Chance for approval

Here’s the situation- I’m filling out the SF86 for a Secret Clearance. 10 years ago I was arrested for Illegal Consumption (Petty Offense). 9 years ago I was arrested for possession of cannabis less than 2.5 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia (this was a small one hitter pipe).

The illegal consumption was amended to Disorderly conduct (Petty Offense) and dismissed. I was acquitted of the possession of cannabis. I was then placed under 2 years court supervision for the paraphernalia charge which I then completed and was acquitted. I had both possession charges expunged from my record.

I’ve been clean of any drugs for 5 years and haven’t had any marks on my record since the incident 9+ years ago.

Can I still be approved?

Yes, you can. Pay attention to the time frames on each question, Make sure that you answer the “ever” questions correctly. Base your answers on the charges, not the pleas. You were arrested and for possession nine years ago. You were arrested, charged and convicted of the paraphernalia charge nine years ago.

Be as honest as you can and use the explanation area to detail the result of the charges and to show that you have been clean for five years. It would better if you had been clean for nine years but it is what it is.

The biggest risk you face at this point is the risk of looking like you are trying to hide something.

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I guess I should add that I was 17 and 18 years old at the time of the arrest. Also, I have my expungement papers that state I was released without conviction for both charges. How should I proceed with answering the questions?

You need to list it

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I have no problem listing it. I am just looking for “how” to list it. The attorney that represented me doesn’t have documentation from the case and neither does the court house… obviously since it was expunged. All I have are my expungement papers. These papers don’t list specifics of what the outcome of my case was other than that I was acquitted on both charges. One of those charges due to the completion of court supervision.

You answer the have you ever question then add any other detail you want in the comments section. I would just state the facts. Don’t try to make a mea culpa or excuses and don’t overthink it. Keep it simple.

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What they^ said. Don’t write a novel. You captured it fairly well above. Say it, and they will find it. You get points for honesty.