If you do not have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) you have probably not considered the effects of a CDL speeding ticket or its consequences. As traffic ticket attorneys, my law partner and I have had many occasions to watch young inexperienced truck drivers trying to defend themselves against a California traffic law system that is basically stacked against them.
Sure, it’s easy to shake your head and say “Well, they shouldn’t have been speeding.” Whereas that may be true, there are often mitigating circumstances which we do not see. Tight delivery schedules, demanding bosses, and traffic jams can wreak havoc on a young trucker’s schedule and cause them to step down on the gas a little heavier than conventional wisdom would otherwise tell them to in order to make that scheduled delivery or pickup on time.
The following are four results or consequences many truckers may not realize when they try to keep a delivery schedule on-time:
#1 Court Ordered Fines up to $500.00
Let’s take a look at how that CDL speeding ticket costs that trucker nearly a half week’s pay. In CA, as in most states, the legislature decides the base fine for speeding or any other violation of the CA Vehicle Code (CVC). However, the state has little pet projects that they need someone to pay for and those who break the law and get caught are the most likely to just pay up and move on. And then, counties like Kern, Kings, LA, and Riverside among others realized this was a good way to fund their little projects, so they decided to add penalties, fees, and assessments of their own. Now, that CDL speeding ticket 1-15 mph over for $35.00 with add-ons will cost $234.00, 16-25 mph over carries a base fine of $70.00 with add-ons, $360, and the base fine for a 26 mph over speeding ticket is $100, but with add-ons is $490.00.
#2 Is the Rise in Insurance Premiums
OK, so you thought you would take the inexpensive route and represent yourself in traffic court, got hammered by the judge who wasn’t interested in anything you had to say, even though you were a little nervous and who wouldn’t be, you tried to state your case, but things were moving much too fast and you didn’t get to say what you wanted to tell the judge. Now, you’re out $490.00 and the worst of it hasn’t even hit you yet.
If you were caught speeding in your private vehicle, you could attend traffic school to keep your ticket confidential from your insurance company and keep your “good driving discount” and your premium will not go up; however, in a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a CDL speeding ticket, you do not have that option. According to an online insurance comparison shopper network, the average CA resident with a “good driving discount” pays around $1038 per year for auto insurance and after a 1-15 mph ticket, their premium goes up an average of 15% but could go up as much as 33% depending on their insurance carrier. Of course, this is the average and other conditions will affect how much the actual rise in premium is for you.
#3 The Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS)
OK, so after the conviction, the DMV is notified and a 1.5 NOTS penalty will be assessed on your CDL. Therefore, even though you have 30 days to notify your employer, they will most likely get the Employer Pull Notice (EPN), a system that automatically sends notifications to registered employers, as they are issued after any of the following actions:
1. Initial driver enrollment
2. Annually, after the date of enrollment
5. CDL Suspension or revocation
6. Failure to Appear (FTA)
Therefore, you will need to make a decision after all the other bad news, when to notify your employer.
#4 Worst Case, Possible Job Loss
Your insurance is not the only insurance effected by your CDL violation, your employer’s fleet insurance will go up as well. Now, you will need to decide when to inform your employer of the CDL speeding ticket conviction. If your employer has a zero-defect mentality, you may want to keep working as long as possible and save some money before notification.
Without trying to sound pompous, we could have saved you a lot of trouble if you had hired us. We are a local traffic ticket firm that practices law in traffic court nearly every day. We know the judges, the court clerks, and many of the LE officers that will testify against you. Granted, they are not going to give us preferential treatment, but we do know how those judges in Bakersfield, Lamont, Shafter, and others have ruled. The thing is with the law, what happened in court yesterday will most likely affect the judge’s rulings tomorrow. Once a precedence is set, it is the justice system’s duty to uphold that precedent or get a higher court to change it.
Retain a Local Lawyer
Call Bigger & Harman in Central Valley California counties, including Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Kern, Inyo, and others to receive the assistance needed for a CDL speeding ticket in Mojave, Bishop, Fresno, Visalia, Bakersfield, and other Traffic Courts in Central Valley. Call Bigger & Harman today, 661-349-9300. Or, send us an email: email@example.com.En español, llame al 661-349-9755.