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  • Impossible to land a career in federal law enforcement?

    With a possession of marijuana charge on my criminal record?

    Now that I'm a responsible adult I've come to realize that my dream job is to be a federal investigator but I don't think I'll ever qualify for a Top Secret clearance with a drug charge on my record juvenile or otherwise.

    I understand that blemishes on your record look better the more time you put between them and applying for a job but I also understand that any drug charge whatsoever, makes any applicant a no-go. I was charged at the age of 16 and am now 20 serving in the National Guard and going to school. I was hoping when I'm done with my service in a few years and have my degree I could apply for a job with ICE or the State Department but my juvenile record may make this impossible. Since then I have quit smoking and haven't gotten so much as a speeding ticket.

    Can anyone with experience in federal LE tell me how applicants like myself are looked at? Do you think my application will be tossed out immediately or will there be more of a 'whole person approach' where I have a chance to show how qualified I am?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Wolf Man View Post
    With a possession of marijuana charge on my criminal record?

    Now that I'm a responsible adult I've come to realize that my dream job is to be a federal investigator but I don't think I'll ever qualify for a Top Secret clearance with a drug charge on my record juvenile or otherwise.

    I understand that blemishes on your record look better the more time you put between them and applying for a job but I also understand that any drug charge whatsoever, makes any applicant a no-go. I was charged at the age of 16 and am now 20 serving in the National Guard and going to school. I was hoping when I'm done with my service in a few years and have my degree I could apply for a job with ICE or the State Department but my juvenile record may make this impossible. Since then I have quit smoking and haven't gotten so much as a speeding ticket.

    Can anyone with experience in federal LE tell me how applicants like myself are looked at? Do you think my application will be tossed out immediately or will there be more of a 'whole person approach' where I have a chance to show how qualified I am?
    Your use of MJ will be considered, but also understand that agencies in the Feds (As well as local and state) have much more liberal policies concerning weed than they did in decades past. You will not find this true, however, of other "hard" drugs..... of the most concern will be how long ago you last smoked, how often you did so, and if you were only experimenting or actually dealing (distributing) it. They will also want to know all the details of your case, including if you were incarcerated and for how long if you were. Be assured that your story will be fact-checked by the investigators, so again- be honest.

    Understand this also: They are NOT looking for a PERFECT candidate, (there is no such thing) but an honest one. And it goes without saying that you must be completely honest and own up to it all; no matter how many times you smoked. Your vulnerability to be coerced is of the utmost importance to the investigator, as well as your trustworthiness and honesty.

    I honestly don't feel you are sunk, bud. You tell us you want to wait a few more years, finish your service, and then take the plunge. Putting time between your mistake and keeping your nose clean will go a long ways, also. So no, don't let this screw-up totally scuttle your ambitions. Just don't make drug mistakes anymore...... Good luck.
    Just another squirrel, tryin' to get a nut......

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    • #3
      When you apply for federal employment, most will require submission of OF-306 form (Declaration for Federal Employment). This form as well as background investigation forms will ask "Have you been convicted, been imprissoned, been on probation, been on parole"

      "For questions 8, 9, and 10, your answers should include convictions resulting from a plea of nolo contendere (no contest), but omit
      (1) traffic fines of $300 or less, (2) any violation of law committed before your 16th birthday, (3) any violation of law committed before your 18th birthday if finally decided in juvenile court or under a Youth Offender law, (4) any conviction set aside under the Federal Youth Corrections Act or similar State law, and (5) any conviction whose record was expunged under Federal or State law."

      This form is submitted with your application package. So the HR specialist will see your resume, and all supporting documents including this one. If you get past the HR Specialist it still gets reviewed by the Chief of police or a designated person from the department even before selecting who they will interview. Can it stop you from getting a federal leo job.. Yes it can.
      GOD IS A NINJA WITH A SNIPER RIFLE, WAITING TO TAKE YOU OUT.

      "For weapons training they told me to play DOOM"

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      • #4
        I would say its not impossible to get a Fed LEO position but you have to know that there are thousands of applicants with clean records that you are competing against. So unfortunately, due to a drug conviction, you are likely down on the totem pole as far as applicants.So my advice is to continue to live a clean life, work hard, build your resume up with useful skills and continue to apply. Persistence is the key to success.

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        • #5
          Give it another year or two and you'll be fine. Just don't do anything stupid to make it look like getting in trouble is a pattern of yours.

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          • #6
            I know the chips are stacked against me which is why I plan on being such an outstanding candidate they'll be hard-pressed to hire someone else over me. Thank you for the honest answers everyone.

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            • #7
              When you say you have quit smoking...what substance are you talking about?

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              • #8
                don't overthink it dude. Most likely you'll be fine. Time heals all; just be sure that your MJ use was experimentation only, and that you don't/didn't sell it to others.

                Most Sf-86 questions only ask "in the last 7 years" but some (for a TS/SCI) will be "in the last 10"

                Keep in mind you have until 37 to get the Fed call. Chalk that one up as a learning experience, keep your nose clean, and excel at whatever you choose to do between now and then.

                Everyone's allowed 1 mistake.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JI603 View Post
                  don't overthink it dude. Most likely you'll be fine. Time heals all; just be sure that your MJ use was experimentation only, and that you don't/didn't sell it to others.

                  Most Sf-86 questions only ask "in the last 7 years" but some (for a TS/SCI) will be "in the last 10"

                  Keep in mind you have until 37 to get the Fed call. Chalk that one up as a learning experience, keep your nose clean, and excel at whatever you choose to do between now and then.

                  Everyone's allowed 1 mistake.
                  JI603,
                  There are exceptions to the 37 age limit for VEOA preference veterans. The OP does say that he is NG so there is the possibility that he may get some disability rating or preference from his time in NG. I have posted before a determination by the Merit System Protection Board that says the maximum age limit is discriminatory for veterans and agencies have to prove the maximum age is a determining factor for the job.
                  GOD IS A NINJA WITH A SNIPER RIFLE, WAITING TO TAKE YOU OUT.

                  "For weapons training they told me to play DOOM"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I know, I'm a preference eligible vet myself who got a job with the fed agency that was the test case/defendant in that 37 year age ceiling suit, but figured it wasn't germane to OP's question. Since he can't buy a beer yet, I figured he wasn't up against any age limits, nor was he likely to be a vet entitled to preference by OPM.

                    Stay classy in manch-vegas.
                    Last edited by JI603; 08-01-2011, 04:52 PM.

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