If you are in a position or applying for a position that grants access to classified information, you need a security clearance. It may seem like a mere formality. After all, you've never been convicted of any real crime. But there are various reasons a security clearance might be denied, and the consequences of a denial or revocation can be detrimental for your career and future.
What issues are most likely to impact your security clearance?
The most common security concerns are:
- Excessive accumulation of consumer debt;
- Criminal activity;
- Foreign contacts; and
- Recent or previously undisclosed drug use.
If you uncover an issue of concern when completing your SF-86, it's a good idea to consult with an attorney experienced in security clearance adjudications. An experienced attorney can assess the risk of your application and provide guidance to achieve the best possible outcome. In certain circumstances, such as a recent arrest, applicants may have more success delaying their application for a period rather than applying and receiving a denial. A denial precludes an applicant from reapplying for 12 months and may have more devastating consequences than postponing an application. An experienced security clearance attorney can help you make the best decision based on your circumstances.
Ultimately, when completing your application, it is vital to be open, honest, and truthful. A lack of candor or dishonesty in any application is very difficult to overcome later in the adjudication process. Regardless of the circumstances, an attorney will discuss with you what information must be disclosed on your application and how you can immediately begin mitigating the concern. With the advice of an attorney, individuals are better prepared to thoroughly complete the SF-86 and confidently interview with the clearance investigator.
When should you hire a security clearance lawyer?
If you have any potential security clearance concern, you should consult with an experienced security clearance lawyer as early as possible. In our experience, the earlier an individual consults with a security clearance lawyer, the better the outcome.
Prior to completing your SF-86, you should consult with an attorney who can review your application and identify any areas of concern. Once a security concern has been properly identified, an attorney can advise you on appropriate remediation measures to lessen the potential ramifications. Oftentimes, individuals underestimate how these concerns can impact their ability to obtain or maintain their security clearance. Consequently, these individuals end up spending more time and money defending their application than they otherwise would have with a trained attorney.
At Patriots Law Group, we're here to help. We have represented many clients, both military and civilian, through all stages of security clearance adjudications. Our thorough knowledge and experience in this practice area lends itself to providing you valuable advice throughout an undoubtedly stressful process. Let us help you to reach the best resolution possible. Give us a call today at 301-952-9000.
DISCLAIMER: The information above is for general informational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is intended or created by this information. Each individual situation is different and therefore a formal in-person consultation is necessary before any specific advice may be relied upon as appropriate and accurate for a given situation. Please call Patriots Law Group at 301-952-9000 to set up a consultation if you wish to obtain specific legal advice you may rely upon. We serve clients anywhere in the world through remote consultations. We are also available for in-person consultations available at our Camp Springs, MD office — right next to Andrews Air Force Base — and our Lorton, VA office – right next to Fort Belvoir.