Self-Defense Claim for Shooting Doesn’t Hold Water – Clearance Denied

Most states have laws where if you feel threatened – and are in fear of injury or death – you may use deadly force to defend yourself. Criminal defense attorneys use this argument to defend clients’ actions that may sometimes have exceeded the parameters of self-defense laws. In one of the more unusual security clearance appeal cases to go in front of the Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA), this particular applicant tried using the self-defense argument to mitigate his criminal conduct. Go here to read the highlights of the case:


For a minute there, I was expecting a case where a guy honestly(and legitimately) had to defend himself with deadly force, and it was now coming back to haunt him in unfortunate ways.

Absolutely was not expecting that a drunk lunatic shot a guy in the face, pushed him from his car and fled the scene. I know there is always more to the story, but the part about previously firing on an empty car while drunk… Yeah… the judge made a great call keeping that denial. 2012 seemed to be a rough year for that bloke.

And how the heck does one only get 28 months for shooting someone in the face, and ditching the body?!

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…And then apply for a job requiring a clearance? Amazing


That is one for the record books there. Would seem a reasonably intelligent person understands shooting someone in the face has a high likelihood of resulting in serious bodily harm or death.


@Marko, can we have the case number or a link to the case? Also, can you post “borderline” cases? I thought those cases would generate good discussions, in my opinion.

Anyway, this is simply… stunned… even more shocking was that the applicant thought there was a chance his background investigation would be favorably adjudicated considering the “recency” of the incidents… I mean… the two/three incidents were less than 10 years ago and he completed probation less than 5 years ago.

Even more appalling is the attorney… the applicant must have sold the farm to the attorney for the attorney to go up and make that argument…

You can read the entire appeal here:

I think people are missing the key point that alcohol was more so the driving factor in the decision.

Both criminal occurrences seemed to have alcohol influence and he self admittedly had not undergone alcohol counseling and had recently self proclaimed to have been intoxicated over the last year as well.

I don’t think the prison time had anything to do with it nor the probation. It’s his lack of self awareness and proclivity to have another situation occur.

Civil and criminal cases have different derivatives of evidence that needs to be shown. The self defense/act of violence occurred when he was around 23. He could have matured since then, but I don’t think he’s shown anything other than staying out of trouble which is a mitigating factor but also expected. If he has been home from prison since 2015 he still maintained the same level of education (high school) and exhibits tendencies to enjoy alcohol.

If I were him I would do alcohol awareness, go take a couple classes and continue to stay out of trouble. And come back next year.

Hopefully he is in a state with felon friendly attributes and will land on his feet.

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I think there was a whole lotta bad behavior and decisions going on there. Or lack of decisions.

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This isn’t about self defense. This is about a guys attorney trying to rewrite history.

Let us know when you find a real case of self defense that went to DOHA

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