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Security Clearance Denial, Suspension or Revocation: Top 3 Reasons and Courses of Action

If you’re in the military service or a civilian with a security clearance, than you know that clearance is crucial to your employment.  Unfortunately, there are several reasons why your security clearance might get suspended, revoked or denied. In this article, we discuss the most common reasons for denial or revocation of security clearance, and what your options are if this should happen to you.

Drug involvement

The federal government may revoke or suspend your security clearance when it suspects that you have been involved with illegal drugs. Keep in mind that marijuana, even though it may be legal in your state, is still illegal under federal law. Your ability to obtain or maintain a clearance can also be jeopardized by abusing prescription drugs. Finally, any arrest for drug possession, paraphernalia, or trafficking will endanger your ability to get or keep a clearance.

It’s possible that your clearance might not be affected if some of the following conditions are met: If your drug involvement is not recent or if it was an isolated incident; if you have sincerely expressed an intention not to use drugs in the future; and if you have gone through a drug treatment program and received a favorable prognosis.

Security violations

The government may revoke your clearance if it determines that you are in non-compliance with its security regulations. Anything that raises doubts about your trustworthiness or your ability to keep classified information safe can result in a suspension or denial of your security clearance. Your clearance can also be impacted if you should commit an unauthorized disclosure of classified information, or if you have multiple violations that could be construed as negligent.

It’s possible in some cases that security violations will not result in suspension of your clearance if your violations were isolated or inadvertent. It’s also possible that you won’t be affected if your violations were as a result of inadequate training. By demonstrating a positive attitude toward performing your security responsibilities, you may be able to avoid security suspension or to get reinstated.

Improper personal conduct

There are several ways that improper personal conduct could result in suspension or denial of your security clearance . Some examples of personal contact which could result in a negative ruling on your clearance include the following:

  • providing false information to an investigator or security official
  • deliberately concealing facts on security questionnaires or personal history statements
  • excessive debt
  • concealing information that might make you vulnerable to exploitation or coercion, for instance any action you may have committed which leaves you vulnerable to blackmail
  • associating with known criminals
  • engaging in a pattern of violating rules or demonstrating dishonesty which would be in violation of your service branch’s policies.

Course of action

Having your security clearance suspended or revoked can cost you your job. If you find yourself in this situation, your best course of action is to seek out an attorney experienced in handling these matters. The process can be complex and, like all legal matters, having an experienced attorney to help guide you through the process is worth the resource. You have several rights depending upon if your clearance is suspended, revoked or denied and depending on whther you are active duty or civilian. For more information on these rights and the steps you can take to protect them, please click here.

An experienced attorney will work to protect these rights and significantly increase your chances of success.

One review of 500 security clearance cases showed that applicants with attorneys were granted clearances 60% more often than those who represented themselves. An attorney who has experience representing clients in security clearance matters can help you navigate the pitfalls of the process, identify potential problems, help gather evidence to mitigate them, and ensure your package is as strong as possible. At King Military Law, we’ve worked security clearance issues from both sides of the fence, building comprehensive insight into the process. We know what works, what doesn’t, and why. What’s more, one of our attorneys has over 15 years-experience at the Department of Hearings and Appeals, where he represented the federal government in security clearance revocation hearings. He is extremely experienced in these matters and has a near 100 percent success rate in this area since joining KML.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has had their security clearance suspended or revoked for any reason, please seek the assistance of a law firm experienced in these matters and capable of fighting for your livelihood.
~~Where Experience Matters Most~~


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Dakota GrammerDakota Grammer
21:49 09 Mar 23
Let me begin by saying Mr. King has saved my life. I hired Mr. King for defense in a Court Martial case. His entire team worked tirelessly to create a solid defense for me. They would even just have conversations with me to make sure my mental health was okay throughout the whole process, making sure I know my resources incase I needed help. Because of Mr. King and his team I got an amazing plea that would not have been possible without him. I would recommend anyone to Mr. King and his team. Thank you all again for everything you have done for me and helping me still have a life after such a stressful event!
Kyp RidenhourKyp Ridenhour
19:05 05 Dec 22
Don King is as exceptional as his resume would have you believe. His knowledge of legal proceedings, and litigating skills were far above what I had even expected. His assistance was worth every penny. I could not have been happier with choosing King Military Law. Don and his team helped me through every part of the legal procedure that I was dealing with and if it had not been for his team I would not have been able to continue my career in the United States Marine Corps. Mr. King and his team were always able to help me and I would not ever recommend anyone else for help in a military law situation as Mr. King has more experience in military law and litigating than any prosecutor that the United States government would put up against you. His team will help you fight back any false charges and I would happily trust him and his team in any situation. My brother is a lawyer and he told me I was very lucky to find such an experienced lawyer to help me. Please reach out to KingMilitaryLaw for help if you are ever in need.
01:46 17 Nov 22
I had a great experience working with King Military Law. They are excellent when it comes to communication and understanding the law. I would truly recommend them to anyone who needs assistance on any legal issues.
Siddharth SwaminathanSiddharth Swaminathan
14:41 09 Nov 22
Simply put Don, Kasheta and the rest of king military law are amazing. They are worth every dollar and Don truly cares about each of one of his clients. He will work night and day for and there is no one better than Don in this business. I was facing a board of inquiry for a situation that had gotten so far out of hand. Don pointed out so many flaws in my case and stopped my situation before it made it to a BOI. I cant thank Don enough. I called Don over 20 times a day. He always answered my phone calls, was patient and was with me every step of the way keeping me calm and grounded. My only regret is I didnt call Don immediately at the first sign of trouble.
Pusha 392Pusha 392
01:17 03 Nov 22
Was in an overwhelming situation with the Navy, reached out for a consultation with Mr King, he explained potential outcomes and path that could be taken. I felt comfortable hiring him and his team. Mr Don and his are knowledgeable, effective, efficient and very understanding. Because of their help I’m able to continue my time in the Navy. Big shout to Angela Schlosser and Kasheta De La Garza, who work and assist Mr Don King
greg Meagreg Mea
04:22 12 Oct 22
I can’t recommend King Military Law enough ! I felt like I wasn’t just a case but an actual person. They were professional yet compassionate every step of the way. Answered every question with kindness and honesty. They are completely transparent an filled with knowledge . Which i think is what everyone should look for when thinking about hiring an attorney. They truly have your best interest at heart.
Gabe CarothersGabe Carothers
03:05 30 Jul 22
King military law truly cares, and will be by your side every single step of the way. If you are even thinking of calling them. Do It. They are true professionals who care. Thank you king military law.
Ro JairamRo Jairam
15:29 12 Jul 22
Don is the guy you want in your corner. When you are up against the resources of the military and government in general, it can be overwhelming. The military JAGs who may eventually get to defend you do their best, but they are often overrun with cases and can only represent you after you’ve been officially been informed that you’re going to court-martial or administrative separation board.I won’t go into too many details about my specific situation, but Don’s vast experience as a prior judge and JAGC CAPT, his knowledge of the law and particular the UCMJ, and quite frankly, his connections to those in the military legal circles, may have saved my career.Do yourself a favor and call King Military Law for a free consultation. Especially if you think things are going to go sideways (like they did in my case), you should give serious consideration toward hiring an attorney.I’ll end with this since I’m being vague. My situation ended in an outcome that the JAGs were flabbergasted by. I had to make some financial sacrifices to hire this warrior but it was well worth it in the end. The resolution to my situation was fair and equitable, and that’s all I could hope for in the beginning.Thanks Don, and keep fighting the good fight.
Coleman ProffittColeman Proffitt
18:19 26 Jun 22
Don King is a man of integrity, professionalism, and work ethic. He worked tirelessly on my case and was always available for my questions. He made sure that I was well informed on the entire situation and all outcomes. I am thankful that I had Don King on my case, and I would give him the highest recommendation to anyone in need.
02:07 09 Apr 22
We only had a Brief conversation. But within those few minutes, He made me smile with relief. He gave me better advice then three lawyers a jag and legal on my ship. I got hit with article 112a, when my ship found a dab pen in my belongings. After his consultation, I feel like I can put my mine at ease. highly recommend 10 out of 10!!!!!!

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