Misdemeanors...what now...

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by MattP, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. MattP

    MattP Member

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    My application for NROTC and USNA have both been in for months now. Two friends and I were charged last week with two misdemeanors. Larceny and Trespassing. Im not going to go into detail, but I will say we were all very dumb, and we are guilty, and the property owner is not going to drop the charges. Where we live, deep in the hills, theres not much around except for plenty of empty fields. Our exploring took a wrong turn. None of that is important because what we did was wrong. My question is, do I call up NROTC and USNA and tell them? I understand this will eliminate my chances, but the charges are going to exsponged... Just need some advice on how to handle this as far as applications go. And also, one of my friends is going to be valdadictorian and is going to Harvard and we wants to know if he should contact the school, and should I contact the universities I applied to?
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    IMPO, you might as well contact your BGO now. The fact is if you were appointed to USNA you would have to do a security clearance, and one of the questions is if you have been convicted of a crime. This is a misdemeanor and you will answer yes.

    They will than ask you to explain the details to them and make a decision from there. Most likely it won't stop you from entering. DUI on the other hand will.

    As for your friend he should talk to their GC, because some schools may classify this as an issue regarding honor, and remove him as valedictorian. They would also be the best to inform how he should go forward and his application. I am surprised he knows he is going to Harvard already because that is incredibly early for even early decisions. Going and hope to be going are 2 different things. He needs to go back and see if anywhere on the application it asks about crime conviction. If it does he needs to inform them when you plead out.

    My personal advice is to hire an attorney and hope they can get this resolved without a conviction.
     
  3. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 Member

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    Hire an Experienced Criminal Law Attorney

    You need to find the best attorney you can as soon as you can. If you have no prior record, there are many ways to resolve a misdemeanor charge without having it result in a criminal conviction. For example, you may enter into a diversion agreement which basically causes a time out in the criminal court; it allows you to make restitution, do community service, and remain law abiding in exchange for a dismissal of the charges. In many states, you may enter into an agreed or stipulated order of continuance with the prosecutor's office which is a more informal agreement similar in nature to the diversion. Some states also have something called a bail forfeiture for misdemeanors which does not constitute a conviction. Do not be in a hurry to resolve this case until you find the best legal advice. Good luck.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    OP said the charges were to be exponged so he's probably taken all these steps... but getting legal counsel is the most important thing to do if it hasn't been done already. In any case, I'd contact the BGO and fill them in, and be sure to mention the charges are/will be exponged, This MIGHT mean technically you don't have to answer yes to a conviction in the future, depending on how its all resolved. But you should bring it to the BGOs attention and let them know. It may or may not disqualify you.

    Good Luck with it. It sounds like you've learned a valuable lesson here whatever the outcome is.:thumb:
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I would add one other reason to bring it to the BGOs attention. This is a metter of honor. Could you imagine how you might feel if you didn't mention it, because technically you didn't have to perhaps, and you were accepted to the Academy of got a ROTC scholarship? You'd be thinking you got it because they didn't know... and that you didn't measure up. You would sink any career you had in the military thru your subconscious attempts to punish yourself. Talk to the BGO and put this behind you regardless of the outcome. :thumb:
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Also remember in 4 short yrs you will be going through the TS clearance. The form to complete is 50+ pages. They also interview 3 people. The question is very vague...have they had any trouble with the law? Even if it is expounged it will come up. Plus, if you do not report it, but one of those 3 people they interview say, yes, I recall that when he was a Sr. in HS he got in trouble for trespassing, but it was expounged when he turned 18, it will not look kindly upon you by the special agent if they didn't hear it from you first.

    As others have stated hire an attorney, and talk to your BGO. Your BGO will be honest with you, and they will assist you to rectify to the best solution possible.

    You are not the 1st candidate that did something stupid, and you won't be the last. Nobody can tell you how hard it will hurt you.

    Good luck
     
  7. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I got a misdemeanor 2 days after my 18th birthday for driving too fast. I was able to get it dropped to a simple ticket after working with a public defender. However, when I applied for my scholarship they still required all of my court dockets so it just doesn't go away.

    Don't worry too much, just try to get it dropped to a fine..class or what not. If you haven't been in trouble with the law your chances are a lot higher.

    Oh and my secret clearance process was fine. Does everyone in AF get TS or just certain specialties like the army? We all get the standard secret in ROTC.
     
  8. i1c5x1

    i1c5x1 Member

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    Having gone through a military security clearance myself, expunged is still convicted. Doing volunteer service is still convicted in theirs. Expunged or no, it doesn't matter, they will see it.
     
  9. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Not necessarily convicted. Sometimes a case is held over pending some action (community service, education program, etc.)and then not prosecuted after completion of the required action. The charges are then later exponged. So no conviction ever occurred. I don't know if that's the case here. In any case it should be brought to the attention of the military at the appropriate time.
     
  10. pennak

    pennak Member

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    Few points:
    1. Pima is absolutely right. A TS background investigation will uncover everything and if you didn't disclose up front and its willful, you are basically screwed. For a TS they will go back to the date of your birth go out in the field and talk to neighbors, friends, enemies, EXes, bosses. They are good. You must disclose.

    2. Absolutely get the very best *local* criminal lawyer. Local is important because only the local guys know the judges and the ins and outs.

    3. Don't admit guilt. Not to anyone. Let your lawyer do the talking and let him/her develop a stragety for dealing with all the facets, including the property owner.
     
  11. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I know why this is the case but I have to say it bothers the he** out of me. If I did it I did it. Something about honor and integrity here.
     
  12. pennak

    pennak Member

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    Of course, as it does me. Note, that I am not saying he lie about it, quite to the contrary. But on criminal matters, his personal welfare means that he needs to consult a lawyer and the very first thing any criminal lawyer will tell him is to keep his mouth shut and let him (the lawyer) handle it. In good conscience, I can't not say the same to someone seeking advice here.
     
  13. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I understand but . . .
     
  14. pennak

    pennak Member

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    I hear you. Honor means taking responsibility for your own actions. Absolutely. And often that means not taking the "legal" way as a means of evading that responsibility.
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I think for the OP before this shrub is beaten to death, we stress a couple of things.

    In the end of the day FESS UP NOW.
    ~~~ It is not a lie they will for the AD TS clearance track your life back to the day you are born. You cannot have any gaps.

    I.E.
    DS is a military dependent. He got nailed for clarification because as a dependent when he was 12, there was 3 months in our (parents) gap for legal address and he didn't put down that we lived with my Mother while awaiting the closing on our new home.

    The special agent that spent 45 minutes in my home to interview us, point blank asked me upon reviewing his timeline, we noticed a discrepancy, can you tell me where he was from 5/02-08/02?

    Honestly, I laughed inside my mind.. he was flipping 12, his Dad is an AF officer, where did they think he was? However, govt is govt. Every i has to be dotted, and every t has to be crossed.

    You are being absolutely foolish to believe when you go up for commissioning that this issue will not be discussed. Best to get it on the table now and let the chips fall where they may.

    Hiding only hurts you in the long run.
     
  16. pennak

    pennak Member

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    TS is a *very* big deal. (It's even worse for SCI and codeword clearance). It you disclose, and they can write off as an isolated act of youthful stupidity, you may be fine, especially if the charges are dropped or you get probation before judgment (PBJ). If you never disclose and they find out about it (and they will), more likely than not, it will be fatal to a TS clearance.
     

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