Can You Join the Military With an Illinois Criminal Record?

If you’re like many people, you’re looking into expungement so you can get a job – and for some people, that job is in the military. 

So can you join the military with a criminal record in Illinois?

Here’s what you need to know.

Can You Join the Military With an Illinois Criminal Record?

When you want to join the military, you’ll sign a form that gives your recruiter permission to conduct a background check. The things your recruiter finds can prevent you from joining the military.

When you have your record expunged, though, there’s nothing to find. Expungement means that the agencies that have copies of your records must destroy them or return them to you… there’s nothing on file under your name if your record is expunged.

Can You Join the Military if Your Illinois Records Have Been Sealed?

If your criminal records are sealed, that’s a different story. The military, law enforcement and some employers can still see sealed records. The items on your criminal record that have been sealed can still prevent you from joining the military. Your best bet is to try for expungement – but not everyone qualifies. In order to expunge your record, the items on the record must qualify (and in some cases, you must meet other conditions).

Find out if you’re eligible for expungement in Illinois now

How Can You Qualify for Military Service if Your Records Have Been Sealed?

Each branch of the military has its own requirements and regulations, including those on sealed criminal records. In some cases, you may be able to join the military with a special waiver that overlooks your criminal record. You’ll have to discuss your situation with a military recruiter to determine whether you’re eligible to join.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Criminal Record Expungement?

If you’re thinking about joining the military and need a clean record to do so, call us right now at 847-920-4540 or fill out this form for a free case review. We’ll look at your records and determine whether you’re eligible for expungement or sealing, and if it’s possible, we’ll help you get on the right path.