Greenbelt, MD asked in Criminal Law and Employment Law for Maryland

Q: CAC (federal) ID application with a misdemeanor conviction (10 years ago)

Situation: In 2007, two counts of assault convictions were made (total 120 days sentence, suspended). All fines and parole were finished in 2009. No other charges convictions exist.

Now 2022, Applying for CAC ID with a fingerprint for federal access. Tier1 position previously NACI (low risk sensitivity position) background check.

Q) Will be the application of CAC (federal) ID denied due to the single time misdemenor convictions back in 2007?

Q) The misdemeanor convictions in 2009 will be questioned such as in in-person interview?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: The FBI performs all criminal background checks for federal agencies, and they use the FBI's internal (non-public) database (which is different from the FBI nationwide database generally used by state and local law enforcement and private employer background checks). The distinction is important in that state-granted expungements of a person's charging history may still appear in the FBI internal database when the FBI itself performs the background check. In your case, under Maryland law (if the two assault charges were Maryland charges), you would not be eligble for expungement until 15 years after completion of your probation on the last assault charge, so whatever your discharge from probation date was in 2009, you can petition for expungement in 2024 after that date. That may still not help you with an FBI-performed background check. However, if a private contractor for the federal government is your employer, and is performing the criminal background check through a non-FBI agency, then an expunged charge would not appear. But that is besides the point at the moment, since you are not yet eligible for expungement: your convictions will come up in your background check, unless there is some policy to only look back or consider convictions within the past 10 years. Further, what weight a particular agency or employer will give to old misdemeanor convictions is really not a legal matter a lawyer can answer. That is up to the agency/employer using the background check. One thing to keep in mind is that any false or intentionally misleading answers on a federal application can be prosecuted as a felony (rare, but possible). Even if not prosecuted, it is an automatic rejection of the applicant for employment, even if the past charge itself was not disqualifying. So, you need to be honest.

According to the Code of Federal Regulations for DoD CAC card access: Sponsored CAC applicants shall not be issued a CAC without a favorably adjudicated background investigation stipulated in FIPS Publication 201-2. Applicants that have been denied a CAC based on an unfavorable adjudication of the background investigation may submit an appeal in accordance with FIPS Publication 201-2 and Office of Personnel Management Memorandum, “Final Credentialing Standards for Issuing Personal Identity Verification Cards under HSPD-12.”

The current FIPS 201-2 can be found at this site:

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