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Keeping Your CDL-In Spite Of California LawsThere are many things to consider as a commercial driver in California. A commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder is held to a higher standard and their CDL is in danger every time they hit the road, with fines, points, and possible lost wages during a driving suspension.

California driving laws are tough. When you are found guilty of breaking these laws, it will result in fines, license suspension, and even jail time. Your CDL is critical because once it is lost or suspended you lose the ability to work and support yourself and your family. The best way to keep it is to know and follow the law. When the unfortunate does occur and you are facing a severe CVC violation it is wise to consult with an attorney.

Many California traffic court lawyers realize that for most truckers, it is almost always 15 mph over the speed limit, a logbook violation, or a severe overweight charge. Very rarely does a trucker have a suspended license charge, DUI in their truck, or a hit-and-run violation. Truckers are by and large very responsible with their CDL.

In California, it is very easy to put your CDL in a compromising situation. A great example of a compromising situation is speeding to make an on-time delivery or pick-up a load. Obtaining a speeding ticket, falsifying a log, having an overweight truck, and many other infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies on your driving record are something you cannot afford to have if trucking is your livelihood. Below, we have a few more factors to keep in mind while trucking throughout LA, Kern, Tulare, Riverside, and other counties in southern California, SoCal.

Speeding Ticket on I-5

Interstate 5 or I-5 is a common interstate for long-haul truckers that runs the length of California from Mexico to Canada. A commercial driver will receive .5 more points on their record for the same violation as the driver of a non-commercial vehicle. You are also not able to attend traffic school. A speeding ticket will have a high fine, point, suspension or the loss of your California driver’s license. Where in California you receive the ticket makes no difference, as penalties are uniform throughout the entire state. However, there are more law enforcement officers in SoCal than in the north, so your chances of getting caught increase significantly.

Cooking the Logs

All CDL delivery drivers are governed by the same hours of service section under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This rule states that all commercial drivers may not drive for more than 14 hours after reporting on duty after completion of a 10-hour rest period. While most commercial drivers obey this rule, there are some who don't. This is mainly due to the driver's delivery deadline and a desire to stay on schedule. Whatever their excuse, it’s dangerous and illegal.

Some may ask, “Why so strict? It is just paperwork.” Well the truth is, it is not just paperwork. It is an 80,000-pound guided missile. When a driver falsifies their logs, it is most likely because they have been driving for too long and that long drive leads to mental fatigue and sluggish response times, and then the guided missile is no longer guided. It is a non-guided missile headed for disaster. When injuries and property damage are involved, civil liability becomes a factor as well. This offense requires legal counsel to have any chance of keeping your CDL.

The Effects of Overweight Trucking on Your CDL

Each year, hundreds of thousands of truck accidents are caused by trucks that are overweight or overloaded. An overloaded truck’s cargo can shift and put more weight on one axle than it can bear, sometimes blowing out the tires. Overweight trucking is driving a vehicle on the highway when the weight is over the amount allowed in the California Vehicle Code (CVC). Under California law, this is usually classified as a misdemeanor, which does not sound that serious but a misdemeanor is a criminal offense. This can result in jail time of six months and/or probation, and thousands of dollars of fines depending on the weight, and the possible suspension of your license. This is a very serious offense and you or your attorney must appear in court.

Professional Traffic Ticket Defense Attorneys

So, if you see yourself losing your CDL in LA County or in any other surrounding areas of SoCal, make sure to contact Bigger & Harman today. We will sit down with you to go over your case and weigh all the options available. In Tulare, Kern, Inyo, Riverside, and LA counties, as well as other SoCal counties, a call to Bigger & Harman, 661-349-9300, or an email: with details will start the ball rolling on your case.

You can set up a FREE consultation that is always confidential to review your case. Oftentimes, law enforcement officers are not available on the court date due to other duties, or a DMV procedure or other technicality could allow a dismissal of the charge against you or probation instead of suspension. This is particularly true when you have professional representation that defends traffic tickets.

En español, llame al 661-349-9755.

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