Real Answers from Real Pilots

Misdemeanor conviction

(Roger) #1


My name is Rogelio. Im 26 years old and I’m very interested in pursuing a career in aviation. I’d be thrilled to enroll at ATP but there is one problem. I made one big youthful mistake in my life 6 years ago and would like to know if it would make it impossible for me to become a commercial airline pilot. In 2012 I filed a false stolen vehicle report. In 2014 I plead no contest to the misdemeanor. I didn’t serve jail time. I paid due fees and 3 years of informal probation and case was closed. This is my only criminal offense. I regret it everyday and I’d hate if this ruins my future. I have excellent work history and excellent credit. Not sure if that would mean anything to airlines.
Would this hinder my chances of becoming an airline pilot?

Would getting the misdemeanor expunged do me any good?

Thank you

Rogelio Rodriguez



While airlines don’t like any criminal behavior the pilot shortage has “softened” things up a bit. If you started training now that would put you at a Regional in about 2.5yrs which would put almost 9yrs between you and your conviction. If this is (and remains) your only offense I believe you’ll be fine.




I do not think that this will affect you at the regional level, but it very well could at the major level. When an airline has thousands of applicants, something such as a conviction is a very easy way for them to start weeding through the pile of applicants. I don’t know that it will stop you from being hired at a major, but it will at some point be a discussion and will be something that you will need to overcome. Make sure to keep your record, to include your driving record, darn clean from here on out.


(Roger) #4

Thanks for the input guys! I really appreciate it. I’ll be sure to keep my record immaculate.