Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders face unusual challenges when they are cited for a traffic violation in San Antonio. Unlike a regular license, you need your CDL to earn a living. However, Texas does not allow for deferred adjudication or a defensive driving class to avoid some of the ramifications of a traffic citation.
Citations received by CDL drivers can be similar to those issued to drivers of a standard vehicle. However, there are others which are unique to truck drivers including:
Log book violations
Speeding while towing a trailer
It is important to understand these violations can carry serious fines as well as a mark against your driving record. For example, a fine of more than $200 is applied if your truck is 5,000 pounds over the legal weight limit, and more than $1,000 if the weight exceeds 10,000 pounds over the limit.
A truck operator cited for a railroad-highway grade crossing violation will lose their right to operate for a period of not less than six months. This is serious since it impacts not only your ability to drive, but also impacts your ability to earn a living.
A trucker can suffer a CDL suspension for two moving violations. These include improper lane changes, following another vehicle too closely, or excessive speeding among others. Should your license be suspended, reinstatement is difficult, and costly.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules in place designed to keep truckers and others on the roadway safe. One of the requirements placed on truckers pertains to rest time versus drive times. To meet these requirements, an operator must maintain a logbook which accurately reflects drive hours. When a driver is found to have a logbook that has been falsified, they may be facing penalties on a federal level which can mean up to six months of jail time. It is imperative to fight these charges as they can also result in the loss of your CDL.
One of the issues you should be aware of is the potential of your insurance rates going up if you receive points against your CDL. This works on a similar manner as being assessed points on your normal driver’s license. However, in this instance, if you are not a self-employed operator, your employer could suspend you from your job, or they may fire you as they may feel the risk is not worth the extra money.
Some truckers may feel their best bet is to fight the ticket on their own. We advise against this. Not only are you facing a blemish on your driving record, your career is at risk. You should utilize a skilled attorney working on your behalf to keep your driving record clean, help you avoid a suspension, and preserve your career opportunities. Remember, these violations are serious and the process for resolving them is complicated. Sometimes these cases may have to go through the court system twice, once for the original ticket and an appeal.
We can help — we have experience handling CDL tickets. We will appear in court on your behalf, so you do not lose time from work. Contact our office if you have received a CDL ticket in the San Antonio area and let us get to work defending you against the charges. The last thing you want is a conviction on a moving violation which can threaten your livelihood and your license.
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