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How Southwest Airlines Kicked off a Passenger and Then Filed Criminal Charges against Her

Okabe & Haushalter Feb 2, 2018 Criminal Defense

Last fall, 46-year-old Pakistani American, Professor Anila Daulatzai, was forcibly removed from a Southwest Airlines flight and is currently facing criminal charges after enquiring about the presence of dogs on the aircraft, due to an allergy. According to Southwest Airlines, Prof Daulatzai failed to produce a medical certificate confirming life-threating allergies and, as such, could not be allowed to fly. However, the stories told by Daulatzai herself, and the civil rights group South Asian Americans Leading Together, outline a significantly different chain of events.

Why Was Anila Daulatzai Removed from a Southwest Airlines Flight?

When Prof Daulatzai recounts her experiences on that Baltimore aircraft bound for Los Angeles, she states that she did not, at any time, suggest her allergies were life-threatening. Rather, she asked a flight attendant how many dogs were onboard the aircraft, before all agreed she could sit away from the animals during the flight due to being allergic. This would have been a manageable solution for the passenger, who claims never to have suggested the allergies were severe enough to warrant a medical certificate.

Lawyers working on the case have accused Southwest Airlines of racially profiling Prof Daulatzai, and the arresting officers of forcibly puller her “from her seat by her belt loop, dragged her through the aisle exposed with torn pants, and humiliated her for the world to see in a now-viral video”. After refusing to deplane voluntarily, and challenging the efforts of the police to remove her without, in Daulatzai’s opinion, any valid reason for doing so, the passenger is now facing charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and other misdemeanors.

Prof Daulatzai, who was on the flight to visit her elderly father after he underwent surgery, is pregnant with her first child.

What to Do If You’re Accused of Criminal Offences

Although misdemeanors do not carry the same hefty sentences as felonies, they should not be taken lightly. Even a seemingly minor misdemeanor charge could have an impact on your entire future, placing obstacles in your way to getting a new job, buying a home and other life events many of us take for granted. If convicted, you will need to declare your criminal record on all applications or background checks, as well as potentially facing large fines or some time behind bars.

Whatever the circumstances and nature of the misdemeanor you’re being accused of, the services of a respected Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney could play a major role in the outcome of your charges, and even on the sentence you receive if found guilty.

We’ll devote our time and energy to reviewing your case, analyzing all evidence and striving to minimize the financial and emotional impact of your lawsuit. No matter how severe the crime you stand accused of is, contacting us today on 310-430-7799 to enlist legal representation from a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney could make all the difference to your short- and long-term futures.