While all criminal charges can have serious consequences, the impact can be even worse for those holding security clearances. With this in mind, the following is information on the relationship between criminal charges and security clearances and what you need to know. To learn more, call and schedule a consultation with a Manassas criminal lawyer today.
Under the adjudicatory guidelines there are any number of crimes which will cause a security clearance to be lost if an individual is convicted. Even when a person is convicted of a crime which does not trigger an automatic loss of clearance, it is nevertheless a factor which may be considered by the officer reviewing a clearance application or renewal.
It may be one of many factors which would cause an individual to lose their clearance or prevent them from getting a clearance in the first place. It is critically important for anyone who holds a security clearance to try to not have any convictions whatsoever and to work closely with an attorney who understands the impacts of various charges under the adjudicatory guidelines.
Our firm has a great deal of experience helping individuals who hold security clearances and are concerned about their security clearances. Practicing in the Washington, D.C. area for 12 years I talk weekly, if not daily, to individuals who are caught up in some kind of criminal offense, whether it be a reckless driving, domestic violence or some kind of drug offense, and have a security clearance which they rely upon for their livelihood. This is an issue that has to be taken seriously. It changes the way their case is handled.
It is very important for people who are in that situation to deal with an attorney who has a lot of experience with security clearance issues.
There are a number of ways that having a clearance can affect the way one would approach the case. For individuals who have clearances, it becomes more important to them not to have a conviction than it might be to others under the same circumstances. What that might mean in the individual case will vary. For example, individuals with clearances are often encouraged to accept certain penalties or jump through certain hoops in order to preserve their clearance, which they might not do if there was less on the line.
What I tell individuals who are worried about their security clearance is that most of the time lower-level misdemeanors such as reckless driving are not going to have an effect on their clearance, unless there are other problems on which the clearance officer is focused. I also make sure they understand that there are other kinds of charges, such as moral turpitude crimes, drug crimes or any kind of felony, which will effectively end their ability to hold a clearance if they are convicted.
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