Airline Pilot Forums

Airline Pilot Forums was designed to be a community where working airline pilots can share ideas and information about the aviation field. In the forum you will find information about major and regional airline carriers, career training, interview and job seeker help, finance, and living the airline pilot lifestyle.




flyingsioux
11-26-2007, 05:48 AM
Just wondering how much a class b misdemeanor will hamper the rest of my career post-regional (majors or fractional). I have ZERO other criminal record...not even a speeding ticket in the last 4 years. I have not been to court yet but the charge is not alcohol, drug, traffic or violence related...just a stupid petty misdemeanor during a moment of irresponsibility. Just wondering what effect it will have on my career should I be convicted....has anyone experienced this or know of anyone that has? I'm sure I'm not the only pilot in the industry with a petty misdemeanor but I dont want it holding back my career....

For those wondering the charge is for issuing a check without funds. I just returned from training for my current regional job and while I was gone for that two months the agency mailed me a notice on October 3rd that I had ten days to make payment or they would press charges. Well, I received that letter earlier this week, as well as a notice of warrant from the local county sherriff and two letters from my bank (I have two accounts and rarely use the one in question) This is NOT typical of me as I am usually very responsible, however as I mentioned I am aware its my own stupid fault for not having my mail forwarded and I take responsobility for that. I received both letters late Saturday night and plan to contact the county sherriff and a lawyer first thing in the morning to see what my options are. Hopefully under the circumstances I wont be facing a misdemeanor and can simply make restitution. I wrote the check, I'll pay the check and take full resposibility I just dont want this haunting me for years. It was nothing but an honest mistake...


2cylinderdriver
11-26-2007, 06:02 AM
Just wondering how much a class b misdemeanor will hamper the rest of my career post-regional (majors or fractional). I have ZERO other criminal record...not even a speeding ticket in the last 4 years. I have not been to court yet but the charge is not alcohol, drug, traffic or violence related...just a stupid petty misdemeanor during a moment of irresponsibility. Just wondering what effect it will have on my career should I be convicted....has anyone experienced this or know of anyone that has? I'm sure I'm not the only pilot in the industry with a petty misdemeanor but I dont want it holding back my career....

For those wondering the charge is for issuing a check without funds. I just returned from training for my current regional job and while I was gone for that two months the agency mailed me a notice on October 3rd that I had ten days to make payment or they would press charges. Well, I received that letter earlier this week, as well as a notice of warrant from the local county sherriff and two letters from my bank (I have two accounts and rarely use the one in question) This is NOT typical of me as I am usually very responsible, however as I mentioned I am aware its my own stupid fault for not having my mail forwarded and I take responsobility for that. I received both letters late Saturday night and plan to contact the county sherriff and a lawyer first thing in the morning to see what my options are. Hopefully under the circumstances I wont be facing a misdemeanor and can simply make restitution. I wrote the check, I'll pay the check and take full resposibility I just dont want this haunting me for years. It was nothing but an honest mistake...

Probably a bigger deal than a non driving alcohol offense. Many Majors pull credit reports now and while completely understandable it may get you filtered before you get the chance to explain.

I would get a lawyer and do whatever you can to get that offense removed from your record. Not the end of the world by any stretch, by why chance it ?

Onfinal
11-26-2007, 06:36 AM
flyingsioux:

Frankly, If it is exactly as you say, I don't think it will be a big deal for an airline. Unfortunately, it is in the recent and not distant past.

A word of advice.

Remember, you have been charged with an offense, and it is not a felony. Felonys are very bad. Lot's of people have misdemeanors for a variety of stuff. I had one for an altercation in College.

I think the biggest thing to be prepared for is that the prosecutor will likely try to get you to plead guilty, and then let you walk away. They will act like they are trying to help you, but the reality is they just want to have another successful conviction on their record. This is the dark side of how prosecutors operate. They try to tally up convictions like pilots tally up hours, and then one day, they are appointed or elected a judge based on all those convictions. (Remember the Duke Rape Case). Do not plead guilty. Explain the situation to the judge, as you did to us, and be prepared to pay the debt. Check in hand. The worst that can happen is he/she finds you guilty and then you are in no worst a situation than if you plead guilty right off. Of course consult with a reputable lawyer beforehand. I'm advising you based on my experience, but obviously I am no lawyer.

I don't know where you are in your career, but again, when I told my current company (xjt) about my past misdemeanor...they just shrugged their shoulders.

Best or Luck!

Onfinal


skywriter
11-26-2007, 06:54 AM
You will beat it if that is all there is to your money history, you have been treated bad by your bank unless the check was big. See if your bank will use a bank credit card to back up your checking account.

7576FO
11-26-2007, 07:00 AM
Get an Attorney no matter how much it costs.

Don't give any airline interviewer anything to jump on.

Best of luck

contrail67
11-26-2007, 07:17 AM
Just wondering how much a class b misdemeanor will hamper the rest of my career post-regional (majors or fractional). I have ZERO other criminal record...not even a speeding ticket in the last 4 years. I have not been to court yet but the charge is not alcohol, drug, traffic or violence related...just a stupid petty misdemeanor during a moment of irresponsibility. Just wondering what effect it will have on my career should I be convicted....has anyone experienced this or know of anyone that has? I'm sure I'm not the only pilot in the industry with a petty misdemeanor but I dont want it holding back my career....

For those wondering the charge is for issuing a check without funds. I just returned from training for my current regional job and while I was gone for that two months the agency mailed me a notice on October 3rd that I had ten days to make payment or they would press charges. Well, I received that letter earlier this week, as well as a notice of warrant from the local county sherriff and two letters from my bank (I have two accounts and rarely use the one in question) This is NOT typical of me as I am usually very responsible, however as I mentioned I am aware its my own stupid fault for not having my mail forwarded and I take responsobility for that. I received both letters late Saturday night and plan to contact the county sherriff and a lawyer first thing in the morning to see what my options are. Hopefully under the circumstances I wont be facing a misdemeanor and can simply make restitution. I wrote the check, I'll pay the check and take full resposibility I just dont want this haunting me for years. It was nothing but an honest mistake...


Keep all your paperwork that you paid the bill....it will at least give them something to talk about in the interview and they will see how you handled the event...will show you make things right. Not sure if it will keep you from being called for the interview. DUI's are the tough ones.

Roll Inverted and Pull
11-26-2007, 07:21 AM
Get a GOOD lawyer...do it today. Settle the debt...give a letter of apology to the party that you issues the check to..do anything that you can before the court date...You can`t un-ring the bell....

Pilot41
11-26-2007, 08:07 AM
Get a lawyer, NOW! Make sure he understands how imporant it is for this not to blemish your record. DO NOT write or call with ANY sort of apology, it could be taken as an admission of guilt. Let a lawyer handle it, my guess is he will be able to get the charges dropped.

All that said, assuming you have started the facts exactly as they are, I doubt even if it goes on your record it'll be too much of an issue.

MalteseX
11-26-2007, 08:33 AM
Just wondering how much a class b misdemeanor will hamper the rest of my career post-regional (majors or fractional). I have ZERO other criminal record...not even a speeding ticket in the last 4 years. I have not been to court yet but the charge is not alcohol, drug, traffic or violence related...just a stupid petty misdemeanor during a moment of irresponsibility. Just wondering what effect it will have on my career should I be convicted....has anyone experienced this or know of anyone that has? I'm sure I'm not the only pilot in the industry with a petty misdemeanor but I dont want it holding back my career....

For those wondering the charge is for issuing a check without funds. I just returned from training for my current regional job and while I was gone for that two months the agency mailed me a notice on October 3rd that I had ten days to make payment or they would press charges. Well, I received that letter earlier this week, as well as a notice of warrant from the local county sherriff and two letters from my bank (I have two accounts and rarely use the one in question) This is NOT typical of me as I am usually very responsible, however as I mentioned I am aware its my own stupid fault for not having my mail forwarded and I take responsobility for that. I received both letters late Saturday night and plan to contact the county sherriff and a lawyer first thing in the morning to see what my options are. Hopefully under the circumstances I wont be facing a misdemeanor and can simply make restitution. I wrote the check, I'll pay the check and take full resposibility I just dont want this haunting me for years. It was nothing but an honest mistake...

This is NOT a big deal, if it is as you say (ie no more to the story that you haven't mentioned). Remember, the "agency" only wants their money, not the hassle of other things. One thing that you didn't mention is the amount of the check. THAT is a factor as well.

Remember, you haven't been CHARGED with anything--- you can't be charged through the mail. There may be an arrest warrant out for you though... DO NOT contact the sheriff just to be safe. Contact a local attorney first.

Think "What would Bill Clinton do?"

DO -- Contact a local lawyer.
DO -- Keep SILENT (ie do not speak with anyone but said lawyer above) By talking to anyone else, you are only hurting your chances of getting this COMPLETELY erased.
DO NOT --- Contact the sheriff
DO NOT --- Contact the bank
DO NOT --- Offer ANY sort of apology etc.
DO -- CHANGE BANKS; Many banks offer programs to keep you from getting into this situation. Your current bank sucks if they don't offer overdraft protection.

This is not a big deal (I guess depending on your state -- California no big deal; Virginia or Texas, maybe a bigger deal) Remember they only want their money... an attorney can make deals for you (remember, get one locally).

This will go away. An unintentional mistake is NOT a crime.

FDXLAG
11-26-2007, 08:39 AM
Best advice I have ever read on any forum. Just don't hit on the lawyer. Something else clinton would do.

vagabond
11-26-2007, 08:49 AM
Not only should you get a good lawyer, get one who practices criminal law and who has handled similar cases as yours. Now is not the time to use that lawyer who helped you with the adoption or real estate transaction.

And remember to tell him everything. There may be things you don't think is important or relevant, but let him decide that. Also ask questions yourself.

Good luck. Let us know how it ended. You'll be fine; I've had people sit in my office with worse horror stories.

mulcher
11-26-2007, 09:21 AM
After it is settled change banks! What bank is it anyway?

ewrbasedpilot
11-26-2007, 09:38 AM
ALWAYS ALWAYS tell the truth if they ask...........it'll show your candor and honesty and may help get you a job. Good luck.

FDXLAG
11-26-2007, 09:44 AM
When I say hit on ala clinton it means something different. Ask Jaunita.

R1340
11-26-2007, 10:08 AM
Think "What would Bill Clinton do?"


In Bill Clinton voice and wagging his finger:

"I did not tell her (Monica Lewinsky) to lie on the deposition, I told her to lie in this position."

rickair7777
11-26-2007, 11:59 AM
This is NOT a big deal, if it is as you say (ie no more to the story that you haven't mentioned). Remember, the "agency" only wants their money, not the hassle of other things. One thing that you didn't mention is the amount of the check. THAT is a factor as well.

Remember, you haven't been CHARGED with anything--- you can't be charged through the mail. There may be an arrest warrant out for you though... DO NOT contact the sheriff just to be safe. Contact a local attorney first.

Think "What would Bill Clinton do?"

DO -- Contact a local lawyer.
DO -- Keep SILENT (ie do not speak with anyone but said lawyer above) By talking to anyone else, you are only hurting your chances of getting this COMPLETELY erased.
DO NOT --- Contact the sheriff
DO NOT --- Contact the bank
DO NOT --- Offer ANY sort of apology etc.
DO -- CHANGE BANKS; Many banks offer programs to keep you from getting into this situation. Your current bank sucks if they don't offer overdraft protection.

This is not a big deal (I guess depending on your state -- California no big deal; Virginia or Texas, maybe a bigger deal) Remember they only want their money... an attorney can make deals for you (remember, get one locally).

This will go away. An unintentional mistake is NOT a crime.


What he said.

This is a crime if you intentionally issued a bad check with the intent of defruading someone. In your case it sounds like a math error exacerbated by the bank not being able to contact you via mail (did they try your phone or email?).

DEFINATELY hire a lawyer and attempt to make this go away. It would be worth a significant amount of money to beat this. If it goes to trial and you somehow lose, the chances of someone like you going to jail for this are zero (in 99% of the US).

If you do somehow end up with a conviction on your record, then you can own up, be apologetic, and take responsibility.

But ask the lawyer.

FlyingViking
11-26-2007, 12:10 PM
Best advice I have ever read on any forum. Just don't hit on the lawyer. Something else clinton would do.

I second that one...:D. Don't sweat it too much, keep flying and keep on doing the right thing. It could even benefit you by making it a good story for the interview, IF and only IF, you do the right things from here on out.

flyingsioux
11-26-2007, 12:21 PM
Hey guys, thanks for all the advice and support, it is much appreciated. I spoke with a lawyer first thing this morning and explained the entire story and the circumstances that go along with it....I am happy to announce that as of 3pm this afternoon he had already spoken with the ADA and had the charges dropped pending payment of the check, which I have already done...so the situation is over...like it never happened. What a relief. Thanks again everyone!

FlyingViking
11-26-2007, 12:25 PM
Good Job! Congratulations! Now apply with a Legacy!

7576FO
11-26-2007, 01:15 PM
Good Job! Congratulations! Now apply with a Legacy!


Friends don't let friends fly for American! lol
After reading about Netjets, that sounds like a great place to drop anchor for a career.
Best wishes
7576

trunk junk
11-26-2007, 02:05 PM
................

FlyByCable
11-26-2007, 02:24 PM
Hey guys, thanks for all the advice and support, it is much appreciated. I spoke with a lawyer first thing this morning and explained the entire story and the circumstances that go along with it....I am happy to announce that as of 3pm this afternoon he had already spoken with the ADA and had the charges dropped pending payment of the check, which I have already done...so the situation is over...like it never happened. What a relief. Thanks again everyone!



But you will still have to explain your "yes" answer to the question on most major's applications.... "have you ever been charged with a crime?"

iaflyer
11-26-2007, 04:05 PM
But you will still have to explain your "yes" answer to the question on most major's applications.... "have you ever been charged with a crime?"Whatever... quit scaring the poor guy... I looked at several applications for majors and NONE said "have you ever been charged with a crime." They all asked about being convicted.

Dude - first, anyone can be CHARGED with a crime - you have to go through a lot to be convicted. If a cop gives me a bogus ticket, I fight it and win, I was still CHARGED. Second, if that was the case, I am sure that almost every single person in the United States out there would have to answer yes. Why? Because even a traffic ticket is a crime. Look carefully next time you get one - if you sign the ticket and send in the fine, you're pleading Guilty to the crime of speeding - it's a misdemeanor.

Finally- to all those guys who have something in their past - generally in the interview it's more about how you accept responsibility for your actions and learned from it than the actual incident, although they will want to know the full details so they can understand what happened.

mbaroni
11-27-2007, 07:54 AM
One thing to consider is that sometimes it is better to consider talking to the prosecutor yourself, versus through a lawyer. The prosector might be more apt to drop the charges or change them if he/she had talked with you versus a lawyer who he may or may not like.

Reroute
11-27-2007, 11:20 AM
I would get a lawyer and do whatever you can to get that offense removed from your record. Not the end of the world by any stretch, by why chance it ?

I agree. Get a lawyer, it shows the court that you take this seriously and make a good faith effort to settle the account. If this is a first offense and you demonstrate a willingness to make things right, the judge may just suspend sentencing and as long as you keep your nose clean for "x" number of months, the judge will then drop the case.

No ones perfect, we all make mistakes, it's what you do to make things right that matters.

Reroute
11-27-2007, 11:23 AM
But you will still have to explain your "yes" answer to the question on most major's applications.... "have you ever been charged with a crime?"

Charged, or convicted? I haven't had an interview for quite some time, but if memory serves me correctly, they wanted to know if you had ever been convicted, not charged.

LEO22
12-20-2007, 08:10 PM
Having been a cop in Texas for sixteen years, I will say that at least in Texas, if you havenít been arrested and stood in front of a judge while he reads the charges against you, you havenít been charged with a crime. There is a difference between someone filing charges against you and you being charged with a crime.

Until you are arrested, you have no criminal history. The only way an airline would be able to find out about the criminal case is if you tell them or they happen to do an open records request at this Sheriff Dept, which I donít think is likely.

Check with your attorney to make sure this is the same where you live. It has been my experience that this is standard in most states.

cbire880
12-20-2007, 08:21 PM
In most states, speeding and the like are summary offenses. They are less than misdemeanors and do not require a jury trial, just the judge's decision. In fact most non-moving alcohol offenses are summary offenses as well.

seaav8tor
12-21-2007, 01:02 AM
I'm sure I'm not the only pilot in the industry with a petty misdemeanor but I dont want it holding back my career....

For those wondering the charge is for issuing a check without funds.

The airlines have two choices when it comes to finding people to perform various tasks related to operating an airline.

(1) Offer an incentive package that attracts and retains top talent to differentiate their product.

(2) Race to the bottom offering the minimum package that can find a warm body willing to show up for work.

You have nothing to worry about. The airlines have banded together (AIRCON) and selected (2). The slide will continue. As long as you are willing to work your whole adult life for nothing you will be able to remain employed in the industry.

Having no money and bouncing a check will soon be seen as a plus. They will recognize you are used to not having any money and move you to the front of the line. Congrats!

www.aircon.org

TonyMontana
12-21-2007, 04:17 AM
But you will still have to explain your "yes" answer to the question on most major's applications.... "have you ever been charged with a crime?"


That question is actually a violaton of your constitutional rights. DUE PROCESS In this country you are innocent until PROVEN guilty.

Jughead
12-21-2007, 06:16 AM
Maybe this is a violation of due process (not sure it is), but don't answer the question and see how far the application process continues. If you leave it blank, it's sure to come up in an interview (if you get that far by leaving it blank). You'd be very uncomfortable at that point, and will be leaving the interviewer guessing what else they've missed. Practicing your law skills, sharpshooting, and tap dancing at the interview are terrible techniques. Ask your counsel about this particular question and the best way to respond.

I'm glad to see you took some good advice and got it worked out.