Many drivers wonder if they really need a traffic attorney for a CDL violation, that is until it is too late, and they are stuck with a guilty charge on what they thought was a slam-dunk not guilty.
CDL Violations & Traffic Attorneys
There are many CDL violations that a traffic attorney could be of assistance for, such as: speeding, following too close, unsafe lane change, improper railroad crossing, illegal U-turn, roadside inspection violations, oversized vehicle, running a stop sign, disregarding a traffic control device, reckless driving, seat belt, handheld mobile device use, and many others. Many of these are what the FMCSA considers a “serious offense.”
These are FMCSA serious offenses:
- Excessive speed 15 mph over the limit or any speeding in a construction area
- Following too close
- Unsafe lane change
- Handheld device use while driving
- Reckless driving
- Railroad crossing violation
A second conviction of a serious offense within three years of the first will result in a 60-day disqualification, except there is no second chance on a railroad crossing violation conviction, the disqualification takes place immediately even with an appeal. However, a traffic attorney can petition a state court to hold the execution of the disqualification.
Reasons to Hire a Traffic Attorney
One of the most significant reasons for the trucking industry turnover rate being close to 90 percent at large firms is the termination of drivers after only one moving violation. CDL holders must notify their employers within 30 days of a conviction on any moving violation in any state or North American country, in a CMV or noncommercial vehicle.
You must state which type of vehicle you were driving when stopped, and the conviction in a non-CMV will not be used to determine a serious offense, but an employer could still use that to terminate you, especially in a “Right to Work” state.
A traffic attorney can also represent you at a DMV NOTS Hearing to request more leeway before suspension based on miles driven when the majority of NOTS points were in a CMV. You must request a DMV NOTS Hearing within ten days of the DMV mailing the “Order of Suspension and Probation,” so do not delay.
Another consideration for hiring a traffic attorney is that you spend most of your time on the road, and you do not have time to sit in a courtroom waiting to be called to present your case to the judge. What happens when you wait all that time and you get tongue-tied or stage fright? Do you really want to risk the consequences rather than pay a skilled and experienced local traffic attorney to resolve your traffic ticket?
Traffic attorneys do this all the time; they don’t get tongue-tied or stage fright. They know the court personnel and how things work in traffic court. They know exactly when to request a dismissal or a reduced no-point conviction.
With a dismissal, there is no conviction and no need to inform your employer. With a no-point conviction, once again, there is no need to inform your employer even though you might be required to pay a fine, since it is a non-moving violation, the equivalent of a parking ticket.
It is always a wise decision to consult a traffic attorney, whether it is your first minor infraction or your second serious offense. Your livelihood is always at risk. No one knows how a fleet manager is going to react to a conviction.
Traffic Attorneys Who Handle CDL Violations in Kern County
Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, to discuss your situation. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
Your initial consultation is always free, with no obligation. We can discuss your specific situation and recommend the best course of action. We work on a fixed fee schedule so that you always know how much it will cost to resolve your issue.
The 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf