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Impact Of A DUI On Security Clearances in DC

Because Washington DC has a large number of people employed by the government or employed with private companies that contract with the government, there are many people who require government security clearances as a condition of their employment. This includes people who work for the government and people who work for companies such as defense contractors or other private companies that frequently do business with the federal government. With the prevalence of these clearances, DUI charges can sometimes carry unintended consequences making it harder for those accused to receive security clearance or causing those with security clearances to have their clearances revoked. With this in mind, it is important that those accused consult with a DC DUI lawyer to avoid or mitigate the harm of their offense as much as possible. To discuss your case in more detail, call and schedule a consultation today.

Impact of a DUI on Your Security Clearance

A person with a security clearance who is arrested on a DUI has an obligation to notify the proper authority of their DUI arrest. A person with a security clearance should understand their time limits, when their obligation to notify begins, and follow those requirements very strictly.

Already having a security clearance and subsequently being arrested for a DUI does not necessarily result in a person’s security clearance being revoked. However, if the government feels that a holder of a security clearance was not forthcoming about their arrest or is otherwise being dishonest about their criminal charge, the government may find that person’s failure to follow the proper disclosure requirements compromises their ability to effectively maintain their security clearance. That could result in the cancellation of the person’s security clearance. Therefore, as soon as a person with a security clearance is arrested, they should immediately look into their specific security clearance requirements and follow through on any reporting requirements to minimize their chances of having their security clearance revoked.

Can Losing a Clearance Jeopardize Employment?

A person with a security clearance who is arrested for a DUI could have their employment compromised. There are many things a person charged with a DUI can do to minimize the impact to their employment and to their security clearance.

Since many government jobs require a security clearance as a condition of employment, it is important for a person facing this situation to discuss their circumstances with their defense lawyer to better understand what they can do to minimize the consequences to their job.

This could involve enrolling in intensive outpatient treatment and following through on any reporting requirements.

Impact on Obtaining a Security Clearance

Having a DUI on your record does not necessarily prohibit you from obtaining a security clearance. The government takes many factors into account when deciding whether to grant or deny a person a security clearance and one of those factors is a person’s criminal history. There are some criminal convictions that prevent a person from obtaining a security clearance including most types of felony criminal convictions.

Therefore, a DUI charge as a misdemeanor in Washington, DC, does not necessarily prevent someone from getting a security clearance. However, when deciding whether to grant someone with a DUI conviction a security clearance, the government takes into account the age of the infraction, any alcohol treatment or education programs the person completed, and any other behavioral concerns the government has outside of the DUI case.

Building a Defense

A person with a security clearance is in a much better position to avoid a revocation of that clearance if they avoid being convicted on the criminal charge. Therefore, it is the responsibility of an effective defense attorney to explore all possibilities with prosecutors and investigate all options, including the possibility of an acquittal at trial, to help a person minimize the chances of their security clearance being revoked and their job terminated.

Effective negotiations and aggressive trial strategy can make the difference between a person keeping their security clearance and losing their job.

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