FAA Enforcement Attorney

  • ON May 07, 2018
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  • BY Anthony Ison
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  • IN Pilot Law

If you depend on your airman or airman medical certificate for your career, you should retain a FAA enforcement attorney from the first sign of trouble with the FAA. If a FAA enforcement attorney is involved with an airman’s defense during the early stages of a FAA investigation, an airman may be better poised to defend his or her position before the NTSB during a FAA emergency revocation or suspension. In that, by starting with a FAA enforcement attorney early (as soon as the airman knows of a potential violation or upon receipt of a FAA letter of investigation), an airman may be able to mitigate damaging evidence becoming a part of the FAA’s Enforcement Investigative Report (“EIR”).

One of the more common problems that occurs, especially when an airman is being investigated for “intentional falsification” of an airman medical certificate, is when an airman provides a response to a FAA letter of investigation without advice from a FAA enforcement attorney. Unfortunately, most airmen believe they have nothing to hide and that by responding to the FAA’s letter of investigation, the airman is inviting compassion and understanding from the FAA. Despite what appears to be a common-sense response to an unnerving situation, the FAA is not as “kind and gentle” as an airman would want to think. Nevertheless, what an airman needs to know is that providing a response that is not calculated and well-prepared could offer the FAA attorney the exact evidence he or she needs to prove “intention falsification” or otherwise, as everything an airman provides in response to a letter of investigation will be used against him or her.

A FAA enforcement attorney can provide insight to NTSB precedent and the facts prior to an airman providing a response to a FAA letter of investigation. Doing so could very well mean the difference between an airman being successful with a defense before the NTSB and not.

If you’ve received a letter of investigation from the FAA, it’s time to get a FAA enforcement attorney on your case. Your FAA enforcement attorney at The Ison Law Firm is standing by to vector you through legal turbulence. Call 1-855-FAA-1215 today!

DUI and the FAA: What Should I Do?

  • ON Nov 02, 2015
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  • BY Christopher Ison
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  • IN Pilot Law

Navigating the treacherous terrain of a DUI and the FAA can be tough. Did you know that you could have your airmen certificate suspended or revoked for certain offenses related to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Beyond that, the FAA can deny an application for any certificate, rating, or authorization in response to a DUI offense. The FAA’s consequences for a DUI will make you regret ever drinking something besides water. However, the following will walk you through a scenario in which you are charged with driving under the influence and give you a few pointers on the FAA’s requirements.

 

Let’s say you go out on Friday night with your friends and with the social mores what they are today, you decide to indulge in an alcoholic beverage. Maybe you end up having more than one drink, but you claim to feel “fine.” One thing leads to another and you find yourself behind the wheel of your car, trying to find your way home. This is when you get pulled over by the local police for swerving in your lane. The officers conduct a field sobriety test, which you fail, and it is determined that your blood alcohol is approximately .250. As a result, you are charged with a State statute prohibiting the operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated/impaired by drugs or alcohol. In this situation, you should speak to an attorney as to how to handle the DUI on the State/criminal level. Nonetheless, for the purposes of understanding a DUI and the FAA, let’s assume that you hire an attorney and you end up being convicted of one charge of DUI.

 

What happens now? The FAA has very strict reporting guidelines when it comes to airmen being charged with a DUI offense. The answer to this question comes from 14 C.F.R. §61.15(e), which reads: “[e]ach person holding a certificate issued under this part shall provide a written report of each motor vehicle action to the FAA…not later than 60 days after the motor vehicle action.” Did you catch that? The FAA requires that 60 days after you the motor vehicle action, you must submit a written report to the FAA. You have to tell the FAA about your DUI!

 

Some people think they will outsmart the FAA. They say, “I just won’t tell the FAA and they will never find out.” Okay, let’s run that theory down for a second. You may get away with not telling the FAA for a little while, but they will always find out somehow. The likely scenario is that the information will come out when you go to get your next medical certificate examination, as Form 8500 (medical application) authorizes the release of your National Driving Record to the FAA. Keeping this information from the FAA is a BIG MISTAKE. 14 C.F.R. §61.15(f) states: “failure to comply with paragraph (e) of this section is grounds for…denial of an application for any certificate, rating, or authorization…or suspension or revocation of any certificate, rating, or authorization.” When the FAA finds out about the DUI and subsequently revokes your certificate because you failed to notify them, they will now beg you as a liar and will make your life much worse than it needs to be.

 

So let’s say that you report the DUI to the FAA within the 60 time period. What happens next? When you report the alcohol-related motor vehicle action, the FAA will initiate a preliminary investigation to ensure your report was within the required 60-day time frame and that there are no other reportable actions. This investigation may lead to a formal investigation where the FAA will consider either suspending or revoking your certificate or giving you a warning, etc.

 

There is one tip which may seem self-serving to all the FAA Enforcement and Aviation Attorneys out there, but is really the best piece of advice for airmen in this situation: hire an Aviation Attorney. An Aviation Attorney can help you draft your initial 60-day filing to the FAA with an eye toward protecting your certificate from a certificate suspension or revocation. Beyond that, a FAA Enforcement Attorney can help coordinate medical experts and preserve legal evidence from the DUI conviction, which may become relevant in a subsequent FAA Enforcement Action.

 

As soon as you are involved in a DUI situation, it is important to contact your FAA Enforcement Attorney. Getting your Aviation Attorney involved in the process early on is a good idea, as he or she can ensure that you get the appropriate counseling and evaluation in anticipation of a FAA certificate action. If you have questions about a DUI charge in Florida, or have questions about a DUI and the FAA on a national basis, feel free to call an Aviation Attorney at The Ison Law Firm. We are standing by to vector you through legal turbulence…call us at 863-712-9472 or e-mail to Anthony@ThePilotLawyer.com. 

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