Criminal issues

I skimmed through a little and had a few questions.

My background off the top of my head.

6 years active duty military, USAF.

2 year degree in process technology. Basically plant operations, distillation units, furnaces, boilers, turbine generators.

100% disabled veteran.

I have the option to go back to college, or other training. Ive always wanted to be a pilot, i was reading where there can be issues if you’ve been arrested. And from what i can tell, there’s really no point in spending the time and money to get things expunged from your record.

I have a TWIC card, and i realise that has nothing to do with the FAA or aviation. I mention it because it does require a federal background check to get.

Most of my arrest were due to drinking. I was in Germany by age 19, it’s legal to drink. So i stated sooner than i should have. I spent a year in the middle east, it wasn’t fun. Drinking became a coping mechanism i guess you could say.

I can’t say exactly every ticket or issue with the law I’ve ever had. But i had a first office DUI something like 5-6 years ago. I have a simple assault charge or maybe 2. I know it doesn’t matter but i grew up in the swamp in south Louisiana, fighting was just a part of growing up.
I had a few vehicular accidents, and a hit and run where i was found to be not guilty. A few disturbing the peace issues.

I was a wild young adult to say the least. So I’ll probably never be able to get with any of the majors…

Do i have any options to get in the air?
Private pilot? Helicopter pilot for the oil rigs? Regional pilot?

Can i even get medically cleared with the FAA?

After the last arrest, i went through a substance abuse course with the VA “veterans affairs” i haven’t drank in over 2 years. Like i said, the alcohol was the cause of really every legal issue I’ve ever had.

With that gone from my life, am i still screwed?

Could i still at lest get licensed so i could fly a personal plane? I know there are options to fly where a person doesn’t need any licence. There also a sports licence, but I’d like the ability to fly at night, higher altitudes, more options in the type of plane available to fly.

I know i put a lot on here. But I want an honest answer, so i need to try and put everything on the table.

Thank you.


No sense in painting any rainbows here, your chances are less than stellar and it won’t be easy if even possible. Your first hurdle will be getting a medical. Not impossible but if you read the post about HIMS right below yours this person has been trying for almost a year, still doesn’t have one and his record is nowhere near yours.

After that I don’t see the airlines giving you a nod. Airlines are very image conscious. In the event a flight you’re piloting has an emergency the media would have a field day with your record. As for other gigs it’s a matter of finding someone who’s willing to give you a shot. People need to trust and feel comfortable with the person who’s hands they’re entrusting their lives (or very expensive equipment) with. If this were a single isolated issue that would be one thing but there’s a long history here.

First step would be to speak with an AME and see if you can even get a medical. By the Class that will give you some idea of your options.


So I have a question about this subject. Long story short I was in Law enforcement in Florida and got into a bad crash on duty. The state decided to charge me with reckless driving causing serious bodily injury which a 3rd felony(lowest degree) I was found guilty at trial and sentenced to probation which is almost done. I also had adjudication withheld which means I am not convicted of the crime so long as I complete my probation successfully which I’m on track to do. I’m trying to rebuild my life and start a new career and always loved flying. I have a good friend who is a pilot for a major carrier that is encouraging me to do it. I started looking into financing to do ATPs program. Before I go spend the money do I have a chance at landing an airline job eventually. I should also add nothing is actually on my driving record and no drugs or alcohol were involved just a bad wreck.

So i figured it would be difficult, especially after looking into it over the last few month’s. I figured it would be impossible for a major.

What about getting licenced for something like a private plane? Something higher than sports pilot, just so i can be able to go to higher altitudes, fly at night, use more powerful planes “turbo prop, dual engine” ect.

So without having the medical I’m assuming even something like working for a private business business, so having a private charter company is out of the question?

Thank you.


Without a medical (other than light sport) you cannot fly.



There are obviously no guarantees but (as I stated above) if it’s a single offense you shouldn’t have a problem, particularly if it wasn’t drug or alcohol related. There also was no assault or violence on your part.


Thanks man. I appreciate the straight forward response. When the time comes, I’ll just see what happens and go from there.


To begin with, thank you for your past service as a law enforcement officer. I cannot begin to imagine the stress that police must go through and the snap second decisions that they are faced to make, that lawyers then have years to second guess.

Is your record completely clean besides this? Were your driving privileges suspended? I would strongly recommend contacting the recruiting departments of a few regional airlines and asking them your question directly. CommutAir is the only regional that is currently hiring, so I would start with them. I suspect that if you own your mistakes and your role in them, and have an otherwise clean record, that you will be fine. As for “clean” I mean not even a parking ticket. Please let us know what they say.



Your first step is to apply for a FAA First Class Medical, which I suspect that you will have a difficult time obtaining. Even if you can obtain a medical, I think that you would not be able to be hired by the airlines as a baggage handler, let alone as a pilot. The airlines are a very risk-adverse industry and your past history shows that you would be a huge hiring risk to an airline.

To work for a “private company” tip will need the same FAA medical and really the same thing with your past applies here as well. There are thousands of pilots that have no criminal records at all, there really is just no reason for a company to hire one with a lengthy record.



Thank you for acknowledging the stress and split second decisions. This accident happened to have been in 2016 right after what happened in Ferguson, Mo. so needles to say I was made an example of.

Yes record other than this is completely clean no tickets ever. My license was not suspended as my driving action was because I was in the official performances of my duties. My license still has a safe driver endorsement and I renewed it after the accident. Everyone i explain to in more detail about what happened gets absolutely shocked about why it went down the way it did. I’m very open about the particulars just didn’t want to type it all out because it would take up too much room for a chat board. Thanks I’ll reach out and ask. My saving grace is once I’m off probation I can have it sealed. But I know certain jobs you have to disclose it anyway.

Aviation is one of the jobs that you will have to disclose it on. I would strongly encourage you to contact a regional recruiting department to be sure, before you start spending money on this. Also, make sure that you will not have any issues with criminal inadmissibility to Canada. They can be real sticklers on this sort of thing.


I have one more question. If i do have issues, I’m assuming i would. Could i get a senator or congressman to help out in a situation like that? They deal on the federal side of things, especially if it was just wanting to get licenced for private use. This was just something that popped up in my head.

Thanks again.


I’m not sure what a Sen can or cannot do but I’d like to believe they can’t. The rules are there for a reason and apply to everyone. Just because someone has a “friend” they shouldn’t get special treatment or be able to bypass a system that’s designed to protect the public. There’s also as I said the issue of image. You have a bad day at work could you image the headlines?

I’m sorry but if you can’t get your license and medical without some govt intervention you shouldn’t have it.


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On my end, i hope that i will be able to potentially do something I’ve always wanted to. It’s hard for people to give up on a life long dream when there finally able to make it happen. Especially if they have had problems in the past. Being able to complete something like that can be a life changer in many different positive ways.

But i do, see and understand what your saying and if I’m going to be honest i would also have to agree with you.

Thank you again for the straight forward opinion and information. It might not be exactly what i want to hear but it is something i need to be prepared for.