We all make mistakes or have bad things happen to us throughout our lives. How will these events shape your efforts in joining the military?
Maybe you have spent time in court before - maybe it was for shoplifting. Or maybe a few years ago you took some anti-depressant medications. Maybe you had asthma when you were younger. Or maybe you've just had three speeding tickets in the past month, but other than that you're free of trouble. Do any of these circumstances mean that you'll automatically be disqualified to join the military?
In most cases, you will not be automatically disqualified. However, you may need a waiver and/or you may have to wait a while to clear your record or show you are on the right track, but you are probably not going to be permanently disqualified.
Waivers can come quickly, or they can take a long time. A lot of it depends on your initiative and how well you are qualified otherwise. High ASVAB scores, a willingness to choose from several different jobs, and keeping in regular contact with your recruiter can affect the waiver process.
Although the disqualifying health conditions or legal history may not be permanently disqualifying, Lying or not telling your recruiter about them is. In fact lying to a recruiter can lead to a fraudulent enlistment and could land you in jail. Jail would be a lot less fun than being up front, especially for something that could have been taken care of before you joined! Remember that there is no penalty or punishment in talking about your situations with your recruiter, so always check with him/her first!