Security Clearance

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Henderson Security Clearance Appeal Lawyers – Dempsey Roberts & Smith

Henderson Security Clearance Appeal Lawyers Represent Clients Who Have Had Their Security Clearance Suspended or Revoked

Today, many individuals who work for the government–whether they are current federal employees, contractors, or members of the military–hold a security clearance. Security clearance is required for more than 4.3 million job positions in the United States, and over 1 million investigations and reinvestigations are conducted each year. 

Security clearance investigations are thorough. Even when an individual has qualified for security clearance, individuals should expect that their financial history, criminal records, and personal lives will be continually examined. Suspensions and revocations can occur for a number of reasons, including but not limited to: 

  • Financial history
  • Criminal charges
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Misuse of technology
  • Conflict of interest
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Mental health
  • Foreign influence
  • Security violations

Financial Debt, Affluence & Gambling 

Most security clearance candidates have debt of some kind, but the government examines the cause, amount, and payment history of your debt. In the wake of major economic changes, many candidates and cleared professionals find themselves in debt, having missed car payments or facing home foreclosure. A security clearance can be at risk of being denied or revoked if you display an unstable financial situation.

Additionally, gambling addictions of any kind are closely examined. Modest gambling may be socially acceptable, but excessive gambling, or compulsive gambling, puts your security clearance at risk of being suspended or revoked.

Drug Involvement

The use of illegal drugs while holding a security clearance, regardless of its level, jeopardizes your clearance. Any previous use also will be questioned throughout the investigation. You should be completely upfront about your past use of drugs, including prescription and nonprescription drugs, as well as consumption, purchase, or sale of illegal drugs. 

Sexual Behavior

Your sexual behavior and history will be examined to determine illegal conduct, sexual compulsions, and your vulnerability to exploitation. Investigations will be conducted on behavior that may be deemed reckless, such as having multiple partners or engaging prostitutes for payment. The sexual orientation of an applicant is not a disqualifying factor, and any discriminatory actions by officials can be brought to light during the clearance appeals process.  

Foreign Influence

Individuals without foreign contacts or relationships are rare in our increasingly globalized world. Having outside contacts and/or dual citizenship does not necessarily result in your application being denied or revoked, but your connections to countries and persons outside the United States–both personal and financial–may be scrutinized by investigators. In order to determine loyalty to the United States and susceptibility to foreign influence and control, it is crucial that all foreign information, including travel, is accurately disclosed.

Technology Misuse

Your previous mismanagement of sensitive or classified information and technology will be scrutinized as it puts into question your ability to manage sensitive material with the government.  It is also very important to be honest throughout the investigation process about your use of pirated and pornographic materials.

What to Do When Your Security Clearance Is Suspended or Revoked

In the event an employee or contractor’s national security clearance has been suspended or revoked, he or she is able to appeal the decision. Security clearance appeals can be formally initiated by requesting a hearing before an administrative judge or an appeals board. 

In some cases, the appellant will have to respond to a questionnaire within 20 days of receiving the document. In the response, the appellant should express his/her preference as to whether the decision will be issued in writing or in a formal hearing. In both scenarios, the appellant will have the opportunity to review documents related to the decision. 

During the entire process of obtaining, revoking, or appealing security clearances, our security clearance lawyers provide effective counsel including:

  • Assistance with security clearance applications (SF-86 and DD Form 1879)
  • Assistance with preparing for interviews
  • Responses to interrogatories
  • Response to a Statement of Reasons (SOR) or Letter of Intent (LOI)
  • Representation at the Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA) 
  • Appeals to the DOHA Appeals Board, the CIA, and other agencies

The appeals process differs slightly depending on whether the individual is an employee or contractor of a federal agency.

What is a Statement of Reasons (SOR)?

Before denying or revoking a clearance, the federal agency must provide a written Statement of Reasons (SOR) to the applicant. When trying to prevent your security clearance from being denied or revoked, or when appealing a suspension or revocation, the SOR is the key document to review and analyze.

SORs explain the basis for denying or revoking a certificate and list the security concerns described in the Adjudicative Guidelines. An SOR will detail the specific disqualifying incidents or conditions based on each specific security concern.  

There will be a letter accompanying the SOR explaining how to formally respond. You will be required to provide detailed written answers under oath or affirmation, specifically admitting or denying each accusation. This written rebuttal must be submitted within 20 days from the date the applicant receives the SOR. This rebuttal can be made with or without a request for a hearing.

What Will Happen at the Formal Hearing?

Formal hearings are presided over by an administrative law judge. During the hearing, you, other witnesses, and your attorney will testify. The hearing will require the exchange of many documents, so having a seasoned national security attorney prepare these documents is crucial.

After the hearing, the judge will determine whether a national security clearance should be granted or reinstated. If a negative decision is made, the applicant has a limited time to appeal. However, the court will only review the written record presented at the hearing when considering the appeal. Therefore, it is vital to hire a skilled, experienced security clearance lawyer who has represented many clients in similar previous cases.

Contact Our Henderson, Nevada Security Clearance Appeal Lawyers

An experienced attorney can make a significant difference between a successful or unsuccessful appeal of a denied or revoked security clearance. There are strict time requirements that you must meet, so it is important to consult with a security clearance lawyer as soon as possible. Contact our team at Dempsey Roberts & Smith today at (702) 388-1216 to speak with an experienced security clearance lawyer.