Security Clearance Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

When most people think about the consequences of a criminal conviction, they think of a fine, probation or possible jail time. What is not widely known or appreciated is the fact that a conviction of a relatively minor offense can result in the loss or denial of a security clearance for a government job or government-contracting job.

At the Law Offices of James N. Papirmeister, P.C., in Silver Spring, we are here to protect you from the consequences of a criminal arrest or conviction, including loss of the security clearance you need to do your job. Attorney James N. Papirmeister has extensive experience working with the security clearance consequences of a criminal conviction.

Effect of an Arrest on Your Security Clearance

In many cases, a person will go into court without a lawyer and be induced into entering a misdemeanor guilty plea for a small fine, no jail time and no probation. It may seem like a good deal. The person who accepts the deal may learn too late that they have set themselves up for loss of the security clearance they need to do their job.

If you have been charged with a crime, you should not accept any plea deal before you discuss your case with a lawyer who understands the consequences it would have on obtaining or renewing a security clearance.

If you are applying for a security position, you will need to complete questionnaire SF-86, which asks if you have been charged with a criminal offense, including any offense involving alcohol or drugs. The questionnaire was revised in 2010 to specifically ask about charges involving domestic violence or protective orders. No matter what charge you were arrested for or how your case was disposed, you need legal advice before you complete the questionnaire. Making a false statement on the questionnaire is a felony.

For More Information About the Effect of a Criminal Arrest on Your Security Clearance

Don't let a criminal arrest or conviction affect your security clearance. To speak with an experienced security clearance attorney, please call 301-589-2100 or complete our contact form.