Background InvestigationsCareer AdviceObtaining Security Clearance

Criminal Conduct and Security Clearances II

This is the second of a two-part article on the relevance and effect of criminal conduct on security clearances. Part 1 covered the Relevance of Criminal Conduct to Security Clearances.

Posted on, the article focuses on the effects of criminal conduct on security clearances.


Although, Criminal Conduct is always a security/suitability concern; it becomes a potentially disqualifying condition under the Adjudicative Guidelines when it involves:

“(a) A single serious crime (felony) or multiple lesser offenses (infractions or misdemeanors).
“(b) Discharge or dismissal from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions.
“(c) Allegation or admission of criminal conduct, regardless of whether the person was formally charged, formally prosecuted or convicted.
“(d) Individual is currently on parole or probation.
“(e) Violation of parole or probation, or failure to complete a court-mandated rehabilitation program.
“(f) Convicted in any court of the United States of a crime, sentenced to imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year, and incarcerated as a result of that sentence for not less than 1 year.”


The following conditions may mitigate Criminal Conduct concerns:

Multiple Lesser Offenses Not Serious
Multiple minor traffic infractions without allegations of other criminal conduct would not be an issue under the Criminal Conduct criterion. However, they can be considered under the Personal Conduct criterion along with any other dishonest, unreliable, or rule-breaking behavior.

Alleged Crime Not Committed
Security clearance adjudications do not use the same standard of evidence used in criminal proceedings. Once the government has…  read more.