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Will a misdemeanor assault keep me from being hired as a LEO?

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Posted over 4 years ago

 

 I searched the forum and couldn't find what I was looking for so here we go. In December of 2009, I was arrested for domestic violence 3rd degree assault. My boyfriend and I had been drinking excessively and started fighting, I called the police because I was scared and drunk, thinking they would just come and settle things (I guess, I barely remember). He had visible cuts on his ear and lip and my bruises didn't show up until later and I was arrested. My boyfriend didn't want to press charges, he wasn't even the one who called the police, but (obviously) the state still pressed charges. When I went to court the charge was dropped to a Class II misdemeanor of assault by mutual consent (not DV). I have a flawless civilian and military record except for this. Ironically, I have been a Criminal Justice major for the past year and a half, and law enforcement has been my passion for quite some time.


I know that felonies and DV misdemeanors are an automatic disqualification, however, in everyone's experience--realistically, will this assault conviction keep me from being hired? It was a stupid, drunken incident and I guess I am hoping that a police department would look at my whole person and not disqualify me based on that incident. Before this happened, I would have been a stand-out candidate and now I have this terrible thing on my record. I am hesitant to get out of the military after my enlistment is up if there is a big chance that law enforcement will not work out for me. 

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Post an intro and read the TOU before you do anything else.


I think you may not like what you are about to hear..................................

Sg_max50

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Not directed at the OP, but does it matter what the charges get reduced to in a situation like this? Inevitably in BI, they will find out about the circumstances surrounding the event, but is it a mitigating factor that she was not officially charged with domestic violence? Just curious. Sorry for the thread jack, but I feel it is relevant.

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I have an introduction posted now--sorry for jumping the gun.


Elaken--Your question is pretty much what I am looking for. All the police department employment websites I read say that a DV "conviction" is what will disqualify someone. However, I know that in reality a situation like mine is worth asking about. 

Ribbon_max50

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Ok, each department is different, so there is no simple answer to the question. The combo of the drinking and DV will not look good at all, even though it was reduced.


Just remember there may be hundreds of other people trying to get that same job, but they have no record at all. You may want to call up some local departments in your area and talk to someone.

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Any agency you make application with make them aware of this information from the very beginning. To not waste their time nor yours you may want to inquire prior to application.

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Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

UncleDennis and mki are right, the best way is to call and find out. The best anyone here can do is tell you about what their agencie's standards are and that doesn't help you.

Th_policeavatar_2__max50

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Liana33 says ...



 I searched the forum and couldn't find what I was looking for so here we go. In December of 2009, I was arrested for domestic violence 3rd degree assault. My boyfriend and I had been drinking excessively and started fighting, I called the police because I was scared and drunk, thinking they would just come and settle things (I guess, I barely remember). He had visible cuts on his ear and lip and my bruises didn't show up until later and I was arrested. My boyfriend didn't want to press charges, he wasn't even the one who called the police, but (obviously) the state still pressed charges. When I went to court the charge was dropped to a Class II misdemeanor of assault by mutual consent (not DV). I have a flawless civilian and military record except for this. Ironically, I have been a Criminal Justice major for the past year and a half, and law enforcement has been my passion for quite some time.


I know that felonies and DV misdemeanors are an automatic disqualification, however, in everyone's experience--realistically, will this assault conviction keep me from being hired? It was a stupid, drunken incident and I guess I am hoping that a police department would look at my whole person and not disqualify me based on that incident. Before this happened, I would have been a stand-out candidate and now I have this terrible thing on my record. I am hesitant to get out of the military after my enlistment is up if there is a big chance that law enforcement will not work out for me. 



 


Well, since you are the only one in control of your actions it was you who chose the course to take that first drink and keep going.  The problem is threefold. Its now how your future behavior will be judged. It is a reflection on your character, integrity and commitment.  Second, other applicants with stronger character, integrity and commitment who have kept their  eye on the goal will get the jobs. Third, I don't know the laws of every state, but federal law and my state prohibit felony/class 1 misd. plus DV misd. form owning/purchasing/possessing a firearm. So no LE job.


""Life is a storm.. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes"
Alexander Dumas-The Count of Monte Christo

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Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

SGT405-I definitely understand that there are many other applicants who have a flawless record and that they would get hired over me. However, the charge I was convicted of was a class II misdemeanor and was not a domestic violence charge, how does this prohibit me from owning or possessing a firearm in your state?


The military knows about my conviction and I still use a weapon because I was not charged with the crime of domestic violence. 

Th_policeavatar_2__max50

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Rereading I saw Class I instead of Class II.  Any crime punishable by a sentence that a judge could have given 12 months or more even if they did not, the person become prohibited. Felonies are all 12 months or more. Some states have misdemeanors 12 months/more. DVs are prohibitors. In my state Class 1 misd. are 12months/$2500.   On your case, I think your ability to field a firearm is the least of your worries.  I doubt any agency I know of or deal with would hire an applicant with such a background.


""Life is a storm.. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes"
Alexander Dumas-The Count of Monte Christo

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Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

Best check up on the peace officer board in your area. In MN, its called the POST (Peace Officers Standards and Training) Board. Per MN POST, any adult, convicted of misd assault, is disqualified from POST eligibility.


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 Thank goodness I don't want to live in Minnesota!


I'm kidding, bad joke. In all reality, thanks everyone for your responses. I'm actually a little surprised, I thought I still stood a bit of a chance. I will have a college degree, 6 years of honorable military service, and an otherwise flawless background, but I'm accountable for what I did and I understand that. 


I will still be making some calls to local departments and getting their input as well. Thanks all.

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Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

MOST people who have been charged with a domestic are not allowed to be able to carry a firearm- am I right? I think that alone would be very hard for a department to over look.


2009- thats not too long ago either.


Therapy, counseling and an anger mangement class.


Improve yourself, mentally and emotionally first.


Like I said before I hate to be a dream killer, but you have to look at this from a departments point of view. Also focus on healing yourself. It takes awhile. There are many agencies while to offer services to help women who have suffered abuse or abused others.

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 Having a clean record shows that you have a lot of character and integrity, two strong qualities that police departments are looking for.  I"m sorry but your application may go to the very bottom of a huge pile.  I applaud your enthusiasm.  


The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head
- Proverbs 20:29

Nemo me impune lacessit

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SuzanneNGa says ...



 Having a clean record shows that you have a lot of character and integrity, two strong qualities that police departments are looking for.  I"m sorry but your application may go to the very bottom of a huge pile.  I applaud your enthusiasm.  



Bump!


"Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives." - Ronald Reagan

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You stated that the incident occurred in 2009 and that the charge was dropped.


First off, Let me make something clear to you:  The charge was not dropped or you would not have the "Class II misdemeanor of assault by mutual consent " conviction.  The charge was reduced and you pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.  This is called a "Plea Deal" and is common place where this might be a first offense.  The state / local law enforcement is required to make the arrest even if the victim does not desire prosecution and regardless of who initiated the call to the police and subsequent DV report.  It is the law and as police officers, we are mandated to make that arrest.  What the courts do with it is a whole other matter.  The fact remains that you were arrested for the felony and convicted of the misdemeanor.  It still does not look good in your favor.


Second off and in reference to the above, most applications will ask you for two pieces of information.  In no particular order, you might be asked to list EVERYTHING that you have been arrested for regardless of final disposition.  Again, you were in fact arrested for a felony DV charge and must divulge this on your application with a complete explanation of the event.  You will also be asked about EVERYTHING that you have been convicted of.  This will require you to divulge the same information a second time even though it is linked to the same event.


Again, the problem that you will run into is the fact that the original arrest/charge was in fact a felony DV arrest and the fact that it occurred very recently (2009 as you stated).  This event and the fact that it was alcohol triggered sends up all kinds of red flags and fireworks and will not look positively on your outlook.  If I were to conduct your background investigation, you would be DQ'd on the arrest alone regardless of circumstance and subsequent disposition on what really looks like a plea deal offered to you by the courts.  The word that comes to mind is "LIABILITY."  Can you say, "L-I-A-B-I-L-I-T-Y?"  I knew you could.  Bottom line is that in these days, no department is going to really want to take a chance and wind up getting sued because they allowed someone with this type of an issue and concern to slip through the cracks.  It is simply not worth that liability.  So to answer your question in my never to be humble opinion: 

 


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Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

being fellow military. I would stay in for another re-enlistment, make sure that enlistment is sparkling, and you might have a good shot. right now... it's really not looking good.


 

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ShockUSMC- Thank you for reading my whole post and seeing that I wasn't convicted on the DV and can carry a firearm. Judging from some of the responses, it seems like my whole original post isn't being read or maybe I wasn't clear. I'm trying to find licensing information for my state (Nebraska) but I can't find it. I would not be surprised if this state fell in line with most other states. Thank you for your input, it definitely seems like the smart thing to do is stay in the military.



 

 


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From a background investigator point of view, you would need a lot longer then 8 months (more like 7 to 10 years) from your arrest/plea to have passed with no further significant incidents to be considered for a position.


This is the basics for admission to the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center:


http://www.sos.state.ne.us/rules-and-regs/regsearch/Rules/Law_Enforcement_and_Criminal_Justice/Title-79/Chapter-8.pdf


Liana33 says ...




 



ShockUSMC- Thank you for reading my whole post and seeing that I wasn't convicted on the DV and can carry a firearm. Judging from some of the responses, it seems like my whole original post isn't being read or maybe I wasn't clear. I'm trying to find licensing information for my state (Nebraska) but I can't find it. I would not be surprised if this state fell in line with most other states. Thank you for your input, it definitely seems like the smart thing to do is stay in the military.



 

 




Ne conjugare nobiscum.

Merda taurorum animas conturbit.

There's no "I" in team... But there's two in idiot.

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 mlar- "7-10 years" gives me more hope than "never" (even if the chance is small), thank you very much for your help and for the link you provided.

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Liana33 says ...




 



ShockUSMC- Thank you for reading my whole post and seeing that I wasn't convicted on the DV and can carry a firearm. Judging from some of the responses, it seems like my whole original post isn't being read or maybe I wasn't clear. I'm trying to find licensing information for my state (Nebraska) but I can't find it. I would not be surprised if this state fell in line with most other states. Thank you for your input, it definitely seems like the smart thing to do is stay in the military.



I too read your entire post......... ALL OF IT.  IT WOULD SEEM THAT YOU DID NOT READ MINE.  YOU SEE WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE AND DISMISS THE REST.  THIS TOO WILL BE A PROBLEM IN YOUR BACKGROUND.  Stay in the military sounds like the best advise one could give. 

 



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While I agree that there is little chance of the poster having a career in LE now, I did a little more research on the firearm issue I brought up and I learned something new.  Military and LEO can in fact carry active service/on duty only with a DV charge. Remember that the DV law was a retroactive law meaning once the law was passed even if you were convicted of it 20 years prior you became a prohibited person. Well there were thousands of military/leos who had the charge and congress had to make an amendmendment to the law allowing the on duty use. I also asked a Federal Firearms License holder the question and he said as long as the person was not convicted of a DV or any crime punishable by more than a year in jail, even they received less they are good to go(among other prohibitors).


""Life is a storm.. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes"
Alexander Dumas-The Count of Monte Christo

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 SkoolCop-


I didn't come here to argue. I did read your entire post and I appreciate your input. I'm not sure why you assumed I was talking about you when I said "some responses", but I wasn't. You are also quick to assume that I see what I want and dismiss everything else. Nothing I've said in my posts reflects that. If it is because I don't address every point everyone makes, its because I came here to see what people thought, not to counter or argue against everything people are saying. I know that you all know more about the real law enforcement world than I do and that's why I came here for advise. 

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The real matter here is that BI's and interview boards with command staff are a subjective affair. There is no blanket assessment. I had to be interviewed by the recruiting deputy twice (standard), and then a board with the same recruiter, a LT, and a CPT (also standard and with a different set of questions and scenarios), and then an interview with the Constable himself....as well as a BI.


The real question is that if you were the BI deputy, would you hire someone with this in their past involving violence and alcohol? Especially if it is so recent? And against hundreds of other applicants who have a clean past, with experience at another police agency, or military service, EMT certs and work history, college degrees, etc etc?


 

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 Honestly, with a recent incident like mine, I would probably not hire someone like myself at this point. However, if it's a couple years from now and I keep myself out of trouble, complete my degree, finish up with the military, etc, I would hire someone like myself if they proved that this was an isolated incident from their past and had an otherwise clean background. You make a good point...also if you don't mind me asking, or you can PM me, why did you have to be interviewed by so many people or was that just procedure where you work?

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I just want to point out something missing in this thread:


Some States have have a so called "Certificate of Relief From Disabilities". To allow individuals with some specific Convictions to "Own and Possess Firearms" and to provide relief from otherwise disqualifying convictions "For the Purposes of Employment" which may be even a high level Public Office...


In those States, you will be required to go back to the Court that convicted you and appear before a Judge that will put you in Probation. ("Again...???") I know, this may sound crazy to some here, but these are the Operattions of the Law in some States.


After succeful completion of the Probationary Period, the Court will issue you a "Certificate of Relief From Disabilities". The Certificate will specifically state its purpose, and will restore your Firearms rights and privileges or your qualifications for employment or both, whatever the case may be.


Requirements to obtain that Certificate vary from State to State, (on those where this Law applies) but as a general rule, a number of years must have passed since the conviction, and most likely you would have a spotless record since that. In general, Military Service is ALWAYS seen as a very positive contribution towards the ability to obtain it.

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Liana33 says ...



 Honestly, with a recent incident like mine, I would probably not hire someone like myself at this point. However, if it's a couple years from now and I keep myself out of trouble, complete my degree, finish up with the military, etc, I would hire someone like myself if they proved that this was an isolated incident from their past and had an otherwise clean background. You make a good point...also if you don't mind me asking, or you can PM me, why did you have to be interviewed by so many people or was that just procedure where you work?



I can only speak for my agency and it is very heavy on background investigations and the interview process. Some agencies put emphasis on testing and exams, some are heavy on credit, some are strict on criminal past, some are heavy on past associations, some want you to have a degree, etc etc etc...case in point why I mentioned there being no blanket process to be hired. Being hired by an agency simply means you were the right candidate for that agency in what they were looking for, it doesnt mean you were a bad candidate because you didnt get hired and wont be hired elsewhere, it just means you didnt fit what they were looking for. For my agency, its very much about credit history, criminal history, prior military service or prior police service (RARELY do we hire someone right out of the academy with no prior military/police experience), and the interview process. My agency doesnt use testing, they use a very in depth weeding out process based on what you bring to the table resumewise, what you say when pressed hard on scenarios, and frankly if you have done your research in learning the area we police and the divisions we have. And right now, in the greater Houston area, you have thousands of applicants for the agencies...and less than 50 open positions at the 50+ agencies in the great Houston area....competition is high due to the economy. If you have 500 applications on your desk for 2 positions, the weeding out process gets very blunt and brutal.


Unlike the military, which is highly centralized, law enforcement is highly DEcentralized and each individual agency operates by its own SOPs with guidance only from state certification bodies, city/state/county/campus guidelines on employment, etc etc.


Dont let your dreams get smashed though...just understand what youre up against and that you now have strikes against you. Research the hell out of the agencies in the area you want to live in post-ETS from the military. Dont just research the city PDs, look at the county ones, look at the state ones....like I always tell the non-cops, there are many ways to be a cop....there are more police out there than just the ones you see patroling in marked police cruisers. The water control guys in Texas are peace officers, the Dental Board are peace officers, there are park rangers who are peace officers, game wardens are peace officers, airport police are peace officers, investigators from the DA's office and the Attorney General's office are peace officers...and on and on and on...

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you will have to learn to control yourself better than that to be a good cop

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You are done. Sorry you can not be in law enforcement.

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 Thanks guys, thats exactly the type of helpful, constructive response I was seeking.

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