Will having a misdemeanor disqualify me from getting a security clearance?

I’m new to the process of federal employment. I have a misdemeanor battery on my record that occurred a year ago. It was a fight between me and a college roommate. However, the case was still going on up until last month (June 2019) and I received 6 months probation, a fine, an anger management course and withheld adjudication. I’ve already completed the anger management course. I completed my SF86 in May 2019 so I wasn’t able to include that information at the time of course but I did disclose that i had a pending charge and explained details etc. But now that I am on probation until December 2019 and the case has been closed, will this prevent me from getting a secret security clearance? My interim security clearance was denied at the end of May/ beginning of June and my HR rep told me it was forwarded for an adjudication decision. I believe she said it was forwarded to DODCAF? How long does it usually take for them to make a decision? Since it’s so recent, I’m thinking they’ll probably deny me but I just wanted to get some feedback if anyone has had any similar experiences.

I think the probation will be an issue, at least for the interim. It “CAN” be an issue for the initial full clearance as well. I recommend pursuing dismissal/reduction of the charge based on good behavior (if you have been good). This shows positive leaning towards living by the rules of society, recognizing the impact of behavior, consequences, etc. Depending on severity of the fight, possible willingness of said roommate to sign an affidavit on your behalf…all of that can help mitigate impact of the charges. Time is the big mitigation; you don’t have that. Yet. This is a current charge and situation to be scoped and assessed. A denial of an Interim isn’t a kiss of death. It means something requires weighing, and adjudication. I would expect a denial, possibly keeping you out of the cleared world for 365 more days. But if you were to get proactive now, you may be able to blunt some of that. I would work on those items and get them to the BI person ASAP. No delay. If done in time, you get the potential benefit of that effort. If you pause…it won’t benefit you. But I still recommend it as a means of showing you “get it.”

See https://news.clearancejobs.com/2016/12/13/can-get-security-clearance-probation-parole/

https://news.clearancejobs.com/2015/02/15/security-clearances-probation/

Short answer, it depends. Is it an automatic disqualifier? no.

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Amber, I am not sure how much can be done at this point given that OP’s background investigation seemingly has concluded and it was forwarded to DoDCAF.

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Also, I contacted OPM today to check on the status of my case and to see if i could possibly send in any updated information to them but they said my status is pending? But my FSO told me it had been forwarded to DODCAF. I’m just a bit confused.

Thank you for your feedback. I can’t have any contact with the roommate so I won’t be able to have her write an affidavit etc. However, I can try and request a dismissal or reduction of the charge since I have been good and have not been in trouble since then, I’ve been able to receive and graduate with my bachelors 6 months after the incident happened in 2018 and I’ve taken the anger management course which shows some type of rehabilitation at least. Also, if the probation is non reporting does that really make a difference? But if I’m even able to at this point, how can I send in any of this info to the BI if it was apparently already forwarded for adjudication?

Good on you, and it does show you are demonstrating mature behavior. Don’t violate the protection no contact order. Do you have the BI person’s card? Reach out. If it is already wrapped up and sent off, you are yesterday’s news to the BI person, they moved on to 10 other BI’s. You MAY get a denial. You MAY get a follow up interview and that is super for you. An Adjudicator may reach out for clarification. Or you can get denied. I would appeal the denial, document the positive steps taken, and see if that helps. Regardless, life happens. It isn’t what is thrown at us, rather how we roll with and recover. Adulting changes a lot. What previously would be semi okay to fight someone if we felt it called for it…gives an adult pause, not wanting a charge on their record. You are young, and just starting out. This is not insurmountable. It may slow you down, but continue to evolve in a positive manner. And be able to tell that story.