Joining the Navy with a criminal record?

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by Andy, Feb 26, 2009.

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  1. Hey everyone,

    I'm currently studying a degree at preston uni (english teaching and spanish), but it's just not for me at all. Anyways, long story short I decided I want to quit uni and train to become a marine engineer in the RN

    Unfortunately I got into a drunken fight a few weeks ago and apparently took out my swiss army knife (which I always carry anyway). I ending up getting arrested and charged with common assault and carrying an offensive weapon (due to appear in court next week). I didn't actually use the knife, and didn't assault anyone, despite the charge. I've never been arrested before, and I'm hoping I can prove to the judge that it was just a drunken mistake, which it truly was.

    What I want to know is, will this affect me joining the Navy? Honest to god, I ain't a bad lad. I simply made a mistake, but I'm really worried I'm gonna get refused from joining the Navy because of all this crap.

    If I did get convicted / a criminal record, would this stop me from joining? or would they look at the big picture? What is going to happen?

    Sorry for the essay but it's really worrying me, any advice at all would be appreciated


  2. Is Sharia in force in Preston? If so then you will have some problems signing on won't you?
    PM Thingy, he deals with this sort of thing
  3. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    If found guilty it will almost certainly delay your entry until the penalty is spent - your AFCO will advise how the penalty will affect you.

    Have a look at the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act to determine rehabilitation periods which must expire before Security Clearance can be granted. It's worth having legal representation to ensure that any penalty handed down will least affect your application.

    If you have already started the selection process, you must notify your AFCO first thing tomorrow as otherwise you will be rejected for withholding information or making a fraudulent application. If you have been interviewed, your post interview caution states that you understand that you must notify the AFCO of any court appearance.
  4. Thanks, I was planning on visiting the AFCO tomorrow for a chat, but it only just occured to me tonight that this upcoming court case could stop me from applying.

    Feeling really gutted right now to be honest.

    Does being taken to court mean I will probably be convicted then? Because if that's the case, then it looks like I'll have to wait 5 years before I can apply (according to the link you provided)

    Bloody wonderful.
  5. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    It depends whether you are found guilty as charged & what the penalty is, if found guilty.

    Some offences are spent immediately, others aren't.
  6. Well thats some good news I guess, thanks mate

    Ok, I have another question. Is the Army as fussy about who they take? Would I be able to get in there as basic infantry for a few years (for the physical training and to 'prove myself'), then join the Navy?
  7. Have you got a good Criminal Solicitor?
  8. A solicitor was appointed to me by the police, I'm gonna call her tomorrow and see if we can work something out. Perhaps if I explain my situation to her, she might be able to make some kind of deal with the magistrates?

    I don't care about fines, or community services. Abit of hard work can work those off, but getting blocked from joining the Navy would really hurt...
  9. Have you met up with her already?
  10. I met her at the station when I was arrested, I told her what happened, then she sat with me while I was interviewed under caution. She told me just to tell the truth, since I don't remember much about the night. Haven't heard from her since, 'cept for a generic letter from the law firm saying how much it's gonna cost me to plead guilty and such.
  11. The army (infantry or another shortage arm like artillery or sappers) will be a better bet if youre convicted of anything. The RN will not touch you until your conviction is spent.
  12. You should be meeting up with your Solicitor before you appear in court.
  13. Sapper? Is that an engineer?

    That does give me an idea...
  14. Why do you carry a Swiss Army Knife which you always carry anyway. Do you own a horse and fear for pebbles in it's hoof?

    You have to think what the prosecuting solicitor will say to you if you go to court.

    Not I always carry a Swiss Army Knife!

    I had been using it early on and forgot it was in my pocket I reached for my mobile phone and dragged out my Swiss Army knife. If you did drag it out of course!

    I often carry a weapon with being in horticulture if you can call it a weapon more a pruning instrument. Not that i go to the pub with it of course!
  15. I don't think that you should be bothering yourself with the question of which of the Armed Forces will consider you with a criminal record - you should be putting all your energies into working with your solicitor on an acquittal. You can think about what comes next then.
  16. At the moment, it just feels way out of my hands. I don't remember much about the night, and I've told her (and the police) everything I remember truthfully. It's not a very complicated case; I went out in a drunken state, got in a fight, took a knife out apparently, passed out, woke up in a cell. Thats all I remember. I will call her tomorrow and discuss it, but for now I'm just trying to weigh up my options and try and get my life on track.

    About the swiss army knife, well, I carry it around because its useful. Has a little bottle opener, corkscrew, scissors .etc, the knife ain't even sharp! I suppose that doesn't really matter though.
  17. sappers are the royal engineers, the combat engineers of the army.
  18. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Oh dear, what a shame. If you can't handle your beer, then sort your life out.

    Idiot. No excuse for having it on you. You must've made a conscious decision to put it in your pocket before you went out.

    Doesn't matter - you were in possession/control of the weapon.

    Really? Try saying that to the complainant or any other person present; would you feel threatened or in danger if you were in the vicinity of a knife-wielding drunkard in the street? You definition of 'assault' is probably very different to the legal one... :oops:

    Sounds like the realisation has dawned on you - you were a fool for having the knife on you; for getting drunk; for not being able to express yourself in public without resorting to violence. Learn from it and deal with the consequences - if there are any - and move on with your life. :cry:

    But if you're looking for sympathy from me, it'll be a long time coming. I have no time for people who cannot go out and have a good time without being violent, disorderly or abusive to everyone else.

  19. You do know that if you are fined or do community service it is still a punishment and with it goes the criminal record.

    Speak to your solicitor, explain your situation before your day in court. she should then be able to advise if pleading guilty is the best way forward and if she could use as mitigation that you are hoping to join up and this will ruin your chances.

    You may be able to get a conditional discharge - which is from CJA 1991

    1A Absolute and conditional discharge (1) Where a court by or before which a person is convicted of an offence (not being an offence the sentence for which is fixed by law) is of opinion, having regard to the circumstances including the nature of the offence and the character of the offender, that it is inexpedient to inflict punishment, the court may make an order either ...
    (b) if the court thinks fit, discharging him subject to the condition that he commits no offence during such period, not exceeding three years from the date of the order, as may be specified in the order.

    You will still have a criminal record.
  20. "Why do you carry a Swiss Army Knife which you always carry anyway. Do you own a horse and fear for pebbles in it's hoof?"

    :lol: :lol: :lol: CLASSIC LINE

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