One of the most common questions we receive from clients that work for the government or a government contractor to the Department of Defense (DOD), CIA, or other government agency, is whether their reckless driving case will cause them to lose their government security clearance.
There are really two separate questions at play: will the clearance itself be revoked, and if not, will access to a particular site or building be lost.
The government determines both initial and continued eligibility for a security clearance under the Adjudication Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified Information, which were issued pursuant to Executive Order 12968.
The 13 Adjudication Guideline Categories:
- Allegiance to the United States
- Foreign Influence
- Foreign Preference
- Sexual Behavior
- Personal Conduct
- Financial Considerations
- Alcohol Consumption
- Drug Involvement
- Psychological Conditions
- Criminal Conduct
- Handling Protected Information
- Outside Activities
- Misuse of Information Technology
For each of the above categories, there is a 2-part inquiry – (1) identification of what concerning information exists with respect to a particular applicant, and (2) what mitigating factors are present in a person’s life to balance against the potentially disqualifying information.
Balancing Test Applied to Review Clearance
When someone is charged with a crime, the adjudicator must make a determination whether that the person continues to be an acceptable security risk by engaging in this balancing test. When this balancing shows evidence of unreliability or untrustworthiness, the person’s ability to work in a secure environment and have access to classified information can be curtailed or revoked.
Loss of Building Access
Sometimes a clearance may be unaffected, but access to a particular building may require the absence of any criminal convictions. In this situation, a person would no longer be able to go to their place of employment if convicted. If this is in fact the case, it is important to document this as it is something that may help, along with other mitigating evidence, convince a prosecutor or judge to reduce your case to a non-criminal/non-reckless infraction.
Be Aware of Your Disclosure Requirements
It is also critical for you to know what your particular disclosure requirements are. Merely being charged can often trigger disclosure requirements on your part. Sometimes the act of not disclosing a pending charge can be more damaging than the underlying offense itself because it is looked upon as an act of dishonesty.
The best approach is to make every attempt to avoid the criminal conviction.
Contact a Fairfax Reckless Driving Attorney For Help
If you have a security clearance and have been charged with reckless driving or other offense, contact Manikas Law by calling 703-556-0004 or using our Contact Us page to schedule a consultation. Kyle Manikas, a Fairfax Virginia Reckless Driving Defense Lawyer will analyze your Fairfax reckless driving case from the perspective of a former prosecutor who has an inside understanding of the Fairfax system you will face.