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What Conviction Can Do To Your Military Career?

As a member of the military, so much is expected of soldiers. They are screened and have to pass a rigorous standard when it comes to moral character. Aside from the initial screening, the applicant also undergoes a background check and a computer search for any criminal record. As such, getting convicted for any crime can have serious consequences on your military career.

According to the website of Flaherty Defense Firm, a criminal charge can leave your military career in limbo as well as possible dismissal from the service. Aside from being charged in a military court, you will also be tried in a civilian court. Your charges will be just like the penalties given to civilians aside from the sanctions or possible dismissal that the military court will impose on you.

When convicted of a crime, you will first be tried in a court martial, which is the equivalent of a criminal court in non-military convictions. As the accused, you will still be afforded your Constitutional and customary rights such as right to counsel, right to present evidence, right to confront witness, right to remain silent, right to a guilty or not guilty plea, right to a jury, and due process.

In a court martial, it is the finder of fact which will determine whether the military personnel is guilty or not guilty. If deemed guilty , they will also be the one to determine the punishment. The finder of fact can be a military judge or a panel of senior officers and enlisted soldiers. The accused has the right to choose the members of the panel.

As for the determination of punishment, the panel votes in secret and 66% vote or greater is needed for conviction. If convicted, the case proceeds to the Sentencing phase where the accused can once again present evidence and witnesses. The conviction can have possible consequences which can be any of the following:

Involuntary Separation

The convicted soldier will be subjected to separation under Army Regulation 635-200 for Enlisted Soldiers and 600-8-24 for Officers.
General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand (GOMOR)
The reprimand is usually issued to soldiers charged for alleged misconduct. The accused has the right to defend himself against such allegations.

Tab Revocation

Various service schools award tabs or badges to outstanding performers. A conviction in the military could lead to a revocation of any badges that the soldier has received.

Security Clearance Revocation

Alleged misconduct will result to a suspension of security clearance. This means that you will not be able to do your job or access your computer or files.

Relief for Cause

Conviction will also result to the soldier being fired from a position they are holding as well as a negative Evaluation Report or a Referred Report

Demotion in Rank

The accused will also be demoted in their rank for inefficiency or other reasons

Loss of Driving Privileges

When the soldier is convicted, they will also lose their driving privilege on a military base.

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