Would I be able to work for the State Department or CIA even though I was arrested as a minor?
I live in New Jersey and when I was 17 years old I was arrested for intent to distribute marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. I took part in pre-trial intervention and I was put on probation for a year, lost my license for 45 days, and paid about $2,000 in fines. I have not yet had my case expunged. I am wondering if I would pass the security clearances necessary to work in the CIA or U.S. State Department. I was also wondering if, being that the arrest was as a minor and records are supposedly sealed, is it worth getting the arrest expunged?
- ColaLv 67 years agoBest Answer
So it's certainly worth trying to get the arrest expunged if you think you can do that. But it doesn't really matter much for the security clearance because you'll probably have to disclose the incident anyway. Don't expect you can hide this from them and still get a clearance.
That said, depending on the details, you might be able to get a clearance anyway. What they care about for security clearances are ties to other countries, and personal traits that would make you vulnerable to bribery, blackmail, or coercion. If you are a former drug addict, for instance, they would be concerned that a foreign agent could get you addicted to drugs to make you vulnerable and then extort secrets from you.
If this is a route you want to go I would suggest you enroll in the military and make CIA work a long-term goal. That incident will start to look a lot less like it defines you if you have 5 or 10 years of service to your country under your belt.