Felony DWI Indictment and Potential Loss of Aviation Career
Potential Loss of Aviation Career
FAA license revocation, Felony DWI indictment, Loss of flight privileges
Are you a professional aviator under FAA - Federal Aviation Administration scrutiny? Are you facing serious, career threatening charges? If you are a commercial aviator looking for legal representation, you have come to the right website. I was in the same predicament, three years ago. I was facing a felony trial for a DWI - Driving While Intoxicated - with two minors in the vehicle. I had surrendered my medical license to the Federal Aviation Administration; CPS - Child Protective Services - had begun their investigation. The list of government agencies involved was mind numbing. The DPS – Department of Public Safety, and DOT – Department of Transportation - are not agencies you want to face alone. At the time, I had an attorney who might call me back sometime the same month. I seriously contemplated just giving up on it all. I needed help. I needed an attorney who was knowledgeable about and comfortable with FAA regulations, commercial airlines and corporate headquarters generally, special issuance, pilot re-certification and medical revocation. I needed a lawyer who could wade through the criminal legal issues of a felony DWI, and provide overall guidance on how best to proceed through this governmental maze. I was also asked to attend a drug and alcohol treatment center or rehab. This would be followed by aftercare and monitoring programs, and I needed an attorney who could make sense of and leverage the evidence and information coming from these various recovery programs.
Bill Meili came into my life through a mutual friend who had faced similar issues. I was skeptical at first. He was not inexpensive; but he was offering legal help and hope. A little too good to believe? Yes, that was exactly what I thought. But, I had nowhere else to go. It was either give up, or accept the hand offered to me. I shook his hand.
Bill did not suggest we wade in. No, we jumped head first into the issues at hand. There were phone calls and meetings with my employer's chief pilots and with the union's attorneys. I work for a major carrier and this is not an issue they take lightly. He involved other outside attorneys as well to help us with the battle. We were facing staunch resistance from the district attorney's office. The court case itself lasted more than a year. And in the meantime we were working to get my medical certification reinstated. This involves a joint effort between the pilots union, the EAP (employee assistance program), and the airline. Thankfully, we were wildly successful. My charges were reduced and I'm back flying. My pilot and medical certificates were reissued. The medical certificate comes as a special issuance (SI). And Bill helped me understand the particulars of the FAA airman DUI/DWI program, or HIMS as it's known in the industry. HIMS (Human Intervention and Motivation Study) is the only FAA approved curriculum focused specifically on recertifying airmen who have an identified alcohol and/or substance abuse issue.
Today, my relationship with my employer, family and friends could not be better. The issues facing a professional aviator are lengthy. Bill Meili is knowledgeable in FAA regulations and company policies. He is great at deciphering the multiple HIMS requirements, and he is equally adept at communicating with EAP managers, medical professionals and government decision makers during each step of the recertification process. Moreover, he was amazing at changing the criminal district attorney's stance in my felony DWI case.
But, here is the real success story. I found someone who believed in me. I hired a man who would help me battle with grace and mentor me while we stepped this out. In my personal case he knew that the criminal indictment and court process was only part of the challenge – and really, only the beginning. He insisted that I find a way to do everything that was required of me without drink or drug. My state probation and the FAA would insist on that. He helped me understand everything we faced, and, in the process, he showed me the way to sobriety. But this was, at all times, a team effort. He's a winner. He's honest. And Bill Meili is my friend.
If you have any questions at all, I would be glad to share my experiences further. Just call Bill and he'll make the necessary introductions.
- Thank you. BH
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I contacted Col. Meili as a fellow practitioner to gain some context and perspective on a pretty complex set of issues. Because I practice in a different field of law, Col. Meili's extensive expertise was invaluable and he was more than generous with his time. A skilled and dedicated professional who cares deeply about obtaining the best possible outcome for his clients, Bill's a leader in this field.
- Steffen Chapin
After an exhaustive search of military attorneys, I came across the name of Bill Meili. From my first email exchange and telephone call, I knew that Bill was the right person to handle my case. I had discussed my unique circumstance with a handful of other attorneys who felt it may be too difficult to achieve the outcome that I was seeking - but Bill was interested in me and my case, and wholeheartedly believed that we had the ball in our court. I could tell that Bill cared about me as a person and soldier, not just viewing me as a paycheck.
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