Many young people in Maryland and across America dream of enlisting in the U.S. military and serving their country. The processes for being excepted into each of the military’s branches differ slightly, but they are all long and arduous. In addition to the physical and mental requirements required to join the military, you will also be required to undergo a rigorous background check, including a look into your criminal records. Many people are curious to know what records will show up on such an expansive background check, as well as whether expunged records can be seen by the military during your recruitment and application process. Below, our experienced Maryland criminal expungement attorneys at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice explain whether Maryland criminal records will show up during a military background check and whether an expungement can prevent this from occurring.
Military background checks are some of the most thorough and rigorous types of background checks that can occur. Military vetting personnel will have access to your entirely history of interaction with law enforcement through the FBI’s central depository. Each time you are arrested for a crime and fingerprinted, your information is sent to the FBI as well as the state database. Even if your crimes have been expunged and removed from your record, and this has been reported to the FBI, the military will still have access to them, as they are exempted from laws shielding expunged crimes from being viewed by employers. As such, you should assume that any and all record of arrests, convictions, or other dispositions of a criminal case that occurred in Maryland or anywhere else across the country will show up on a military background check, and you should full disclose this information with that in mind.
A criminal background does not necessarily preclude someone from serving in the military. Some factors that will be assessed include the nature and severity of the offenses with which you were charged or convicted, the length of time that has passed between your last contact with law enforcement and the present day, and whether the court has deemed it fit to seal or expunge the record in light of your subsequent behavior. While you will still be required to disclose and account for expunged offenses during the military hiring process, the fact that they have been expunged will be one factor considered in your favor. As such, it is still very important that you reach out before applying to the military to a skilled Maryland expungement lawyer like those at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice who can assess whether you are eligible for an expungement and, if so, get to work right away on getting the petition filed with the court.
Not all crimes are eligible from expungement in the state of Maryland. For example, convictions for homicide, rape, and some other violent felonies cannot be expunged from one’s criminal record. Maryland Criminal Procedure Article § 10-110 provides a list of crimes that are eligible for expungement post-conviction. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor offense on this list, you can file for an expungement 10 years after you completed your sentence, including parole, probation, or mandatory supervision. If you are convicted of a felony offense on this list, you can file the petition 15 years after your sentence is completed. You will also have to wait 15 years from the completion of your sentence if your petition is based on a violation of Criminal Law Article § 3-203, common law battery, or an offense classified as a domestically related crime under Criminal Procedure Article § 6-233.
If you were arrested but no charges were filed, your arrest should be automatically expunged within 60 days of your release from custody. If this does not happen, contact a skilled expungement lawyer like those at our firm who can get in touch with court and get things straightened out. For acquittals, judgements of nolle prosequi, stets, and charges that get dismissed, you can file the petition for expungement of the records 3 years after the disposition of your case, but sometimes earlier if you file a General Waiver and Release of all legal claims and lawsuits arising from the charge, which you should never do without first consulting with an experienced attorney.
If you are planning on applying to the military and you believe that you have criminal offenses on your record that may be eligible for expungement, the best thing you can do is reach out to a knowledgeable Maryland expungement lawyer like those at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice. First and foremost, we will help you obtain a copy of your full criminal history, and advise you on which arrests and convictions are and are not eligible as of this point. If enough time has passed as required by law and the conviction is one that is expungable, we can then assist you in getting your petition filed. We can make sure you file the proper paperwork, draft a petition for your approval, and once you have signed it, submit it to the court. This can be timely if you have multiple convictions or arrests to get expunged, as a separate petition will need to be filed for each. From there, we will follow up to make sure the petitions are approved and deal with any unexpected objections from the court or prosecutor that may arise.
Maryland criminal records will show up on a background check run by the military. In fact, the military will have access to these records even if they have been expunged, and you will be expected to disclose them. However, it can be a facto in your favor when the military is considering whether to allow you in despite your criminal record that many or all of your convictions and arrests have been expunged. It is smart, then, to reach out to a skilled Maryland expungement lawyer like those at the Law offices of Randolph Rice right away so we can assess your eligibility and get the process started. For a free consultation, call us today at (410) 694-7291.