Brett O’Brien Law, LLC successfully represented a client with a TWIC waiver who received a denial after applying for Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). The denial of the TWIC was due to his California felony conviction for possession of a controlled dangerous substance (methamphetamine) for sale.
In 2012 our client pleaded nolo contendre to the felony and was sentenced to three years in the county jail and the payment of court fees. He was released from incarceration 18 months later, and fulfilled the obligations of his sentence on June 21, 2013.
Under 49 C.F.R. § 1572.103(b)(2)(vii), convictions for the distribution of a controlled dangerous substance qualify as interim disqualifying criminal offenses. Thus, our client’s conviction for possession of methamphetamine for sale did in fact constitute an interim disqualifying criminal offense under 49 C.F.R. § 1572.103(b)(2).
However, according to 49 C.F.R. § 1572.103(b)(1), a felony conviction for the distribution of a controlled dangerous substance would only be disqualifying if:
- The conviction was less than 7 years old; or
- It has been less than 5 years since you were released from prison.
[49 C.F.R. § 1572.103(b)(1).]
Our office demonstrated that our client was very close to meeting the requirements of 49 C.F.R. § 572.103(b)(1)—it had been almost six years since our client’s conviction was entered and more than four years since his release from incarceration. Additionally, sufficient evidence was provided to the TSA which demonstrated that our client rehabilitated himself and did not pose a security threat as provided in 49 C.F.R. § 1515.7. According to that statute, the TSA will consider the following factors when deterring whether to grant a waiver:
- The facts surrounding the offense;
- Whether or not restitution was made;
- Mitigation remedies;
- Medical release documents, if applicable; and
- Any other factors indicating that you do not pose a security threat.
[49 C.F.R. § 1515.7.]
The TSA was also provided with a vast amount of documentary evidence which demonstrated how our client was rehabilitated under each of the five criteria. Our office also explained that our client recently was given an opportunity for employment which required our client to obtain his TWIC.
Because our client had demonstrated that he had rehabilitated himself and did not propose a security threat, we urged the TSA to overturn its original determination. The TSA granted the request and approved our client’s TWIC waiver application.