Obtaining Security ClearanceSecurity Clearance Process

Criminal Conduct and Security Clearances

An article posted on ClearanceJobs.com on 26 Jan 09 focuses on the relevance and effect of criminal conduct on security clearances.

The Adjudicative Guidelines states that Criminal activity creates doubt about a person’s judgment, reliability and trustworthiness. By its very nature, it calls into question a person’s ability or willingness to comply with laws, rules and regulations.

Because of the high rate of adult recidivism, this issue is perhaps one of the best predictors of future compliance with rules for handling classified information.

The Questionnaire for National Security Positions (Standard Form 86 – SF86) asks if an applicant has ever been charged with a felony offense or any offense involving alcohol, drugs, firearms or explosives. It also asks if an applicant:

1) has been arrested within the past 7 years (10 years for Top Secret clearance),
2) has been subject to court martial or other military disciplinary proceedings, or
3) is currently pending some court action for a criminal charge or offense.

Criminal offenses are divided into three categories: infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. For security clearance purposes, an infraction is…read more.