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Will a 'checkered past' keep you from a security clearance?

If you are like many other Philadelphia residents, you may not have made the best decisions in your formative years. Perhaps you have a "checkered past," which could jeopardize your ability to obtain a security clearance. Even if your records were expunged, that may not prevent the government from knowing about it. 

Were you caught drinking underage? Do you have a DUI on your record? Maybe during your college days you experimented with drugs, but it never went any further than that. Even though you consider these and other transgressions youthful mistakes, the government may not see it that way. When considering whether to grant you a security clearance, issues such as these could get in the way, which means that you may not get the job you want.

It seems unfair that one black mark on your record could erase all of the good you have done since. The government may take this into consideration, which is why it separates criminal matters into three categories: felonies, misdemeanors and infractions (think speeding tickets). Fortunately, it may be possible to get out in front of issues regarding your questionable past. It would probably be in your best interests to enlist of help from the beginning of the process. 

The government may simply want more information or clarification regarding an incident on your record. Some people believe that the government will not find out about a certain event, but that would be the wrong train of thought. Instead, it would more than likely be better to be up front about it, so that it can be dealt with head on. An attorney with experience helping Philadelphia residents like you obtain a security clearance could prove invaluable in assisting you in this endeavor.

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