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How will a reckless driving charge affect my military service?

A reckless driving conviction can have severe consequences for your future, especially if you're planning to enlist in the military.

Reckless Driving and Military Enlistment

How a reckless driving charge will affect your ability to serve our country depends on what branch of the military you wish to join. The following are some basic guidelines:

  • Air Force. Reckless driving is a Category 4 moral offense in the Air Force. You'll be disqualified if you have two or more Category 4 offenses within the last three years, although a recruiting squadron commander may be able to get the disqualification waived. Other common Category 4 offenses include disorderly conduct and unlawful possession of alcohol or tobacco.
  • Army. If you have two or more misdemeanor charges on your record, including reckless driving, you'll need a waiver to enlist. Four or more misdemeanor convictions will prevent you from enlistment.
  • Navy or Marines. Reckless driving is considered a serious offense regardless of whether it's a misdemeanor or felony charge. Misdemeanor convictions can be waived at the district level, but a felony reckless driving conviction will require a waiver from the regional headquarters. This typically only happens when recruiting rates are lower than anticipated.

Reckless Driving and Military Service

If you're currently enlisted, you'll be required to report your reckless driving arrest to your commanding officer. Penalties are specific to your branch of service. However, one common issue of concern is maintaining an active security clearance.

Security clearances in the military have three levels: confidential, secret, and top secret. If you've been convicted of reckless driving, getting or renewing your security clearance may be problematic. A conviction isn't automatically disqualifying, but factors into evaluations of trustworthiness, reliability, loyalty, and honesty.

The Value of Legal Representation

If you're interested in enlisting or are currently serving in the military, access to skilled legal representation is vital in minimizing the negative effects of a reckless driving charge. T. Kevin Wilson is committed to helping Virginia drivers handle both misdemeanor and felony reckless driving charges. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case review.

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