Joining The Military & Need A Security Clearance? What About That Expungement In Your Records?

Posted on: 23 May 2018

If you have enlisted in the military in a job that requires a security clearance, you may be concerned about an expungement or other stricken record that can be found in an intensive background check, and rightly so. Security clearances for military personnel can uncover records that other background searches would likely not find. It's crucial for you to fill out the SF86 honestly and completely, particularly the portion regarding police records. 

Section 22 - Police Record 

In section 22, which pertains to your police records, SF86 states that you are to report all information from the previous seven years regardless of whether or not the record of any of your cases has been expunged, sealed, or stricken from court record. It also states that you are to report all charges, even if the charges were dismissed. However, you do not need to report Federal Controlled Substance Act convictions if the court ordered an expungement of those records. 

This is likely different from what your criminal attorney told you. While it's true that you do not have to report these types of records for typical employment purposes, a security clearance background check for military and federal government employees does entail searching through all records, even those that otherwise would not be found in a typical background check.

If you do have such a record that you are concerned about, it's better to report it than to play Russian roulette. Failure to disclose such records would be deemed as providing false information, which would severely diminish your ability to obtain the security clearance you need for the military job you've chosen. 

Obtain Copies of Your Police Record

Due to the nature and intensity of the background check for a security clearance, it is crucial that you provide as much correct detailed information as possible. The reason for this is because, should the information be deemed incorrect, the investigative team will take longer to finish the background check. In order to provide the correct answers to the best of your ability, it's a good idea to obtain all records from your criminal attorney, especially due to the fact that your expunged, sealed, and/or stricken records will be difficult for you or any layman to obtain without the assistance of an attorney. 

As you will see when you begin filling out the SF86 questionnaire for your security clearance, the background check will be extensive. Be sure to read completely through all directions throughout the paperwork so you have a good understanding of what is being asked. Contact a law firm, like Goodman Katz Koonce & Maroc, for more help.


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