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Criminal Charges and Security Clearances in Anne Arundel County

If you have a security clearance and have been charged with a criminal offense, a lawyer may be able to help clarify the implications of the specific charge on your security clearance. Criminal charge consequences in Anne Arundel County can be very serious, especially if you are held to the high standard required for a security clearance.

The Impact of Criminal Charges and Convictions on Security Clearance

There are various levels of security clearance involved with certain types of employment. There are:

  • The basic clearances that are renewed every 10 years
  • Higher-level clearances that are renewed more frequently
  • Top-level security clearances that are renewed annually
  • High-level security where if a family member gets arrested, the person is required to report it to a superior.

Any kind of offense can be problematic towards a clearance when renewing it or keeping it. Even a minor-level offense can be problematic and jeopardize someone’s career, current occupation, and entire livelihood.

In most situations, the higher the level of security clearance the person has, the higher the concern in the case. When trying to resolve a case, there are other concerns that have to be addressed in order to ensure the security clearance is not jeopardized.

Concerns About Security Clearance

A problem with anyone’s security clearance would depend greatly upon the offense they are charged with. If someone is charged with driving on a suspended license, that does not have the same gravity as someone charged with felony theft. However, the individual must verify whether there are certain obligations of reporting the charge or whether they only have to advise or report if there is a conviction. It can become an issue upon renewal of their security clearance as they may need to disclose it at that time. A lawyer can help clarify criminal charge consequences in Anne Arundel County based on your case.

A Higher Standard for People With Security Clearances

People with security clearances are held to the same principle as somebody who is in a position privy to sensitive information. These individuals have to be trusted and that is the principle behind being held to a higher standard. They are in a position where certain abuses or crimes could be far more problematic, troublesome, and harmful.

Any charge that is considered a crime of moral turpitude is problematic for individuals with a security clearance. Moral turpitude means anything where deception or dishonesty is an element or implicit to the offense itself, e.g., theft, fraud, passing bad checks, forgery, perjury, or false statements. A hit and run traffic incident is viewed as deceptive whereas someone with a trespass charge, disorderly conduct, driving while suspended, or a DUI holds nothing related to deception. There is an issue of irresponsibility, but it does not make somebody a liar or affect their security clearance in the same way.

Penalties

Individuals found guilty of misdemeanor crimes can face incarceration, probation, fines, restrictions on where they can go, and probations that could be up to three years long. There are a lot of restrictions and the fines are significant. A felony crime in the circuit court is similar to a misdemeanor crime in district court except for increased fines, significantly increased incarceration potential and a likelihood of going to prison as opposed to a local jail.

If a Fine Cannot be Paid

If the individual cannot pay an imposed fine at sentencing, they could be forced to come back in front of the judge and explain why. Often, it is restitution that is not paid instead of fines. Restitution is not a penalty, but a means for the alleged victim to recover for financial losses. This is not money that the courts can keep, but rather something that somebody lost as a result of the alleged crime. If a person does not provide restitution, that can be a basis for a violation of probation and even lead to incarceration.

Contact an Anne Arundel Criminal Lawyer Today

If you have a security clearance and are facing a criminal charge in Anne Arundel County, it may be in your best interest to employ a skilled attorney. A criminal charge can lead to a revocation of your security clearance and credentials, or even incarceration. Contact a skilled attorney today to learn more about criminal charge consequences in Anne Arundel County.