A criminal arrest and the charge alone can affect a person’s security clearance, but the most significant effect will be a criminal conviction. A criminal conviction is a court finding that this person was correctly charged and is guilty of said crime. That can affect someone’s ability to keep a security clearance, to renew it if it is based upon a specific time length, or to get one in the first place. This can also be for small crimes such as misdemeanor drug offenses or misdemeanor theft cases.
They might indicate to the government body that this person is not trustworthy and might have compromised information out there in the community about them if they are currently engaged in theft or using illicit drugs. Misdemeanor crimes can affect a security clearance, and flint crimes have an even greater effect on a person’s ability to get a security clearance.
For help with understanding Montgomery County security clearances, reach out to a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. They could explain your rights and legal options.
People with security clearances are trusted to sensitive information, and that trust could be compromised if the employer discovers new criminal charges. To the employer or government body, it indicates their employee is currently involved in or associated with criminal activity. All this could lead to a possible leak of that classified information.
If a person is unable to work in a classified manner as required for their job, then their security clearance could be revoked, or they could be terminated.
If the person is worried about losing their security clearance, then that becomes the defense attorney’s top priority in the case to figure out a way to minimize the impact. They can try to divert the case away from trial or to have a non-trial disposition that does not affect their security clearance.
This can be trying to negotiate with the district attorney, filing motions, and being aware that any guilty verdict could end up with the security clearance being revoked. It can also mean that the charged person may want expungement after the case is over to have this arrest taken off their record. The charges would not show up when a company searches the state’s databases or that person’s name. They will not see information about the arrest, what the charges were, or that the prosecutor withdrew the charges. It will be expunged from their record.
The most worrisome charges depend upon the issuing body that provided the security clearance. Drug possession is taken seriously by the military and other government bodies. It is a federal policy for no drug consumption and no illegal substances, which will reflect that they are not following the policy that they agreed to.
Charges such as drug possession or possession of paraphernalia can lead to a red flag on someone’s security clearance. Other charges could be crimes involving dishonesty, false swearing, theft crimes, forgeries, and other kinds of deception. Those also might indicate that the person is not as trustworthy as the government body thought, and they may consider revoking the security clearance based on that.
All people are presumed innocent until found guilty, and there are many steps before they could be convicted for a crime. In each of those steps, a defense attorney could help them keep their clearance. They could help them get acquitted of the charges or negotiating a withdrawal or reduced charge that will not affect their security clearance.
It is an attorney’s main priority to help the defendant keep their security clearance because their ability to work relies on the clearance. Speak to an attorney today to learn about how having a Montgomery County security clearance could affect your case.