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13 Ways to Lose Your Security Clearance

Security Clearance Violations Northern Virginia

Security clearance is required for many federal government positions and loss of it could result in termination and damage to your career.

That’s why it’s important to seek legal counsel immediately if your security clearance is at risk.

Additionally, you should be familiar with the adjudication criteria that help define security clearance violations.

Keep reading to learn these guidelines and the 13 ways to lose your security clearance.

1. Guideline A: Allegiance to the United States

You should avoid defamatory speech about the U.S. government. This guideline also warns against sympathizing with anyone that talks of overthrowing the government and affiliating with terrorists.

2. Guideline B: Foreign Influence

It addresses the concern of divided loyalties to another country and associations that could result in coercion.

3. Guideline C: Foreign Preference

Like foreign influence, foreign preference also has to do with loyalty of dual-citizens. That being said, you shouldn’t appear to take advantage of any of the benefits of dual-citizenship, such as traveling on a foreign passport.

4. Guideline D: Sexual Behavior

When sexual behavior is used as grounds for security clearance denial or revocation, it’s typically due to criminal sexual behavior or activities that demonstrate poor judgment, like the act and concealment of an extramarital affair.

5. Guideline E: Personal Conduct

Personal conduct covers a wide range of behavior involving questionable judgment, lack of candor, dishonesty, or unwillingness to comply with rules. Lying on SF-86 is often a disqualifying factor for security clearance.

6. Guideline F: Financial Considerations

This is the primary way to lose your security clearance. It takes into account gambling, debts, overspending, and other signs of financial irresponsibility.

Financial considerations operate with the belief that if a person demonstrates poor handling of  finances, they may not be trustworthy with classified information.

7. Guideline G: Alcohol Consumption

Excessive alcohol use, including repeated DUIs, public intoxication, and other conduct demonstrating alcohol abuse, can demonstrate poor judgment and impulse control.

8. Guideline H: Drug Involvement

Drug involvement refers to illegal drug-use, diagnosis of drug addiction, or inability to maintain sobriety after rehabilitation.

However, alcohol and drug-use violations can often be mitigated by the passage of time and showing that it was an isolated incident.

9. Guideline I: Psychological Conditions

This guideline has to do with untreated emotional, mental, or personality disorders that can interfere with social, psychological, or occupational functioning. It doesn’t preclude someone from seeking mental healthcare.

10. Guideline J: Criminal Conduct

Criminal conduct considers arrests and conviction for serious criminal offenses or multiple lesser charges. Any felonies, misdemeanors, or infractions should also be reported on SF-86.

11. Guideline K: Handling Protected Information

You could lose your security clearance by demonstrating inability to carry-out the duties of handling classified information, including security breaches and unauthorized or reckless disclosures.

12. Guideline L: Outside Activities

The outside activities guideline addresses employment or service with foreign individuals and organizations and ideological conflict with core concepts of national security.

13. Guideline M: Use of Information Technology Systems

This adjudication criteria covers concerns such as unauthorized hacking, malicious coding, excessive, illegal-downloading of music, or misuse of an office computer–including watching pornography.

Security clearance holders should keep in mind that these 13 guidelines are assessed according to the whole person concept. It takes into account variables such as seriousness, frequency, motivation, and likely reoccurrence.

If you are facing revocation of your security clearance, you have a narrow window of opportunity for recourse.

Call King Campbell Poretz Mitchell, PLLC today to learn your legal options to fight against revocation or get your security clearance reinstated.