I got arrested for DUI off base by civilian police. My civilian lawyer is telling me that if I take a diversion or a deferred adjudication it won’t hurt me in the military. Is this true?

If the command is aware of the DUI arrest, that is what’s known in most branches of service as a CCIR – commanders critical information requirement. In addition to reporting the event up the chain they would be required to report the arrest to the military law enforcement (NCIS, Army CID, Air Force OSI etc) who then runs a parallel investigation. The command must report back to the LE agency what action they took, if any. If you plead guilty (even a diversion or a deferred adjudication) the military rules recognize it as a conviction. Even the discussion to the military rule of evidence regarding impeachment by prior convictions lists deferred adjudications and diversions as qualifying convictions. The same language is in each of the service regulations and is used for an administrative separation for civilian conviction. If you have served for fewer than 6 years in service you would not be entitled to the basic due process of an administrative separation board and could be processed out of the service with a general under conditions discharge (and lose GI Bill, all veterans assistance with education benefits, and if ever later employed by a federal agency none of your time would translate as civil service retirement points) just on paperwork alone. Your only recourse facing administrative separation for the DUI would be to write a written rebuttal asking not to be separated, and those are rarely successful. With a general under honorable conditions discharge the VA will also deny care for PTSD or other service connected medical conditions. You can appeal it if he has prior honorable conditions discharges (if you served long enough to re-enlist) but those appeals require a great deal of time and money to attempt to overcome the denial.

It had been the case probably 10 or more years ago to avoid a military impact with a civilian DUI conviction, but the changes in policy and procedure since then have made that not the case.

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