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Security clearance and DUIs in Massachusetts

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2023 | Criminal Law

Besides the fines, jail sentences and license suspension or revocation, a DUI charge in Massachusetts can also impact employment prospects. If you are looking to work for the government, after your application, they will conduct a background check to see if you are fit to hold the position. Things like a past criminal record may influence their perception of you.

Security clearance in Massachusetts

Security clearance refers to determining an individual’s eligibility for access to classified information or work on sensitive government projects. This assessment encompasses three tiers: confidential, secret, and top secret. For confidential clearance, the background check includes reviewing criminal records, credit history and interviews with references. Secret and top secret clearances involve a more thorough investigation that may also include polygraph tests.

Impact of DUI on security clearance

A drunk driving conviction can significantly affect your eligibility for a security clearance in Massachusetts. The state law requires that the granting of any security clearance considers various factors such as criminal conduct, alcohol consumption and substance abuse issues, which are all relevant to a DUI charge. If you are already employed in a job that requires security clearance, a DUI conviction could result in the revocation of your clearance and termination from your position.

Factors considered by government agencies

Each government agency has its own set of guidelines for granting security clearance. However, some common factors they consider include the seriousness of the offense, the time elapsed since the conviction, and any mitigating factors. Mitigating factors can include successful completion of rehabilitation programs, positive employment history and a clean record before and after the DUI incident.

The impact of a DUI on your security clearance is undeniably substantial, but it’s crucial to remember that it’s not the end of the road. Yes, a DUI conviction adds a layer of complexity to the security clearance process, but with careful management and positive changes, you can continue to contribute positively to your field.