How far does SF-86 investigators go back to check for criminal background?

Here goes. I was recently offered a position through a recruiter for AWRDS clerk position which require a secret clearance. I was sent an e-quip application to fill out and released to my FSO for that company, which will be submitted my her. One (major) problem I have is I’ve been arrested in 2013 for misdemeanor possession of marijuana. It was later reduced to disorderly conduct… I did 6 months probation and drug program completion. I was rearrested for violation of probation because I could not pay all fines in the time given (almost forgot to input this info). I’ve known a guy who had some violent crimes, served 10 yrs in prison and was later granted a security clearance (not sure what level), and worked overseas for many years. My question is: How far do they look back on criminal past? I was told 7 yrs, 5 yrs, and a laughable 2 yrs. I honestly dont want to put such a SF-86 investigation cost on this company knowing I will be denied and possibly getting that cost placed on me. Can someone knowledgeable on this kind of thing help? Thanks

Will go back decades if relating to certain things. Note the “ever” questions in section 22.

Most questions state 7 years, but like the other poster mentioned, some questions ask if “ever.” Bottom line, your 2013 incident needs to be put down. It will not necessarily disqualify you from getting a clearance. Also, make sure you put the original charge, not the reduced charge. You can state the outcome in the comments section provided.

For an initial investigation, regardless if the FBI rap sheet reflects older charges, police reports and court dispositions are obtained going back 7 years for Tier 3 investigations and 10 years for Tier 5. Police reports contain BAC results.

Probably not, depends on the seriousness of the offense, most likely just looked at the court disposition. Sounds like you may have misrepresented some information are now worried about it,

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Have no worries of them charging you personally for the investigation cost. Frankly, if you submitted a package to me…I don’t think I would submit. And I would question anyone claiming they served 10 years and later received a security clearance. 10 years reads like a felony(s). That makes it hard. However, a pardon, clearing one’s good name is possible and if removed a clearance is in the realm of possibility, but not probability. Even for overseas positions. At a minimum, 7 years will be looked at. If I were your FSo and you revealed that info to me I would request an attached statement to speak to significant events outside the 7 year period but relevant to trustworthiness. I am an advocate of over reporting as opposed to having them discover information on their own. This is not to say you are a bad person or even that you are actually guilty of the crime. Only that you were arrested, adjudged, found guilty. The record speaks to that and is best brought forward by the applicant. It may have been who you were at the time, but are no longer. Honestly, bluntly, based on your age, which is important in mitigation of drug use, unless this happened as a juvenile it will be a long investigation with likely a denial. Given enough time, showing you live life differently…you can overcome this. But it may very well take 7 to 10 years from the event to demonstrate you are different.

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