If you were arrested for DUI in California and you fly for a living Matthew a Ruff can help. For 25 years he has been defending clients charged with driving under the influence, many of whom were pilots who faced the loss of their pilot license by the FAA.
A drunk driving arrest will be treated differently depending on what you do for a living. If you are a commercial pilot a DUI can be devastating if not handled properly. The FAA dictates the rules for pilots and what they do outside of work can also be considered. If you fly for a living your company may also take action against you. Here is what you need to know right now:
First, an arrest for driving under the influence is just an allegation. Until there is some adjudication of guilt by a Court or governmental agency it remains an accusation only and you have rights.
What about Mandatory reporting requirements? Yes, there are specific requirements to report a DUI conviction or administrative license suspension to the FAA. Specifically, under 14 CFR 61.15 all pilots are obligated to report the incident to the FAA. However, that only applies if you are convicted or your drivers license is actually suspended. If you hire an attorney within 10 calendar days of the arrest an actual suspension of your drivers license can be avoided pending a hearing on the issue.
The first thing to do is hire a professional to assist you. A DUI arrest for a pilot is not the type of thing you can handle DIY. Find a lawyer local to the area where you were arrested. The attorney should be well versed in the consequences a conviction will have on the pilots license and his job. Immediate action must be taken to avoid a mandatory suspension of the drivers license on an administrative level as a suspension from the DMV may trigger a mandatory duty to report the incident to the FAA.
Attorney Matthew Ruff has represented many pilots for DWI and alcohol related offenses in the last 20 years with remarkable success. Here are two recent examples of cases where Matt achieved phenomenal results.
Case example 1: Matthew was retained by a pilot living in the South Bay after he was arrested in Redondo Beach for DUI. He was caught up in a sobriety checkpoint and was arrested after the officers detected an door of alcohol on his breath, poor performance on FST's and slurred speech. He took a breath test that reported his BAC to be .10 percent, .03 higher than the legal limit in California of .08 or more. Matt immediately contacted El Segundo DMV Driver Safety for a hearing and demanded a stay of the suspension of his driving privileges. He obtained the reports and evidence and carefully scrutinised them for evidentiary issues. He was able to uncover problems with the test and worked with his toxicologist to build a Defense. He used that strategy to negotiate a dismissal of the DUI charges in Torrance Court and subsequently obtained a set aside of the administrative suspension of his license.
Case example 2: A commercial pilot was arrested in Long Beach for public intoxication after he was contacted by police leaving a bar on Pine. He spent the night in jail and was released with a Court date. He hired Matthew who immediately understood the consequences this would have on the client's job and FAA licensing. Matt reached out to the local prosecutor and ultimately all charges were dropped prior to any Court date. This resulted to no arrest record that could hurt the client's employment or pilots license.
If you are a pilot facing a criminal offense in California, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Torrance, Manhattan Beach or anywhere else, contact Matthew at 310-527-4100 for immediate help and advice on what to do.