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Do Felons Get Drafted?

do felons get drafted

Everybody knows that the US government is strict about dealing with criminals. So, once your name reaches the criminal list, your life will change. And that is not for good. Even after coming out of jail, you will continue to suffer. A mistake of your past will keep haunting you throughout your life.

Plus, you will lose many of your civil rights. From education to occupation, your felony will always make things difficult for you. But, does it mean that your felony will prohibit you from getting drafted as well?

do felons get drafted

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Now, you might ask, “wait a minute, I thought the draft was a thing of the past.” Well, sorry, it’s not. Believe us when we tell you that drafting is still around today. It is just not in an active state, that’s all. If a war breaks out or an emergency happens, the state could very much start drafting again.

Therefore, the question is whether you can get drafted with a felony on your name or not. Let us discuss it here.

What Is A Draft?

Before discussing whether your felony will stop you from getting drafted or not, let’s see what a draft is. The current or the military draft is a type of conscription. It is a mandatory enlistment in the armed forces if and when the nation needs it.

  • The history of the term “draft” goes way back.
  • The name originated during the French Revolution of the 1790s.
  • As for the United States, provisions for a military draft came into being during the Civil War.
  • In case you didn’t know, the first draft ever in the US took place during that period.
  • The conscription service continued until after the end of World War I in 1918.
  • The Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 brought it before World War II.
  • It was a peacetime draft and the first of its kind. This one remained active until 1973.

Now coming to the present times, the military draft is still there. It is just in an inactive state. A Congressional vote and the subsequent presidential approval can reactivate it.

Who Can Get Drafted Into The Military?

The draft procedure is pretty straightforward. It works like this.

1 All males upon reaching 18 must register themselves with the Selective Service.

2 After signing up for it, your name will stay on the draft rolls for a long time.

3 However, the age range is usually 18 to 25.

4 If anyone fails to sign up for the Selective Service by the time they’re 26, they will face serious consequences.

do felon get drafted

5 Even if he is not prosecuted, he will not receive US citizenship.

6 Also, he will be deprived of federal jobs training, federal jobs as well as federal financial aid.

Whenever the military draft is active, the state can call you for military service. And, it is mandatory. So, you cannot deny it. The call-up typically happens after you’ve turned 20 and before you reach 26. However, remember that during a wartime emergency, you might get a call after turning 26. The law of the land is that you must report after getting your notice.

If you don’t, it will be considered a violation of the law and attract consequences. They call, you obey – that’s how it works.

Can An Individual With A Felony Get Drafted?

To get admitted and serve in the military, one has to meet specific standards. Those include mental, physical, and administrative measures put in place by the army. Having a felony on your name does not mean that you will not receive a call.

In times of war and emergency, your criminal record is not a matter of concern to the military. What you can do to save your country from enemy forces is. If you are fit enough for the role, you will receive a draft notice from the military.

Criteria For Felons To Serve In The Military

In the United States, many felons can receive waivers so that they serve their nation. Drafting a prisoner is kind of similar to the enlistment process. The authority still has to run a background check on the person joining the US military. All draftees must pass through a rigorous assessment, just like the individuals entering the army voluntarily.

As you may already know, the US military has become more careful about who they let join their ranks today. As a candidate, you must pass the background checks and tests. Due to the increasing technological advancements, the military has become pickier.

What Is The Screening Process For Joining The Military?

Just because you received a notice from the military doesn’t mean that you would be accepted with ease. Once selected, you must pass a rigorous background assessment. This is a stage where many people hope that they don’t pass the test. But that is if they don’t want to be a part of the military.

However, for people who heartily wish to serve their nation, this is the most crucial stage. This background assessment considers many factors related to your felony conviction. This stage must be completed before you formally join the military.

do felon get the drafted

1 The background check will search for the crimes you committed as a juvenile or an adult.

2 You can expect the background check to be rather stringent.

3 It will also check whether you have multiple felonies in your name or not.

4 A typical background check in the military includes taking fingerprints.

5 They will investigate ten years back in time.

6 If the background check does not disclose any offense that may disqualify you, you fit the role.

Even if you have a felony, you must be honest with the authority about it. That means you must disclose any crimes, misconduct, or felonies. Even if you got your felony expunged, you still have to inform them. Otherwise, it will be counted as an outright forgery.

Felony Waiver

As we said earlier, the military might still accept you even if you are an ex-criminal. The military might dismiss you for your felony, but you can apply for a waiver. However, whether you will get a waiver or not depends on your felony type.

Typically, you will need releases in the following circumstances:

  • Five to nine minor traffic offenses
  • Two to five serious offenses
  • Two or more Class 1 non-traffic offense
  • Two to nine Class 2 non-traffic offenses
  • Two to five serious offenses
  • A single felony. Two felonies, however, disqualify you right there.

Also, you got to remember that some offenses will get you automatically rejected. Those include serious crimes like drug dealing, murder, violence, or sex crimes. On all other occasions, your chances of getting a waiver depend on the type of crime you committed. And, that is up to the authority to decide. So, don’t be so sure about it.

Bottom Line

As you can see, drafting into the military is not a memory of the past. It is not just active right now. If the situation arises, it could happen again. Your status as a felon will not prevent you from receiving a draft notice at all. But to join the military, you must fulfill specific criteria. If you do, you can then get drafted and serve your homeland when it needs you the most. Check out all the rules and get drafted accordingly.

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About Eugene Casey

Eugene works in a busy employment agency in Chicago and has nearly 20 years of experience in finding clients the perfect job. His philosophy is simple, the right match for the right position is nearly always a win-win for both the employee and the company.

When he isn't working or writing for us, he enjoys cooking and exploring the United States, one state at a time.

He lives with his wife Lisa and their two German Shepherds, Wilber and Gus.

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