You might think that it isn’t possible for anyone to be drafted nowadays. Well, that’s not true during times when the draft is active.
The question is whether or not felons get drafted. We’ll look at that issue here.
In this blog post, we’ll cover the following:
- About the Military Draft
- Requirements to Be Drafted
- Background Check?
- Felony Waiver
- Steps to Take
About the Military Draft
The military draft is a form of conscription, which is a mandatory enlistment, typically in the military.
The term draft has a long history. It had its origins during the French Revolution in the 1790s.
In the U.S., provisions for a military draft were established during the Civil War with the first conscription service being started then. It continued until 1918 after the end of World War I.
The Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 re-instituted the draft prior to World War II. This was the first peacetime draft. This draft was active until 1973.
There is still a military draft, it just isn’t active any longer. Enacting the military draft can be accomplished by a Congressional vote and presidential approval.
Requirements to Be Drafted
The way the draft procedure works is that all males upon reaching their 18th birthday must sign up for Selective Service, as the draft is commonly known. You will remain on the draft rolls after that, though the age range that is typically used is 18-25.
Whenever the draft is active, you can be called to military service typically after your 20th birthday and before you turn 26. Only in times of an active draft and an extreme wartime emergency would you be called after you turn 26. The law requires you to report after receiving your notice. It is a violation of the law not to report.
Just because you might have a felony conviction on your record would not prevent you from receiving a draft notice in times of war and when the draft is active.
Now we know that felons get drafted, so we could stop here. However, let’s follow this out to see what happens to felons who get drafted.
Just because you may be called as a result of a military draft does not mean that you will automatically be accepted. Once selected, you must still pass a background check before your military service could begin.
This may be one occasion when you are pleased that there is a background check and hope you don’t pass. Of course, this depends on your views of military service.
You may hope that you pass if you are in agreement with military duty and this method of selection.
This background check will look at a variety of factors related to your criminal record. This will be completed before you are formally inducted into the military.
This check will look for misdemeanor crimes as a juvenile along with whether or not you have multiple traffic offenses. The military will look for any felony convictions you have on your record as an adult. The background check will be rather strict. A typical military background check involves taking fingerprints and investigating as far back as 10 years looking for convictions.
If the background check does not reveal any offenses that would eliminate you from consideration, you will be judged as morally fit to serve in the military.
You must be honest in reporting any crimes, felony or misdemeanor. This includes any that are expunged, sealed, or that occurred when you were a juvenile.
To not report these types of crimes will result in denial of your acceptance into the military and could result in felony charges against you. Of course, if you already have a felony record, you could go back to prison. It’s best to be honest from the start.
Wow! Who would have thought that all this could come from being drafted?
It is still possible to be approved for military service with a felony conviction. The type of felony does make a difference here.
You might be dismissed due to your conviction, but there is a provision in the military regulations that you might be able to obtain a waiver that could permit you to be accepted. It will depend on the crime that is involved. This will of course depend on how serious the offense is, the circumstances, and the current needs of the military.
Typically, waivers are needed in different circumstances. These include such areas as having:
- Five to nine minor traffic offenses
- Two to five serious traffic offenses that were serious
- Class 1 minor non-traffic offenses (two or more)
- Class 2 minor non-traffic offenses (two to nine)
- Serious offenses (two to five)
- One felony
Two felonies will eliminate you.
If there is a single felony, it will make a difference what the felony is. Not all felonies will be eligible to be dismissed through waivers.
An extremely serious offense like murder will end any opportunity to be accepted. Another felony that is serious enough to eliminate you is a drug trafficking charge. Other felonies that could prove to be challenging for you are if you have a sexual offense or a violent felony.
These represent crimes against persons that are often roadblocks to many types of jobs in addition to military enlistment. If you get past all of that, your draft notice could get you into the military.
Steps to Take
If you have your record expunged, this could make a huge difference. Of course, it will depend on whether or not you are eligible to have your record expunged.
For questions about this, you could contact an attorney.
While you might have mixed feelings about being drafted for the military in the event of the draft being restarted, knowing how the process works and what would make you eligible for being accepted would be helpful.
So take the steps you need to in order to be prepared. It is another sign of your progress following your conviction and completing your sentence.
It is still important to remember that you aren’t defined by your mistakes but in how you recover from them. Keep this in mind in your efforts to lead an honest life.
Maybe being drafted in the event of conflict isn’t the worst thing.
What do you think about this blog post? Have you or someone you know been in the situation of being drafted with a felony? What was like, and what happened? Please tell us in the comments below.