Although a conviction on an overweight truck is not a moving violation, and it will not go on your CA motor vehicle driving record (MVR) or your Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP) record, it could be a misdemeanor. Even when it is not a misdemeanor, such as when your truck is 4500 pounds or less over the limit, you could still pay $3,000 or $4,000 for a conviction.
When your truck is overweight by 4,501 pounds, you could get charged with a misdemeanor. In many cases, CA judges think of this as a “wobbler” offense as they don’t want to give a hard-working trucker a criminal record. Hiring a traffic attorney to represent you in these cases is paramount.
California’s Interest in an Overweight Truck
Many would wonder why the State of CA would even care if a truck is overweight. Well, the truth is twofold. The state has a financial interest and a safety interest. Overweight trucks are less safe than trucks that stay within the weight limits. The more weight on the tires and axles, the more wear on the roads. An overweight truck wears down the road quicker. Plus, when you have too much weight on any given tire, it could cause that tire to explode.
Well, that might make you wonder why the state would issue permits to overweight truck drivers. The answer could be that the state needs the revenue from those permits, and another could be the state wants the shipping commerce from loads that cannot get broken down any further to get under the legal weight limits.
Another bastion of revenue for the state is the tickets themselves. At nearly $1 per pound for an overweight truck, those fines amount to thousands in quick revenue for the county and state coffers.
What to Do about an Overweight Truck Ticket
The first thing you should do is prevent ever getting one by weighing every load. If you think the shipper cares if they overload your truck, you are likely living in a fantasyland. If they can pawn off a little extra weight to you, they won’t have to pay another driver for less-than-truckload (LTL).
Get your truck to a Certified Automated Truck Scale (CATS) or another private weigh station before you get too far away from the dock. Sure, it might cost you $15 or $20, but that’s a whole lot cheaper than giving thousands to the CA treasury. Otherwise, while you’re rolling across I-80 headed to the Bay area, you might need to pull into the “chicken coop” just outside of Truckee on the Donner Pass. If you are caught with an overweight truck, do not try to represent yourself, call a traffic lawyer who can resolve it for you while you keep rolling.
How to Challenge an Overweight Truck Ticket in Truckee, CA
Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, to assist with that overweight truck ticket. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
At Bigger & Harman, we resolve traffic tickets for CDL holders and regular drivers. We only practice traffic law so that we give our clients the best possible representation. What’s more, you will always know how much it will cost to resolve your ticket because we use a flat fee. That way, there’s no surprises for hours spent defending your case.
The 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf
The Forward Thinking article, CSA Scores Made Clear How to Understand and Improve Your CSA Scores