Obtaining Security Clearance

Domestic Violence Incidents Lead to Clearance Denial

Domestic violence incidents are usually result in uncontrolled emotional responses caused by irritation or aggravation with the behavior of a partner. Situations can escalate quickly and turn physical. In the security clearance world this type of behavior is a concern under Guideline E: Personal Conduct and Guideline J: Criminal Conduct. There are questions of judgment and reliability if an individual has offenses for domestic violence, disorderly conduct, shows anger or argues at inappropriate times, or has fits of temper. It matters not if no official charges are filed if there is reasonable preponderance of evidence that the conduct did happen. If police are called and an arrest is made then criminal charges are now also an issue. Here is a short summary of a recent Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA) case involving multiple instances of domestic violence:

This DoD contractor applicant was involved in three separate domestic violence incidents with his wife that occurred in 2004, 2007, and the last one in August 2019 after he had been issued a Statement of Reasons by the DoD CAF. The last one resulted in criminal charges to which applicant pled guilty and as a part of his sentencing, he was put on probation and required to complete an 18 week domestic violence course. The DoD CAF denied eligibility for a clearance and the applicant subsequently appealed to DOHA. The judge in this case opined the applicant had not completed sufficient rehabilitation and future conduct was probable since the applicant had stated he and his wife were in a better relationship after counseling and vowed similar incidents would not happen, but then was involved in another altercation. Obviously the judge was not swayed by the applicants promise – clearance eligibility denied!

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