How Will a DUI Affect My Security Clearance?

You’ve worked hard to acquire a high level security clearance and now it is in jeopardy of being stripped away from you due to one act of indiscretion.  The question is can a single DUI cause be to lose my security clearance?  The short answer is yes, but there are ways to avoid it.

First, you must understand that the Federal Government is interested in vesting security clearances only with individuals who exercise good judgment, drinking and driving can be viewed as an error in judgment which can be considered when deciding if you should keep your clearance.  Not all cases are aggravated though, there can be many mitigating factors that can offset the negative implications of driving under the influence.

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.

Attorney Matthew Ruff has been defending DUI charges for folks with security clearances for over 23 years, with fantastic success.  The main focus of these types of cases is immediate intervention.  You can’t wait to see what happens.  You must take immediate steps to ameliorate the damage.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is ignoring the problem of losing your drivers license.  In California you must act quickly to avoid permanent damage to your DMV record after a driving under the influence arrest.  If the suspension becomes final this itself can be a basis to revoke your security clearance.

If you have been arrested for DWI in California call Matthew immediately or visit his  website for more information on defenses and strategies to deal with a pending drunk driving allegation at California DUI Attorney.

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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