Previously lied on SF85P - Need advice

Hey all,

College senior going into first year of work and am receiving forms to begin with my security clearance process. A little background that I could definitely get some advice about:

  • Interned with defense contractor this past summer and needed to get Public Trust for future employment
  • Began process with intern company (August 2019), ended up lying about marijuana and prior drug use that occurred over a year and a half ago.
  • Company withdrew sponsorship after I ended up leaving for another company, so not withdrawn from my end.

I am looking to get a Secret or Public Trust now, and I honestly am very remorseful for lying on the forms in August as my drug use ended in early 2018. I have been clean since then and been hanging out with a much better crowd that doesn’t associate themselves with that sort of thing. I should have never listened to my friends or family regarding lying on it. Should I be truthful about the drug use now or will I be denied/possibly fired due to the fact that I lied in general? What do you guys think. TIA

At this point you have two choices: 1) answer the new form honestly, be prepared to get followup questions and maybe even get denied, or; 2) give up on the idea of ever working a job that requires any kind of background investigation.

I can’t tell you that everything will work out fine if you come clean, but if you get turned down this time maybe you can apply again in a year. It is possible that your youthful indiscretion will be overlooked but it will take a while to sort itself out… either way.

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As noted, nobody can tell you, "everything will work out . . . " It’s not that clear or that simple.

You can double down on the lie and leave it off of your application again but you need to be aware that you may need a poly at some time in the future and that may not go well if you are already conflicted about lying.

The best is to get it over with now. Fill out the forms and answer the questions. Youth will mitigate the lie somewhat, as will the fact that you are coming clean on it yourself instead of waiting for someone to confront you with the issue (it could come out in the interviews of your family and/or friends).