Security Clearance And A Misdemeanor
Usually people need security clearance when they work for the federal government, as a government contractor, or an organization that deals with classified information or information related to national security.
There are different levels of security clearance, namely confidential, secret, top secret and sensitive compartmented information.
Usually when you apply for security clearance, you have to fill out the Standard Form 86 (SF 86), which is a 13-page document. In this form, you have to give your entire personal history going back to at least 7 years. You have list down all the places you have lived in the last 7 years, where you went to school, your employment details along with the details of your supervisors, people who know you besides your relatives and spouse, their date of birth, country of birth and present address, your military history if any, medical records, financial records, use of illegal drugs and/or alcohol, foreign activities including travel for business and pleasure, groups you are associated with and police records.
Criminal offense is of three types -- infractions, misdemeanors and felonies. For security clearance, misdemeanor is a crime for which the maximum penalty is jail time up to one year. Usually when a person has a misdemeanor, the record stays on for life. Therefore, if you fill out the SF 86, you should be honest about any misdemeanor you have been convicted of or charged with. If not, the investigating agency will any way find out about your conviction or charge and then begin to wonder what else you have lied about. This could result in denial of security clearance and as a result you could lose your job.
If you are not a habitual offender and a lot of time has lapsed since your criminal behavior, it will not cast any doubts on your reliability and trustworthiness and you can get the necessary security clearance for your job.
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