Violation of Law Question??

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by rayquad, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. rayquad

    rayquad Member

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    On all Service Academy applications there is a section for describing events where you broke the law, were fined, etc. Until this summer, I had done nothing to make me think twice about anwering "no" to this question. A few weeks ago, five of my friends and I were caught doing doing something where signs specifically forbade the activity we were engaging in. The sheriff deputy who talked to us gave us a single, but big, ticket for violating a county ordinance. So the ticket only went on one person's record (it did not happen to be mine) but we all split up the cost of the ticket. So, I am wondering if I should notify the academies of the incident. I know that it would be the honest thing to do, but I am wondering if it would create trouble and confusion since there is actually nothing on my legal record. Thanks!
     
  2. JettAirliner

    JettAirliner USNA Appointee 2016

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    You could put it down as being given a warning. That is tricky.
     
  3. fly boy

    fly boy Candidate

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    As a candidate, I'm tempted to tell you not to put it on, because it might hurt your chances.

    However, as a Christian, I must say, since you did break the law, regardless of what was put on your record, you should at least let your admissions counselor know, regardless of what you put on the application.
     
  4. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    What in the world.......



    If I was advising you, I would leave it out. It is not on your record and you were not cited.
     
  5. AcademyFriend1

    AcademyFriend1 Member

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    The advice you'll get here would be better if you could be precise about the exact language on the form -- usually it is something to the effect of whether you have ever been cited, arrested, or convicted (all specific legal events as opposed to a more nebulous term like "broke the law"). If the form speaks in terms of cited/arrested/convicted none of those apply--if the ticket was not in your name you are legally free and clear (as opposed to sharing moral responsibility). So I would say there's nothing to put down. You were given a verbal warning which does not have formal legal status. (With that said, if the application asked if you were given a verbal warning by law enforcement you would need to respond.)
     
  6. Marine75-78

    Marine75-78 Member

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    I shall side with the Hornet...:thumb:
     
  7. fly boy

    fly boy Candidate

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    I don't care if you all side with him.

    I mean, rayquad, if you want to follow their advice, go ahead.

    But to me, it's a moral issue. You don't necessarily have to put it on the application, but if it was something serious like breaking a city ordinance, you should let your counselor know.
     
  8. navy

    navy Member

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    Welcome to adulthood. This may be the first of many future tough decisions/calls you will have to make. I would advise you to:

    1. Be smart. Think thru your situation,possible actions and the subsequent consequences. Gather input from others. Learn from others who have been in your situation before.

    2. Sit on your hands. Very few decisions require immediate action. Many become much clearer with a good nights sleep, or time for more information to arise.

    3. Make a decision you can live with and do the right thing. Follow your conscience, you probably know the correct course of action, it may not be the popular choice. You have to be able to live with your decisions. If you will regret a decision/choice for the rest of your life, then do not do it. As a parent, I always felt that I should be able to explain my decision, if ever asked by my kids/ family. The "dad, why did you fire that guy?" or "why did you do that?" question.

    4. Be Honest with your self and others. Your integrity is yours to lose.

    Now the hard part. Balancing and using the above to make the right decision. I think every adult who has made a tough call, can look back and find situations, where they wish they made a different call. More information, too quick, etc. It is always much easier to look back, than to make a decision looking forward. It would also be easy if life were black and white. It is not, remember to be smart and use good judgement.

    Good Luck.
     
  9. AcademyFriend1

    AcademyFriend1 Member

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    Let me be clear: answer what you are asked, honestly. If the question asks for citations, arrests, convictions, none of those things has occurred--there simply is no dilemma. Don't answer a question you weren't asked (good advice for any stage of any military career).

    Sometimes questions are broader by design. For example, you will be asked at some stage if you have ever "used" illegal drugs--not if you were ever arrested or convicted of such use. The military/government knows how to ask the broad question if and when necessary (eg security clearance). If they have asked such a broad question here ("did you ever violate any law"), tell your story. If it's the narrower question about particular legal proceedings (citation to you, in your name), your situation doesn't qualify.

    Best of with your service academy applications.
     
  10. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Not on record- you didn't get the ticket- No it is not something to list. This isn't a moral dilemma- it's a straight forward question. Academy Friend has this exactly right. They want to know if you have received anything that will show up on your security clearance check. This will not. Answer the questions they ask and don't go out of your way to expand your answer when a simple yes or no will suffice.
    You might however keep this in mind- don't stupidly put your future in jeopardy because you are lazy or being cool etc..., because sometimes "yes" then becomes : "Sorry you are a no-go at this station. Thanks for your interest - go home."
     
  11. JMC0759

    JMC0759 S-USMMA '12 D-USAFA '15

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    Here is my opinion from the police side. Since the violation of the county ordinance was punishable by fine only it is like a traffic ticket - so no big deal. Listen to Bruno - if your name does not appear on the citation then you were not charged - so no big deal. Whatever you guys were doing - if the deputy could have proved that all of you were violating the ordinance you all would have been written. He probably only wrote your buddy because of what he saw when he arrived.

    Don't sweat it, learn from it and move on and don't volunteer information in an interview or on a form that you are not asked about.
     
  12. fly boy

    fly boy Candidate

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    Well, maybe I'll change my advice. Like Bruno said, just answer the question. If it asks if you were cited, you weren't. If it asks if you broke the law, you'd have to answer yes at this point.
     

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