Experienced and Knowledgeable Security Clearance Attorneys in Washington, D.C

When it comes to employment in either the private or government sector, you may be required to hold a security clearance. In the last decade, the number of jobs inside the federal government has skyrocketed, making the requirements for obtaining and maintaining a security clearance all the more challenging.

Obtaining a clearance is the ultimate sign of trust from the federal government. As such, applying for a security clearance should be something you take seriously, and handle with strategy and care. As any experienced security clearance attorney could tell you, honesty throughout the application and renewal process is crucial. Oftentimes, if you fail to maintain your security clearance you will end up losing your employment as well.

At Tully Rinckey PLLC, we regularly assist individuals throughout Washington, D.C. and across the country, with representation throughout all stages of the security clearance process and have helped hundreds of employees retain their clearances. All of our Washington, D.C., security clearance lawyers have held security clearances—meaning that we have firsthand experience of the process and can educate you on the nuances of the application process. Along with helping employees obtain a confidential, secret, or top-secret clearance, we have helped many employees facing either a denial, revocation, or suspension of their clearance fight to retain their clearance and employment.

With the help of a knowledgeable Tully Rinckey security clearance lawyer, you can rest assured that we will work diligently to meet your goals and protect your clearance status. Our lead security clearance attorney in our Washington, D.C., office, Dan Meyer, was a Communications Security Officer for the Commander, Middle East Force, during Deserts Shield and Storm, processing clearances for the Flagship and managing the cryptological resources for clients east of Suez. He oversaw security and law enforcement offices for the Inspectors General of the Defense Department and the Intelligence Community, prior to joining the firm as the Managing Partner of the DC office. His area of focus includes both individual and corporate security concerns.

Dan, along with the rest of the security clearance attorney team at Tully Rinckey are available to provide counsel throughout the application, revocation, and appeals process, including:

  • Pre-clearance counseling for SF-86 and DD Form 1879;
  • Preparation for interrogatories and investigative interviews;
  • Preparation of response to the Statement of Reasons and Denial Letters;
  • Requests for hearings;
  • Representation at post-denial hearings in front of the Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals ;(DOHA), Department of Defense, FBI, CIA, DHS, and all federal courts and government agencies, including document and witness preparation; and
  • Preparation and representation throughout further appeals.

What is a Security Clearance?

Any employee or federal contractor performing tasks for the U.S. Government that needs access to classified information is required to have a security clearance. You might also be required to possess a security clearance if you operate in a location where such information could be maintained. Personnel filling specified jobs and possessing a security clearance are permitted access to classified national security information up to and including the degree of security clearance they possess.

To learn more about security clearances, please read through our security clearance FAQ for more information.

How Do I Apply for a Security Clearance?

Written Application

An extensive background check on your personal history is necessary when requesting a security clearance. This inquiry focuses on a specific time period, usually no more than 10 years in the past. Your eligibility for access to sensitive information and fitness for employment will be determined using the data gathered.

Filling out an application form called the Personnel Security Questionnaire SF-86 is the initial stage in the inquiry. Along with providing evidence of U.S. citizenship and supplying fingerprints, the application also requires that you supply information related to:

  • family, marriage, and personal history;
  • criminal background checks and law enforcement history;
  • history of finances and credit;
  • education verification;
  • employment history;
  • military background and history;
  • travel and contacts abroad;
  • misuse of drugs and alcohol; and
  • misuse of computers and the internet

All candidates must complete the questionnaire completely and honestly. Once finished, the security clearance questionnaire will be examined for thoroughness and correctness by agency and government representatives. An investigator will be given your application and personally verify the data you supplied by conducting a comprehensive background check.

Background Investigations and Formal Interviews

An in-person interview between the applicant and the investigator is a crucial stage of the security clearance procedure. Typically, the interview takes place a few weeks after the application is received.

You may anticipate the questions to be in-depth, intimate, and wide-ranging because the goal of the interview is to ascertain whether you will pose a security concern if given access to sensitive material. You should anticipate being questioned about your family, spouse, or other relationships, health, past financial dealings, general health, usage of drugs or alcohol, and international travel or affairs.

It is in your best interest to honestly and completely address all of the inquiries made since the interview can allow you to address any unclear behaviors or occurrences in your past.

Adjudicative Guideline-Based Evaluation

The adjudicative guidelines will be used to analyze any incidents you revealed in your application or interview that would suggest you pose a security risk. While evaluating your conduct through these guidelines, adjudicators will usually consider the following factors:

  • nature, extent, and seriousness of the conduct;
  • circumstances surrounding the conduct, to include knowledgeable participation;
  • frequency and recency of the conduct;
  • individual’s age and maturity at the time of the conduct;
  • extent to which participation is voluntary;
  • presence or absence of rehabilitation and other permanent behavioral changes;
  • motivation for the conduct;
  • potential for pressure, coercion, exploitation, or duress; and
  • likelihood of continuation or recurrence.

Guide for Obtaining Security Clearances and Facility Clearances

To learn more about security and facility clearances, check out our guide here.

Reasons for a Denial or Revocation of a Security Clearance

Within six months of your first application, a decision about your eligibility for a security clearance should be made. If your application is rejected, whether at the time of application or after review, you will get a notice—known as a Statement of Reasons—outlining the particular factors and areas of concern that led to the decision.

Additionally, you will receive information on how to appeal as well as your legal right to do so. You wil normally have 30 days to respond after being informed that the government intends to reject your request for clearance. The initial 30 days may be extended in most cases to 60 days if an extension is properly requested. You should include a detailed brief when submitting or replying to a denial that highlights the mitigating circumstances mentioned in the record and references pertinent legal precedents.

The adjudicative guidelines also provide a list of requirements used to mitigate security worries and, eventually, allow you access to a clearance. The mitigating factors might relate to the rarity of the act, the completion of counseling programs connected to the disqualifying element, or the amount of time that has passed, depending on the reasons for rejection or revocation.

Every person’s situation is different; thus, it is important to carefully examine the details of your case. Numerous mitigating circumstances could demonstrate your suitability for access to sensitive information and result in the granting of a security clearance. There are a variety of grounds for rejecting a candidate for a clearance or for revoking an existing employee’s clearance. Throughout the application and appeals processes, the lawyers at Tully Rinckey PLLC can assist you in identifying any mitigating circumstances you may have.

Our Washington, D.C., Security Clearance Lawyers are Available to Assist You Today

Contact us today to speak with an experienced security clearance attorney. Our attorneys can provide you the advice you need to get and keep not just your clearance—but also your job.

To schedule an initial consultation with a member of our experienced team, contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 8885294543 or info@tullylegal.com. You can also book your consultation online via the link below.

You can also use our secure Live Chat feature to connect with us regarding your matter. You will be connected with a member of our client relations team standing by to assist you.

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