Top Security Clearance Disqualifiers

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Criminal Conduct

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Being accused of or admitting to committing a crime may disqualify a person from attaining a security clearance, regardless of formal charges. Both multiple lesser offenses and one serious crime can be considered a reason for disqualification. Mitigating factors can include whether or not the crime was recent, isolated or involuntary.

Drug and Alcohol Involvement

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Illegal involvement with drugs including possession, cultivation, processing, manufacture, purchase, sale or distribution can be considered disqualifying. A history of alcohol or drug abuse can be detrimental to a person applying for a security clearance. Signs of rehabilitation can lessen the detrimental effects.

Sexual Behavior

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Criminal, compulsive or addictive sexual behavior may be grounds to reject an application for security clearance. Exceptions might be made if the behavior occurred before adolescence or if there are no recent indications of the behavior.

Personal Conduct

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Omitting facts, lying, general dishonesty and refusing to cooperate in the process for obtaining a security clearance will be used as grounds for disqualification. Whether you have done something else that may disqualify you or not, being honest about it will always be better, and may even provide mitigating circumstance. Lying about it will only make it that much more likely you will be disqualified.


About the Author

Based in Mississippi, Hannelore Davis has a bachelor's degree in interactive design and game development. Davis also has two years of experience in supporting technical issues with Internet and digital phone for a large telecommunications company.

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