thing for my family and couldn't afford court costs or legal representation. . . oh and if you didn't know JAG can not represent you in court so I was pretty much thrown to the wolves

    THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR ADVICE

  • #2
    Re: Domestic Violence and re-enlisting

    My first question is, what type of discharge did you receive? You said the Lautenberg Act does not apply, so what is the difference between Battery and Violence? From my understanding, they relate to the same in which battery is actual physical contact.

    The issue is, you have your story, her story, the final disposition (and also the real truth).

    Once you bring your discharge documents and court disposition; then the recruiter can inform you of what could happen.

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    • #3
      Re: Domestic Violence and re-enlisting

      Your have two seperate areas of concern. The first is the lautenberg rule and the second the enlistment criteria for law violations.

      The first, for the purposes of lautenberg it has to be a criminal conviction of domestic violence to matter. If you went through a first offender program which dissolves the charges upon completion, or state law in GA doesn't have disorderly conduct under the domestic violence umbrella (which I am almost certain they don't) than you are good here.
      ITest this by attempting to buy a firearm. If you clear you are good. If you don't you need to expunge the charge. An expungement won't affect the information in the next paragraph, but it will get you out of the lautenberg realm if needed.

      The enlistment criteria, if your facts are straight the army will still consider your dissorderly conduct a conviction regardless of pre trial diversion or expungement. Disorderly conduct should be considered minor non traffic conduct and should clear. When you speak to you recruiter forget the words domestic violence. They do not understand this stuff the way I do, and they will get excited. Simply tell them you have a conviction for disorderly conduct....that is all.

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      • #4
        Re: Domestic Violence and re-enlisting

        Don't try and buy a firearm. If you're still prohibited, it could be a felony.

        You really need to contact your original lawyer as there jurisdiction specific items in your case. For instance your case may have been plead down to Disorderly Conduct, but was there a DV enhancement added?

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        • #5
          Re: Domestic Violence and re-enlisting

          Originally posted by RedLeg View Post
          Don't try and buy a firearm. If you're still prohibited, it could be a felony.

          You really need to contact your original lawyer as there jurisdiction specific items in your case. For instance your case may have been plead down to Disorderly Conduct, but was there a DV enhancement added?
          I've already answered with accurate advice. Applying to buy a firearm is not a crime. Buying a firearm while knowingly prohibited is a misdemeanor under federal law. He doesn't actual need to buy anything to use this as a test. Many have done it.

          Also, as I already mentioned disorderly conduct is not a charge that generally can have a domestic violence enhancement. A quick google search of georgia statutes confirms this. The question really revolves around if he has portrayed the facts accuratley. Furthermore, just because there is a DV enhancement will not always put it in the realm of lautenberg.

          A local lawyer is not going to be able to answer questions about enlisting and federal rules concerning the army. There are no jurisdiction specifics when it comes to lautenberg; its a little thing they teach in fourth grade social studies called the supremecy clause.

          And lastly, if you read the post without just wanting to dispute the answers given you will have seen that he did not have an original lawyer due to finances.
          Last edited by Mr.Incognito; March 28th, 2013, 10:00 PM.

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