Recent DWI-First Offense and Secret Security Clearance

I was recently arrested for DWI-First Offense and Refusal in the State of Virginia. I also hold a US Secret Security Clearance. I already hold the clearance, and am starting a new contract job next week. Per requirements, I disclosed to my FSO that I was arrested and released. I also stated that I intend to plead not guilty on the grounds of a medical condition that adversely affected my field sobriety test performance. Since I was only arrested and not convicted (presumption of innocence until proven guilty), will my security clearance be automatically revoked?

Roanoke, VA -

Attorney Answers (3)

James Donald Garrett

James Donald Garrett

DUI / DWI Attorney - Virginia Beach, VA
Answered

That depends on your employer. There is no requirement under Virginia law that your security clearance be revoked or suspended based for being charged or convicted of DUI.

You should certainly talk to a DUI attorney to help you with the case, particularly if you want to use a medical condition as a defense. There are certain procedural steps that you need to do to introduce that evidence at your trial.

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Michael Andrew Robinson

Michael Andrew Robinson

DUI / DWI Attorney - Fairfax, VA
Answered

I deal with a lot of security clearance issues throughout the state, especially in Northern Virginia, when it comes to DWI/DUI. I always advise my clients to inform their FSOs, which you did, and I commend you for your decision. Now, they cannot say you are "hiding" something and someone or some entity cannot hold that over your head or use it for leverage.

While I'm sure it's possible, I've never seen a revocation of a clearance: Secret, TS, TS SCI, Full-scope Poly or higher, prior to an adjudication of guilt. DWI/DUI is not a crime of moral turpitude (lying, cheating or stealing). I think the sponsor of your clearance (Intel or DOD) may be important too because, in my experience, Intel backed clearances are more scrutinized.

As Mr. Garrett has pointed out, there are procedural requirements prior to introducing evidence if you intend on calling an FST expert or a doctor to testify about a medical condition.

You need to go after this aggressively as you have a lot to lose. Please contact a DWI/DUI attorney who has qualified experts and can guide you through potential employment related issues.

Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

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James C Forslund

James C Forslund

DUI / DWI Attorney - Englewood, CO
Answered

It would not be automatic. There is a hearing process to revoke your clearance. If this action is started, you need an attorney who specializes in these types of case.

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