How Will a DUI Affect My Security Clearance?

Security clearances are becoming more and more common with the advent of Homeland Security and the “war on terror”.  There are many ways to lose a security clearance such as being convicted of a felony or engaging in conduct that is deemed a threat to national security.  But, what about a simple DUI ?  Will a drunk driving arrest cause a security clearance to go bye-bye?  According to DUI Attorney Matthew Ruff, a lawyer located in the South Bay who has defended thousands of DWI and driving under the influence cases over the last two decades, a security clearance will not automatically be lost following a DUI arrest.  In many cases, the clearance, whether it be a top-secret or secret, can be saved if the case is handled the right way.  First, the accused should hire an attorney local to the area that has experience in fighting these types of cases.  Many times a DUI can be reduced or dismissed so as to have no consequence to the clearance.  Second, be honest with your employer, do not hide the arrest or try to conceal the fact that a case is ongoing.  A DUI, like any other type of criminal case, is an accusation only, and the person is presumed innocent until the contrary is proven.

Determining what impact a DUI arrest will have on a security clearance also requires an analysis of the type of offense.  For example, if the case is one involving injury then the charge could be a felony which has dire consequences on a clearance.  Moreover, if the person has a prior conviction for drunk driving then the government will likely see that case as one in a pattern of instances which may militate towards a revocation of the security clearance.  The bottom line is that if you are facing a DUI charge, hire a lawyer that knows the system, the ramifications of a conviction, and can chart a course to try to avoid the loss of a person’s security clearance.

About thetorranceattorney

Matthew Ruff is a Torrance criminal defense attorney located near the 405 freeway on Crenshaw Blvd. Focusing on DUI and serious criminal cases for over twenty years. In addition to criminal cases, Matthew also defends clients at the DMV.
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4 Responses to How Will a DUI Affect My Security Clearance?

  1. Francisco says:

    I don’t think “dui” laws go far enough but they sholud specify what you are under the influence of. It doesn’t make much sense just to say “under the influence.” That could mean a lot of things.If you had been driving but they caught you sitting in your yard, and they know you were driving, then you sholud go to jail Drunk drivers kill thousands of people every year.

    • Don says:

      Francisco, In most states there is a seperation of DUI and DWI. DWI, is driving while intoxicate, meaning you are under the influence of alcohol only. DUI means, Driving under the Influence, and in most states refers to illegal drug use, be it illegal substances, or legal substances which one does not hold Rx for. Hope that clears things up.

  2. Actually, California does not distinguish between DUI and DWI. The offense is simply called driving under the influence or DUI for short.(VC23152) The law covers both drugs and or alcohol and defines “under the influence” as being in such a state that one can no longer drive a vehicle with the caution charecteristic of a sober person under the same or similar circumstances.

  3. Josh says:

    I was convicted of a DUI in California without even being in a car. After I had placed one of the DA’s sons in jail for skipping out on his bail-bond. The DA actually threatened to ruin my life and has succeeded.

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