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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 34720
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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Our grandson was in the armed services for a brief period when

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Our grandson was in the armed services for a brief period when his only parent and best friend - his father died. When he returned back to his base he was going through a depressed state which he brought to the attention of a lieutenant colonel. Shortly after he had a situation with a sergeant and the sergeant filed a complaint against him. This episode included the sergeant banging his head against the floor which left him with bruises which he called to the attention of the army police. Shortly after that he was given a general, but honorable discharge and before leaving the base he stopped in at the police department to make certain his records was cleared and was told all was okay.

Since leaving the army Josh has tried to improve his life. He has attended school and become certified in the health field but all of his hard work may be in vane unless he can clear his record as a background check indicates that there still exists a criminal charge against him stemming from the encounter he had had with the sergeant. We write to find out how we can go about having his record expunged or sealed so that a background check would no longer ruin his changes for a normal life.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

Sorry, not sure I understand your question. If he has been discharged, it is not possible for criminal charges to remain. That said, if he was ever arrested, a record of this arrest COULD remain.

DO you know if this is the case? If the record that exists if of an arrest?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Well we saw a copy of the complaint that was filed and apparently it indicated that he had been found guilty even though he had never appeared before any court or had any representation. I don't understand - we received a letter from the attorney general of the state of New Jersey saying that the background check indicated he had a criminal record and reference was made to this complaint. How do we straighten this out....this background check keeps bringing this complaint up?

Thank you

SO can you tell me what happened with this and the military besides the discharge? Did he go to a court martial?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No. He had been taken to the military police after the confrontation with the sergeant and he had them take pictures of his head because the sergeant had slammed his head into the floor and caused bruising. He explained what happened to the police and was let go. He had already started processing his request to leave the army due to his emotional state and this was granted. He was given a general discharge with honorable consideration and when he went back to the police to check on the prior charge they said he was cleared. There was no court martial.To whom do we write to get this corrected.

Thank you

There are a few steps to correct this. But first let me explain what is going on (so you can understand the steps you need to correct)

Whenever a soldier is arrested, the arresting agency will input a report of that arrest into the FBI Criminal Database. This data base (called the NCIC for National Crime Information Center) is available to law enforcement nationwide.

After the initial arrest, the agency that made the report has a duty to follow up and input the resolution of the case. SO, for example, if a soldier is arrested but never goes to a criminal trial, the NCIC record should reflect the arrest and that there was never a conviction.

What you describe? It sounds like there is an error in the NCIC.

The first thing that your grandson will want to do is request a copy of his military record. he can do so here

Make sure he requests the entire record. There is no cost and it takes a few weeks to have it sent.

Next, he can request his NCIC file. He can do so here

This will also take several weeks to process.

Once he has his records and the FBI records, he will be able to see if the FBI records are accurate.

IF they are not accurate? Then he can write to the agency that arrested him...they are the ones responsible for corrections. I would mail them a copy of his military record and NCIC record. That would show the discrepancy. That should be enough to get them to correct may be that the record is accurate. There should be a record of his arrest. That is not something that can be removed...if it is accurate, they are not going to change the record

But if the record is not accurate? If they claim he was convicted and he was only arrested, they can change the record to reflect the truth

Let me know if you have more questions...happy to help if I can

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