If you are charged with DUI, your West Virginia employer may decide to take away an existing security clearance. However, whether you lose your clearance after being charged or convicted of this crime depends on several factors. These factors include the severity of the charge, your criminal history and whether your employer believes you can no longer be trusted to make smart decisions.
The facts of your case matter
Typically, a DUI is a misdemeanor offense, which is considered to be less serious than a felony. However, your case could be a felony if you caused significant property damage, bodily injury or death. It could also be a felony if you have a history of prior DUI convictions or were found to have an excessive blood alcohol level. The presence of children in your car could also result in the charge in your case being upgraded to a felony.
Your history matters
Unless you are charged with a felony, a first offense is unlikely to result in the loss of a security clearance. This is especially true if you have been an upstanding employee and show remorse. A plan to ensure you don’t get another DUI could also go a long way in convincing your employer to maintain the status quo. Finally, if your charge is dropped or reduced, it may alleviate the need to take such drastic action.
If you are charged with DUI, it could cause a serious interruption to your life. However, you have the right to contest the charge, which may result in a plea deal or acquittal. You may contest the charge by casting doubt on police testimony or other evidence that might be used against you in court.