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/


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.

Please, let us know if the final outcome.

Today I had an interview with an investigator so I guess that’s good news maybe. I laid everything out to her, told her all details of the incident. Showed her proof of completion of the anger management course, provided all probation documents, etc. Now I guess it’s just more waiting. This is also really ironic because I commented on someone’s post the other day about not having an interview with an investigator yet and was wondering if it was a bad sign because we had submitted our eqip the same day. Then about two days later I had an interview. Also, she asked if I was currently working? I told her yes because I actually just started another job but I’m really hoping to get this one. Will that matter? Like will they just assume I don’t need that one because I’m working now? I would rather have that one.

Thanks for the update. Please let us know about the final outcome. I wish you good luck man.

Have no worries about taking interim employment. Matter of fact I advise our applicants if working, stay working, if not, keep looking because this is going to take a long time. If asked why it isn’t listed, tell them it happened after the submission date, assuming this is truthful.

Yes that is truthful. My first day of the job was the day I had the interview with her which is what I told her. I was just wondering because she asked for like my job offer etc so i thought it may have been a bad thing that I had a job. But thank you for the feedback!

So update…
Unfortunately I got an email from my CPAC representative informing me that the job withdrew the offer because they weren’t willing to wait until the full investigation was completed. So I guess my job search continues. I wonder if this will happen
with all GS positions? Should I stay away from applying to GS positions?

The more time between you and the misdemeanor, the better. Not all agencies require a “butt in the seat right away,” and they can wait for a full clearance. Others need a butt in the seat now. I would think an interim would not be approved until they scope the overall circumstances related to the misdemeanor, potential for repeat etc.

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