As a service member, you may have access to classified information. If you have criminal charges in your background, these charges might affect your eligibility for security clearance. 

To receive security clearance, you typically have to meet the National Security Adjudicative Guidelines. According to ClearanceJobs.com, you may not be able to get security clearance if you have any criminal charges on your record. This is because criminal charges suggest that you may not possess the integrity and reliability necessary to access classified information. 

The process 

When you apply for security clearance, you typically have to fill out a questionnaire. This form asks if you have ever received military discipline or faced drug, alcohol or firearms charges. Additionally, you usually have to list any arrests that took place in the last seven years. 

Arrest history 

If you got arrested, you may include the charge recorded on the police report. However, sometimes charges may change by the time someone attends a court appearance. Most of the time, you only need to report the charge you faced at a court date. 

Types of charges 

Many kinds of criminal charges can affect your security clearance. Drug charges can be an impediment. You may think officials will only consider charges concerning illegal drugs, but even marijuana charges may disqualify you. Sometimes a DUI may also affect your security clearance. Additionally, any kind of felony conviction may cause you to lose clearance. Officials also usually consider crimes like embezzlement. 

It is important to remember that having a criminal charge on your record may not keep you from receiving security clearance. However, these charges can make it more difficult to receive clearance. You can find more information about this subject on our webpage. 

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