Getting and keeping a security clearance may be critical to your career and livelihood. This applies to federal government employees and individuals who work for government contractors. When the government to denies or suspends a security clearance, it will issue a Statement of Reasons or a Letter of Intent. You have a brief opportunity – usually only 15 days -- to respond. It is important to talk with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Through the security clearance adjudicative process, the federal government examines relevant periods of an individual’s life to make a determination on whether the individual is eligible for a security clearance. The process involves a review of several factors:
- allegiance to the United States,
- foreign influence,
- foreign preference,
- sexual behavior,
- personal conduct,
- financial considerations,
- alcohol consumption,
- drug involvement,
- emotional, mental and personality disorders,
- criminal conduct,
- security violations,
- outside activities, and
- misuse of information and technology systems.
There are many misconceptions about how these factors are applied. One very common misperception is that if an individual seeks psychological counseling or take prescribed medication, they will lose their security clearance or become ineligible for a clearance. This is not true. Although emotional, mental and personality disorders may be considered, such conditions do not typically raise a security clearance concern. In fact, the Department of Defense’s adjudicative guidelines for determining eligibility to classified information state that a risk may be present when individuals fails to follow appropriate medical advice regarding treatment of a condition or fails to take prescribed medication.
When evaluating whether an individual should have or maintain access to classified information, the government will consider aggravating and mitigating circumstances. Several mitigating and/or aggravating conditions relate to each adjudicative factor.
Our attorneys have helped clients address security clearance concerns at all phase of the process. We guide clients through the application process to ensure that information is correctly and properly presented. We give recommendations to minimize delays and obstacles in the processing of applications. We represent our clients when their clearances are suspended or denied and we help clients fight to maintain their clearances.
Persuasive presentation of an individual’s background and personal history can be instrumental to the granting or maintaining of a security clearance. We can help you take actions to ensure that you make a responsive, thorough, and persuasive reply. We can help ensure that you understand the factual allegations against you and which adjudicative guidelines are triggered. We can guide you in gathering the right evidence and make arguments on your behalf for mitigation.
If you are applying for a security clearance, have concerns about keeping your clearance, or have received a Statement of Reasons or Letter of Intent, contact us. Whether you are filing an initial application and need guidance, you currently hold a clearance and are under review, or your clearance is in jeopardy of being suspended or rescinded, we can give you a thorough understanding of which security clearance adjudicative factors may apply to your unique situation and how to preserve and enforce your rights.