Let’s say you need to get security clearance for a new job you want. Perhaps you are interested in working for the government. However, you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). You receive a conviction for your DUI. Will your DUI conviction disqualify you from receiving security clearance in California?
The answer to this question depends on your unique circumstances. In some cases, you may get security clearance even with a DUI on your record. However, you may not receive security clearance in some cases. Let’s dig deeper into this topic now.
The Impact of Alcohol Use on Security Clearance Applications
The government uses the National Security Adjudicative Guidelines when deciding who gets security clearance. These guidelines deal specifically with alcohol use in applicants. According to the Guidelines, alcohol use may:
- Lead to questionable judgment.
- Indicate failure to control impulses.
Alcohol use could also result in issues related to trustworthiness and responsibility. To assess an individual’s relationship with alcohol, employers may focus on their background. Instances of disturbing the peace, domestic disturbances, or DUIs could indicate that an individual has a problem with alcohol abuse. In this situation, an individual may not get a security clearance.
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A DUI does Not Always Prevent You from Getting Security Clearance
As you can see, alcohol abuse may impact your ability to obtain security clearances. However, not all DUIs are indicative of an alcohol abuse problem. Sometimes, you may simply make a single bad decision. You may still get security clearances with a single DUI on your record.
However, getting additional DUIs may establish a pattern of alcohol misuse. Drivers with multiple DUIs often have a harder time getting security clearances. Your potential employer may express serious concerns if you have more than one DUI before you are hired, or if you get another DUI after you are hired. Your employer may revoke your security clearance at any point.
Steps You Can Take to Get Security Clearance After a DUI
There are steps you could take to increase your chances of getting a security clearance after a DUI in California. Ensure that you follow all guidelines issued by the court after your conviction — this includes sticking to all the conditions of your probation.
You should also complete any DUI educational programs ordered by the court. Completing this training may indicate to your employer that you are taking your DUI charge seriously. Additionally, you may want to participate in community service or other activities to show that you are remorseful for the DUI.
Finally, avoid getting another DUI. Generally, you are more likely to get security clearance if your DUI occurred sometime in the past, instead of immediately before you applied for security clearance.
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Handle a DUI Before You Are Convicted in California
A DUI conviction could make it harder for you to get security clearance in California. You may take steps to prevent this by working with a DUI lawyer. A lawyer may help you:
Get Your Charges Dismissed
In some cases, the court may dismiss your DUI charges — this generally happens if there is not a lot of evidence that you were committing a DUI. A charge could also be dismissed if you were stopped without reasonable cause by a law enforcement officer.
Get Your Charges Reduced
Your lawyer may work to get your charges reduced. Sometimes, a lawyer may get DUI charges reduced down to a charge for reckless driving. You would still face legal penalties for a reckless driving charge. However, reckless driving does not indicate a potential issue with alcohol usage.
Build a Defense for Court
Some DUI charges in California are handled in court. You may go to court with the help of a DUI lawyer. Your lawyer may work to dispute the results of any blood alcohol content (BAC) tests administered by police officers. These tests are not always accurate, especially if administered improperly. Successfully resolving your case in court prevents you from having a criminal charge on your record.
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Contact a Lawyer to Learn More About DUIs and Security Clearances
A DUI may disqualify you from a security clearance in California. However, this is not always the case. In some situations, you may get security clearance even with a DUI on your record. Find out more by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. You may call (310) 929-6503 to reach a member of our team. You could also complete our online contact form.
We are prepared to offer you a free consultation now.