Misdemeanor

Dear aviators,I would like to start of apologizing for my stupid mistake that I’ve made.
Recently I’ve been charged with a misdemeanor of a petty theft(shoplifting),I know it’s very bad and irresponsible and I can’t forgive my self anymore,this happened about a month ago,I also finished my ATP requirements and got my 1500 hours to go the regionals,my goal is to be an airline pilot but I’m scared that I’ve ruined my whole career and do you think any regional will even hire me with this misdemeanor?
I am working with a lawyer now but just the fact that I have a misdemeanor now on my criminal record how will this affect me applying for the regionals,I’ve been in the aviation industry for 5 years now and just finished(about 2 months ago) my ATP requirements and now I’m afraid I did everything for nothing for getting this far.

Mike,

I’m not going to lie, the fact you did this recently and AFTER you completed all your training is really not a good thing. The Regionals are desperate but frankly if I were on your hiring panel (which I’ve been) I’d pass. That said I’m not everybody and others may be more lenient.

My best advice is don’t ask us ask them. If you’ve got the time you should be applying already (vs shoplifting). Pick up the phone and call the Regional(s) you like recruiting departments and ask them. They will tell you for certain.

Adam

Mike,

I think that you will most likely never work for the majors and probably will not be able to get a job at the regionals either. Beyond that, one of the requirements for the FAA to issue an ATP certificate is that the candidate needs to be “of good moral character.” While that is certainly subjective, a recent shoplifting charge does not look good at all.

I would do what Adam suggested and contact the regionals directly, that is the best way to know for certain.

Chris

Mike,

That’s a tough question to answer and frankly no one here can speak for the airline recruiters. Doesn’t hurt to pick up the phone and ask them directly. These are desperate times. Now is the best chance you have at getting hired at a regional. Since you have the hours, you might as well try while you can.

Tory

Hi, i’m in my junior year of high school and currently taking dual credit classes at college for my A&P (almost finished), however 4 years ago I was charged with a misdemeanor charge for marijuana, my lawyer said i could get it expunged from my record but even so would it be possible for me to pilot a major airline in the future? Thanks

Ralph,

We discuss this in the FAQ section but the short answer is yes it’s possible, BUT. Not sure if you watch the news but drunk pilots have been a very popular subject. The FAA and the airlines don’t like drugs or alcohol. I even know one really REALLY stupid new FO who made it all the way to a Major airline, got a random drug test, tested positive for weed and now he’s done.

Lucky for you it happened when you were a minor and you won’t be applying to an airline for a few years so IF you keep yourself clean both the FAA and the airline will probably take your “I did something foolish when I was young bla bla bla” and give you a pass. I assume you mention your college classes because you think that would somehow offset the drug charge, it won’t. BUT, if/when it happens again it shows a pattern. You can forget all that expunged nonsense as there is no such thing when it comes to federal background checks. Lie about it and that will definitely end your career. So it becomes a choice for you. You already used your one free pass and you will not get another. Behave yourself and you should be fine. Don’t and you can kick yourself for many years to come.

Your call.

Adam

Ralph,

Let me get this straight. You got a marijuana charge at 13 years old? That is really young. The good news is that you can leverage that young age to your advantage and show that it was a youthful mistake. That being said, you need to keep your record absolutely clean moving forward.

Chris