The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 49 details 360 misdemeanor offenses while transporting HazMat. These violations include everything from incorrectly displayed placards to inaccurate HazMat descriptions, to not having the right map of your route, or possessing a map not approved by the CHP.
Imagine the CDL holder who drives the same route week after week getting a misdemeanor for not having a CHP-approved map of their route? Driving the same route time after time might lead to becoming complacent about changing out your maps. Therefore, the older maps might no longer be the CHP authorized map.
Misdemeanor Log Book/ELD Violations
The ELD or electronic logging device was designed to eliminate many violations related to log books. That is true for a lot of Form and Manner violations because it allows CDL holders to permanently enter necessary information that previously had to be written (legibly) on each page of the log book. Many of the “form and manner” errors and omissions are now permanent entries.
However, the driver still needs to enter the date, miles driven, the location where the trip started, and some other basic information that might change from trip to trip. But, none of these are misdemeanor violations.
CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 31611, Transportation of Explosives stipulates “…the latest map showing the routes which are to be used for the transportation of explosives which has been furnished for the vehicle by CHP…”When a driver fails to keep updating their maps, they might face a ticket for a misdemeanor violation. The base fine for a conviction of possessing the wrong map or a stop at a location not authorized by the CHP is $1000. But, once the court adds the state and county surcharges and fees it is about $4,175, depending on the county where you got stopped.
Also, a stop at an unauthorized location or taking the wrong route could get assessed three Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points if convicted. One more, and you face a six-month suspension and 12 months driving probation.
Another misdemeanor that is quite common to HazMat truckers is a failure to adhere to the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. CVC 34506 (a & b), Safety Regulations requires a base fine of $500, and the added surcharges and assessments could total nearly $2,125, and the convicted driver is assessed 1.5 NOTS points by the DMV.
All drivers should be aware of the possible misdemeanor charges while driving that could lead to a jail term, but HazMat drivers face a lot more than any other group of drivers. To preserve your career and stay out of jail, you must consult with a traffic ticket attorney with experience in criminal court. Do not make a statement to an officer of the court or law enforcement officers before discussing your situation with an attorney.
Defense Attorneys Who Practice Regularly in Ridgecrest, CA
Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
Bigger & Harman regularly practice traffic law in Ridgecrest Traffic and Superior Court. Call us for your free phone consult. We handle bad equipment, overweight, speeding violations, and others.
Amado Hernandez wrote on Mr. Bigger’s AVVO page, “First off, the consultation was fast and easy. Bigger & Harman were definitely professional and answered all my questions and concerns. They took all stress of having to go to court and missing a day of work easy for me. I'm definitely a repeat customer. I received 2 separate traffic tickets in a commercial vehicle and they were able to help me get BOTH dismissed.”
We cannot and will not promise anyone that we will get their ticket dismissed or charges reduced. We will, however, guarantee that we will make every effort to get you the best possible outcome. We practice only traffic law and have an excellent reputation of reliability across Central Valley.
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The 2018 CA Commercial Driver Handbook .pdf
The 2018 California Superior Court Bail Schedule for Infractions and Misdemeanors.pdf
Code of Federal Regulations 49 (CFR) .pdf