There are several ways the attorneys at Swift & McDonald can assist you with your security clearance needs.
The best way to protect yourself from an unjust security clearance denial is to retain a lawyer before submitting your application for your security clearance. When applying for your security clearance, integrity is everything. No matter how big or small, the government must believe you can be trusted. During the application processes, questions are often misunderstood and Swift & McDonald stand ready to assist you through the complex application process and advise you on how to handle any issues that may arise. When reviewing national security clearance applications, the government will err on the side of denial. This means that if the government is unsure of whether or not to grant your security clearance, the government will deny your application.
If you have an indiscretion in your past, Swift & McDonald can help you mitigate the situation. Under some circumstances, the government will grant waivers for meritorious cases with mitigating factors. When deciding whether to grant the waiver, the government considers your age at the time of the offense, the number and nature of offenses, the amount of time that has passed since offense, and a current clean record. Involving an attorney in your case early on will increase your success of approval.
While there are several reasons why the government may deny an applicant's security clearance, the four main reasons are the applicant has a criminal conviction with a sentence more than one year of imprisonment, unlawful use of a controlled substance, mental incompetence, and a dishonorable discharge from the military. In some situations, the security clearance denial is capricious, arbitrary, or contrary to the law. In these situations, the government's denial may be based on sexual preference or past behaviors, race, or political views. Due to the discretion given to the government when deciding security clearance cases, an unjust denial of security clearance can occur. Regardless of the reason for denial, Swift & McDonald stand ready to review your case and assist you with your next steps.
When you receive your denial letter, the government gives you a statement of reasons for denial and information on how to appeal the decision. If you feel that the reason for denial is inaccurate or misleading, Swift & McDonald stand ready to help you conduct an investigation and help assure your legal interests remain protected. By conducting an investigation after your denial, Swift & McDonald can determine what factors contributed to your denial and determine how to build a strong appeal against your denial. Further, the information gathered from the investigation can help Swift & McDonald gather evidence that may help correct or clarify the situation.
If your security clearance was denied or revoked, a security clearance appeal may be appropriate. Many people who qualify to receive a security clearance may need to initiate an appeal because of the government's policy of erring on the side of denial when uncertain. While the opportunity for an appeal exists, the process is much different from other types of appeals, such as criminal or civil appeals. The security clearance appeal process is stricter and less forgiving than other types of appeals, the government has more power, and petitioners may face difficulty accessing the information upon which the denial was based. When faced with an appeal, Swift & McDonald stand ready to guide you through the unique appeal process and develop a strong case for granting your security clearance.
From offices in Seattle, the firm represents clients in civilian criminal matters and military family law matters throughout Washington State. Mr. Swift represents clients in military law matters at U.S. bases around the world. Contact the law firm of Swift & McDonald to arrange a free initial consultation with an experienced national security law attorney today.