Applying for Clearance Not Sure What to Put for a Unique Police Incident

I am filing for a secret clearance, and I am not sure what to put for under the Charges and Arrests section of the SF-86.

When I was 15, I was in a vehicle that was pulled over by a police officer for a break light issue. When the officer walked to the driver’s side window, he stated that he smelled marijuana in the vehicle and asked for a confession upon the threat of bringing dogs to search the car. My friend who was driving quickly confessed that there was in fact marijuana in the car (we had smoked prior to this) and we were all asked to exit the car while the two officers conducted a search. They found maybe 2 grams of the stuff. We sat on the curb (without being handcuffed) while this was done. One officer checked our licenses and found that we were all under the age of 17 and proceeded to have us call our parents to pick us up from the location. The police officer informed us and our parents that we were not charged and we were sent home on account of us complying from the beginning and because we were minors.

My question is should I report this event? And if so, where? Because to my knowledge I was not arrested nor was I charged with anything, and I have been informed that putting “no” and then leaving a comment is grounds for a rejection as it is conflicting information.

It is possible that a friend of mine from high school would mention this in a clearance interview and I’m uncertain as to how an investigator would handle it if they found out from a friend of mine first. Would they see it as me trying to hide the occurance?

No . . . You were not charged and you were not even arrested . . . On the other hand, I guess we now know how much grass is needed to get two cops high . . .

You didn’t provide a key item to the equation, how long ago was this event?

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If outside the 7/10 rule, I would think non event, but I WOULD speak to it in the BI. You never really know how something is captured by every municipality out there. I had a 3 mph backing accident, no damage and my Lt took my government license, gave it back a week later. Had no idea it was reported to the safety and transportation folks. When I changed bases to stateside and was in the process of getting a new government license…they asked whatever became of the reported traffic accident and revocation of license…so I had high anxiety for a week until it just went away. But it happens. I defer to the BI guy but I do not believe you will get a package rejected by saying “no” but speaking to the concern. More important is how long since incident, and if it has been well over 12 months I do not see it being an issue. Depending on the size of the sheriff or police agency you truly do not know what was recorded.

Where on the SF86 do you list talking to the police at age 15? In reality, this was a simple traffic stop. No arrest, no charges. Even if they recorded any information about his identity in a report, that’s all it is. He wasn’t cleared at the time and I expect that it was at least three years ago.

I don’t have any problem with discussing it with investigator but I see no need to report it.

The event took place over 7 years ago.

Thank you for your reply everyone, and for providing more clarity on how I should handle this event in the report. To answer your questions, this event did take place over 7 years ago, so I will likely not put it in the initial report especially since it wasn’t an arrest.

Do not list it in the police/arrest section. If you have not used drugs in the past 7 years (and therefore can answer no to the drug questions), this will not come up and I would not just bring it up to the BI. If you have used drugs in the past 7 years, the BI will ask about any police involvements…I would definitely bring it up at this point. Listen to the questions asked and answer truthfully. While the drug offense question is a forever question, you weren’t arrested, charged, or convicted of any offense. I agree with the BI above, you don’t need to list it.

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Okay, thank you for clearing this up for me.

Ed, common misconception - the “two year” rule only applies to residences, education, employment. Everything else is reported for the periods requested by the SCA.

I’m not talking about any “two year rule”, I’m talking about this specific incident. Guessing that it was at least three years ago, doesn’t include charges or an arrest. It doesn’t appear, to me, that there is anything to report.

If the OP (who seems to have disappeared) only “talked” (as a witness) to a policeman - then the incident is normally not reportable - regardless of their age. It is reportable if the OP spoke to the police as a suspect (their name will appear in the field report) as the OP’s name will appear in our law check.

Sadly/seriously, the youngest I’ve had was a Subject’s whose name was in a police report at the age of 2 years - and the police marked my Subject as the suspect. This was not a small town police force.

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Where on the SF86 does it ask if the applicant was ever a SUSPECT in a crime?

When you are listed as suspect in a police report - you are normally being charged/arrested. The SCA doesn’t seem to require you to be convicted to report your police interaction.

I think I will side with Ed on this one… it doesnt appear that the OP was charged or arrested. Yes, the OP was detained, but being detained is not the same as being arrested. Also, the OP stated that the officer told him that he would not be charged.

Section 22.1 would not be applicable since it was outside the 7-year window and OP wasn’t arrested.

Section 22.2 would not apply because OP wasn’t charged.

Section 23 wouldnt apply unless OP possess security clearance eligibility at the time (23.3) or worked as police, prosectutor, etc (23.4). While there are other elements in Section 23, I presume that they wouldnt be applicable based on the information provided.

I don’t see where else this could be listed…

There’s no reason to think that the OP was listed as a “suspect” on any police report. He was a minor, in a car with some grass. It wasn’t on his person. An incident report doesn’t even mean that there was a “suspect”. No one in the car was arrested or charged.

I wouldn’t list it. I’m not even sure that I would remember it. If questioned about it later, “The incident didn’t appear to meet the requirements of any question but I’m more than happy to talk about it now.”