Felony Vandalism Charge - Should I even try to renew my MMC?

Last year I was involved in an incident where I was accused of damaging somebody’s car. Despite the fact there were no witnesses or video evidence I was still arrested by the police and taken to jail. I recently went to court and the whole case/charges were dismissed but I still had to pay $500 in restitution to pay the person’s deductible on their car insurance.

So I know that since I had to pay $500 the USCG still considers this a conviction and I’m gonna have to report it. But after reading the CFRs I saw that crimes for damage of property have like a 5 year waiting period for assessment. So does this mean the NMC or whoever won’t even consider my application until that times passes? If that’s the case I don’t even see the point in spending time or money on the refresher classes I’ll need to renew my MMC. Any one have any experience with something like this? I’m due to renew by June 2023.

Just submit for renewal. If they tell you no, so be it. My suspicion is that if you just report it like you’re supposed to and behave yourself otherwise, you’ll get your renewal and move on.


Consult an attorney. If your case was dismissed, you should not have a conviction on your record. If you were convicted without evidence, an attorney may be able to have your record expunged.

With regard to how the Coast Guard considers convictions, I wouldn’t be so sure. First, it depends on the exact manner it was “dismissed.” There are many outcomes that are termed “dismissal” that meet the definition of a conviction in 46 CFR 10.107, e.g. continued without a finding. Being ordered to make restitution sounds like it could meet the definition of a conviction:

…If an applicant… is required by the court to attend classes, make contributions of time or money…then the Coast Guard will consider the applicant to have received a conviction. A later expungement of the conviction will not negate a conviction unless the Coast Guard is satisfied that the expungement is based upon a showing that the court’s earlier conviction was in error. [emphasis added]

Also, a conviction is not automatically disqualifying, but it means an application will be subject to additional scrutiny, and additional evidence may need to be submitted to establish eligibility. See 46 CFR 10.211(i). Note that the Coast Guard does not consider the particulars of the case leading to a conviction, so a claim of lack of evidence will not be considered, the Coast Guard accepts the conviction on the record, any recourse for lack of evidence has to be pursued in the courts.

If you are considering not renewing, or cannot renew, consider having your credentials placed into continuity so that you are able to renew in the future.


Yeah I think I will, might as well try and see what happens.

In the eyes of the law and courts yeah it isn’t on my record and I can even have the case sealed which I plan on so it won’t show up on standard background checks. But I’m pretty sure it will still show up on the federal NCIC or whatever the coast guard checks as an arrest/no conviction.

To be honest , the particulars of the case sound so inconsequential that I wouldn’t even worry about it.

If you paid restitution, you were found guilty or pled guilty. Courts can’t order an innocent person to pay.

What is the EXACT language on your court paperwork.

You were NOT arrested by the Police without Probable Cause, meaning there WAS evidence you did it…which is proven in that you were made to pay restitution.

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I didn’t plead anything, I walked into the court with my lawyer stood before the judge for a few moments. There was some back and forth between my lawyer the judge and DA and all that was said essentially was that the commonwealth would dismiss the charges if I paid the $500. I don’t know what exactly the court paperwork says I’d have to get copies of it.

The probable cause was the statement of the victim and them identifying me, the damage they showed police on the car which could have already been there for all they know. That’s it.

That’s not how it works. You pled guilty. You were arrested because the evidence and witness(es) were believed by the Court.

Your attorney didn’t even mount a defense…If everything was dismissed, why do you need to “seal your record.”

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Because the arrest and charges will still show up on a CORI background check, even if they’re dismissed. Sealing them prevents that from happening.

Call Jewell Smith JLS Maritime. She is very helpful for a reasonable fee.

Does NMC access NCIC as well as NDR?

NMC doesn’t access it directly, but they get the data from TSA. That is why it’s critical to note you are a mariner on the TWIC application form. Without it NMC doesn’t get an automatic data share from TSA and it delays your application with NMC works with TSA to enable the share.

That’s interesting. I have TSA and TWIC clearance and have had since they were implemented as most of us have. When I got TSA they said they only go back 5 years. However USCG via NDR goes back forever which is understandable. If USCG does not access NCIC most folks who are clear or at least honest about NDR hits and TSA approved should be OK ?

This went one of two ways:

  1. There is some official court record of “Defendant paid $500”.
  2. The judge and prosecutor decided this was kind of a bullshit case and informally said “Just pay the guy’s deductible and go away and we won’t bother with this”, in which case the formal record will just say “Null Process”, “Dismissed” or similar. You can probably go online and find this out yourself, if not cough up for a lawyer. The second choice is the one you want to see :wink:

NMC gets current NCIC data from TSA, without a limitation on how long ago.

I live in Massachusetts and we have what’s called CORI or Criminal Offender Record Information, you can pay to get a copy of any court appearances/arrests that are on your record.

I just got a copy of mine and next to “Disposition Type” it says (Non Conviction) and under that it says “Court Disposition” (PD DISM) . I looked up the definitions of the court codes and that stands for “Paid Dismissed”. There’s no mention of restitution which would have been abbreviatied as “REST” next to that.

I had a lawyer and he told me this wasn’t considered a conviction at all. If the NMC doesn’t even look up the NCIC themselves I don’t know how they would even find out about this, since I already have my TWIC and I don’t think I’ll have a problem renewing that since this isn’t technically a felony conviction in their eyes.

Geez, all that plus a good credit report and a few interviews is about all that’s needed for a pretty high security clearance.
Understandable though as one wouldn’t want some miscreant chipping paint.