FAA Medical Question 18.w - History of nontraffic conviction

aviationvic

New Member
Hello all,

Currently I am an student at a flight school in Texas with private pilot license. I was arrest for public intoxication in the beginning of 2017. Later I had pleaded no contest; The judge had dismissed my case without charge or convection after 90 days of deferral. Towards the end of 2018 I had applied and received my 1st class medical. Without saying "YES" to Medical question 18(w):

History of nontraffic convictions:
-The applicant must report any other (nontraffic) convictions (e.g., assault, battery, public intoxication, robbery, etc.). The applicant must name the charge for which convicted and the date of the conviction(s), and copies of court documents (if available)

Which I thought this would not apply to me, since my case was dismissed and I was never convicted. Then till recently I had opened up the actual FAA medical form and went to question 18 and when I clicked on it, it popped up and says:

-"Arrest" means being detained or taken into custody by any law enforcement or military authority for any reason related to a driving stop for suspected driving while intoxicated by, while impaired by, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. List, for each arrest, the place, date, and circumstance (s) of the arrest. "Conviction" means any judgment of guilt based on a jury, court, or military verdict, a plea of guilty, or a plea of nolo contendre/no contest. Examples include, but are not limited to, assault, battery, disorderly conduct, domestic violence, driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, murder, possession of drugs, public intoxication, reckless driving, etc. If you answer yes, you should report all misdemeanors and felony convictions regardless of the classification of the conviction and regardless of whether the conviction is pending on appeal to another court. List the charge(s) for which you were convicted, the date of the conviction, and the state, federal, military, or foreign court in which you were convicted. If a conviction has been reversed or vacated in a final judgment, state the date of the final judgment and the court that issued the final judgment. If the record of a conviction has been expunged, state the date that the record was expunged and the court that ordered the expunction....

Which I didn't remember seeing this part at all when I was applying for my medical. Any insight of what should I do? Should I report it to FAA now? What do you guys think it will happen to me?

Thank you in advance!
 
Last edited:

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
One can't answer the question reliably without seeing the court paperwork. There are different types of deferral programs, some of which fit the FAA's definition of "conviction" and others which do not.
 

aviationvic

New Member
Thanks for responding,
My court order said:

Not be subsequently charged or convicted, after the date of this order, with any civil, criminal offense, or regulatory offense committed within the territorial limits of the above-named municipality; and not be offense in this case, against the laws of the state of Texas or the United States during the deferral period;

The part that got me worried the most was that I had pleaded no contest.
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
Thanks for responding,
My court order said:

Not be subsequently charged or convicted, after the date of this order, with any civil, criminal offense, or regulatory offense committed within the territorial limits of the above-named municipality; and not be offense in this case, against the laws of the state of Texas or the United States during the deferral period;

The part that got me worried the most was that I had pleaded no contest.
Really - that's not enough information. A no-contest plea doesn't end the question. What you really want is advice from someone who reviews the court file itself. There are details and nuances in deferrals which could make a difference.

Not referring to you specifically, bu a large number of the people I have dealt with through the years did not really know the legal effect of their own cases or specifically what was done. Again, not your situation, but it's no surprise that every time the NTSB has ruled on whether someone had to disclose an expunged conviction, there wasn't an expungement to begin with.

If this is question is important to you, I would strongly suggest you get a lawyer with both Texas criminal law and aviation experience to pull the file and review it.
 

aviationvic

New Member
So the judge gave me deferred disposition which:

The Judge may grant Deferred Disposition for the dismissal of an offense. Deferred disposition is an unsupervised probation for a specific amount of time. If you meet the conditions of your deferred, the citation is dismissed.

well cause this part right here

"Conviction" means any judgment of guilt based on a jury, court, or military verdict, a plea of guilty, or a plea of nolo contendre/no contest.

even though it was dismissed but I had pleaded "no contest". That's why I wasn't sure if that count as conviction or not. Since the definition of conviction from the FAA medical looks different from what I thought conviction means.

I just don't want FAA think I'm trying to hide it. I would probably ask an attorney to review it.

Thanks for the advice, much appreciated!
 
Last edited:

Old Pete

curmudgeon
Again, not your situation, but it's no surprise that every time the NTSB has ruled on whether someone had to disclose an expunged conviction, there wasn't an expungement to begin with.
.
Could you expound on this? It doesn’t make sense to me. If “there wasn’t an expungement to begin with” why would the NTSB give an opinion on the subject? And am I to assume there has never been case before the NTSB where the appellant had an expunged offense?
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
Could you expound on this? It doesn’t make sense to me. If “there wasn’t an expungement to begin with” why would the NTSB give an opinion on the subject? And am I to assume there has never been case before the NTSB where the appellant had an expunged offense?
I should have said, "any time the NTSB was asked to rule..."

It ultimately didn't because there was no expunction. In the cases, the pilot did not disclose an offense and, in the revocation proceedings, argued it was expunged. As it turned out, at best, the pilot was mistaken. It wasn't actually expunged.

But it didn't stop the NTSB from expressing an opinion about it in the few cases in which it came up. The language Is inconsistent. Some suggest they might be bound by the state expunction. Others say they might not.

You assume correctly. There is no NTSB case where the pilot had an expunged offense.

But, to be clear, I mentioned this only as an example of a defendant not really understanding the criminal process he or she was involved in. The real issue of the effect of state expunctions on federal applications is an unfortunately complex one with no clear answer. The FAA's position is that they must be disclosed.
 
Last edited:
Top