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Misdemeanor charges and the FAA/Airlines

Discussion in 'Ask An Aviation Attorney' started by Dakk3, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. Dakk3

    Dakk3 New Member

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    I am 20 years old and I am looking to enter an ATP program. I started flying my piper arrow at 12 years old that my dad had for company usage then later switched to personal use. When I was 18 I was attending school in College Station, Tx and I got wrapped into a bit of trouble. The charge was a class B misdemeanor but I completed probation and the judge said that it wouldn't be visible on my record upon satisfactory completion of my probationary period. My dad is an Attorney in Texas and brought it to my attention that I needed to check into how this charge would affect my being hired into a regional airline before I take a nose dive into spending a large sum of money on becoming an airline pilot. Will I run into problems with the FAA because of this? Will I run into problems with the airlines themselves because of this? Thank you in advance for your time!


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  2. charlie_mike

    charlie_mike Well-Known Member

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    Is it on the TSA Disqualifying List: https://www.tsa.gov/disqualifying-offenses-factors
    If yes, then that shuts you down. If no, then it's all about getting through the door. Regionals more than likely won't be an issue, but could become an issue with majors depending on the demand for pilots.
     
  3. DE727UPS

    DE727UPS Well-Known Member

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    The TSA link mentions felonies. That document is written in typical government legalize so have your father look at it.

    I think you'll be fine with the airlines. By the time you are ready for them you'll have put a few years between you and your incident. I've heard of much worse not being an issue. Supply and demand has a lot to do with it. Demand is very high so they tend to overlook things to get bodies into seats. It might not be like that forever, though. No way to predict. But I wouldn't walk away from the career based on what you've told us. Just try to be squeaky clean going forward.
     
  4. launchpad

    launchpad Well-Known Member

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    You'll have to answer for it for the rest of your career... Both to the FAA and any airlines you apply to. It's not a show stopper as long as you're honest and forthright. I had a similar situation when I was 17 and it hasn't stopped me from getting airline jobs or getting a medical.

    Drug and alcohol charges may pose a problem for airlines but you won't know till you get to that point. The key will be to always fess up to it regardless of what shows on your record.
     
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  5. Cptnchia

    Cptnchia Well-Known Member

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    Most airlines view one occurance as temporary bad judgement. Two or more of the same offense, and it's a habit. Just fess up and don't try and downplay it. Tell them what you learned from it. Don't be that guy who doesn't own it.
     
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  6. MidlifeFlyer

    MidlifeFlyer Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to guess you are not yet even a student pilot or this issue would have already come up in terms of disclosing the misdemeanor in a medical application.

    I suggest you have an attorney who understandS both the criminal procedure in your state and it's aviation ramifications review your court record. That will give you the answer, or at least the potential regulatory and legal risks involved in disclosure or non-disclosure. Then you would at least have options. For example, if you technically do not have to disclose it, you can decide whether to disclose it anyway because of the reasons others mentioned.

    Either way, I would not personally make that decision based on the musings of SGOTI.
     
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  7. AAPalmTree

    AAPalmTree Well-Known Member

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    I'd finish the probationary period (if you haven't already) and do a FBI background check on yourself. If it's there, get it expunged. Even though it's expunged, ALWAYS fess up to everything in an interview. Better to let them know even if they don't find it. Like @Cptnchia said, one offense isn't a deal killer. Good luck!
     
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  8. A150K

    A150K Well-Known Member

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    I don't belive you can get the FBI record wiped clean of arrest records though. I think it's just always there forever. That being said, unless it's reportable per box 18W (I think that's what it is) on the medical app, the FAA doesn't have to know about unless it ended with a conviction. But employers will still have to know. Like others have said though, one offence isn't a show stopper (DUI's are more complicated than some others though). What is a show stopper is not disclosing it.
     
  9. AAPalmTree

    AAPalmTree Well-Known Member

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    If something is expunged it will not show up on a FBI background check.
     
  10. dustoff17

    dustoff17 Well-Known Member

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    Depending on the offense, a local (or State) expunged record will still show at the Federal level (this was changed several years ago).

    Best to get with an attorney as mentioned above and get yourself an answer before you get a lot of money tied up.
     
  11. NovemberEcho

    NovemberEcho Well-Known Member

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    The conviction may not show up but many times the questionnaire (such as the medical) asks if you've been arrested and/or convicted. So even if you were arrested and it was dismissed, let alone expunged, you'll still have to list it. (I was arrested for something many years ago and it was dismissed, still list it on every medical and security form)
     
  12. AAPalmTree

    AAPalmTree Well-Known Member

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    Expunged is different. I've worked with individuals dealing with some of these things. I understand that if something is expunged you can be asked if it happened on the stand in court and you can answer no.
     

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