I am hoping someone on the forum may better advise and guide me on eligibility to join the Auxiliary as I cannot ascertain from online research alone... the information appears contradictory.
Here are the details of my case:
About 20 years ago, a parent meted-out corporal punishment for misbehavior; I had an earnest and sincere fear of excessive bodily harm, so I pushed away the parent and ran to the phone to dial 911 . The responding officer took a hard-line approach and indicated that a juvenile cannot resist physical punishment from a parent by pushing them away, and with the permission of the parent (to teach me a lesson), I was handcuffed and brought to a juvenile detention center - booked under a misdemeanor "simple battery - domestic" charge.
Despite my desire to fight the charge, it was strongly advised by the state that I accept responsibility and enter a diversion program to avoid prosecution - it was explained to the parent and myself that successful completion was in my best interest and that the result would be as if it never happened. Even the parent asked if we could drop charges and proceedings (they felt I had learned my lesson), and the state indicated that domestic charges would most probably result in the DA electing to pursue, despite the desire of the parent to drop the case, which could result in a conviction.
Therefore, we chose to complete requirements of the court, after which, charges were dropped by the state... it was listed on my juvenile record as an arrest with charges dropped.
My arrest and court records were expunged at some point... in my jurisdiction, the paper and digital records were physically destroyed. They do not show-up under query by the state agency's system; the local jurisdiction/court has no record of the arrest or court case. I have no problems passing NICS firearms checks - as a matter of fact, I hold a concealed weapons license that required an FBI fingerprint background check.
I have been with my wife for 17 years - we have children and have never once had any sort of domestic problem. I have not had any run-ins with law enforcement aside from two minor traffic tickets. I try to live as a productive, good citizen of the United States.
Recently, I have felt a burning desire to do something for my country... to give back and to become a better role model for my children. I have a bachelor's degree and a successful career in the tech industry - I am ready and willing to offer volunteer services to the Auxiliary, if they'll allow.
What confuses me are a few things... according to the Coast Guard Recruiting Manual (https://media.defense.gov/2018/May/16/2001917927/-1/-1/0/CIM_1100_2F.PDF), a "Conviction" is:
"An adjudication of guilt by a criminal or civilian authority, either domestic or foreign, including actions taken tantamount to a finding of guilt, e.g., adjudication withheld; deferred prosecution; entry in adult/juvenile pretrial intervention programs; or any similar disposition of charges such as imposition of fines, probation, community service, etc."
Note the language explicitly stating that a juvenile pretrial intervention program is a "conviction". Additionally, the manual states:
"Any applicant convicted of a felony or domestic violence is ineligible for accession."
Therefore, for purposes of volunteering with the Auxiliary, despite the fact charges were dropped and the arrest record was expunged, the pretrial intervention program is treated as a "conviction". This seems to be confirmed by http://join.cgaux.org/eligibility,
which states that an individual is ineligible if "Convicted of any domestic violence charge."
"3. Have you ever been convicted of a violation of any law of the United States, any State, possession or territory, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico classified as a major misdemeanor or a felony?"
...with no definition as to conviction; therefore, as interpreted, the fact that charges were dropped indicates a non-conviction (contradictory to the Coast Guard Recruiting Manual, which indicates that a diversion program was a "conviction").
Do I have a chance at joining? I would hate to go through the process only to have my application rejected by PSI at some point.
Thank you for your time and consideration.