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Does an expunction allow for military service?

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2021 | Military Law

You have always planned on joining the military. When you start getting closer to signing up, though, you realize that your criminal record is going to prevent it. The military does not deny everyone with a record, but you believe that yours is serious enough that they won’t take you.

Fortunately, you know that North Carolina law allows for expunctions, which are also called expungements. Some refer to them as “sealing” a record.

No matter what term you use, the basic idea is that the expunction clears your criminal record so that it won’t come up on a background check. That does not eliminate your conviction. It just makes it so that potential employers won’t see it. Will seeking an expunction help you get into the military?

Nothing is sealed from the government

While expunctions can be helpful for those in civilian life, they really just seal the records for civilian background checks. The record is never fully destroyed; your record is never fully wiped clean. The military and other government institutions can still see it on your record, which might still keep you out of the military.

This doesn’t mean there’s no benefit to an expunction. Maybe you’re thinking of shifting careers in light of this knowledge. A sealed record may help you do so. It just will not get you into a branch of the military in the same way.

What should you do?

First off, if you already have a record, you need to check to make sure that it will really keep you out of the service. They do offer waivers and they don’t deny applications for all criminal records. You may still be able to get in, especially if you know what paperwork to use.

If you’re simply facing charges and have not been convicted yet, then you need to know about all of the options you have to work toward avoiding a conviction or obtaining lesser charges. Since you know that expunctions don’t guarantee the ability to serve in the military, keeping your record as clean as possible is helpful. Make sure you know exactly what steps to take in this process.