The most common traffic ticket across the USA is the speeding ticket. Whether you are a commercial truck driver speeding in a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) or your personal vehicle, the results can be devastating to your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and your Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP) record and your CA motor vehicle driving record (MVR).
What California Considers a Commercial Truck Driver Speeding Ticket
Did you know that a commercial driver is the only one who can get jail time for speeding in California? It’s true. CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 22406, Speed Laws, restricts all vehicles with three or more axles to 55 mph maximum statewide.
Although CVC 22406 includes some other non-commercial vehicles under this code, like a “passenger vehicle or bus drawing any other vehicle,” CVC 22406.1 specifies, “A person who operates a commercial motor vehicle… at a speed exceeding a posted speed limit established under this code by 15 miles per hour or more, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
The basic difference between a misdemeanor and an infraction is “jail time.” Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute (LII) states, “In the California Justice System, the highest form of punishment for an infraction is a possible maximum fine of $250. Incarceration is not an option for an infraction.” This quote is incorrect about the fine; although the fine is typically around $250 depending on the county, some infractions could cost more than $2,500. However, there is no jail time possible from a traffic infraction conviction.
Likewise, it’s important to note that some traffic misdemeanors are known as a “wobbler” in legal terms. A wobbler is an offense the traffic code calls a misdemeanor, but the judge has the discretion to reduce it to an infraction if the defendant agrees.
This is often the case with a commercial truck driver speeding ticket. The law enforcement officer (LEO) must write it up as a misdemeanor because you, as a commercial driver, exceeded the 55 mph speed limit by 15+ mph. If you aren’t sure, the “M” for misdemeanor will be circled on the ticket instead of the “I” for infraction.
That is an excellent reason to hire a traffic ticket attorney to resolve your ticket. A knowledgeable and experienced CA traffic attorney can frequently persuade a judge to reduce it to an infraction. Some can even convince the judge to reduce it to a no-point conviction. Most judges do not want to ruin a truck driver’s ability to earn a living; they just want the driver to stop speeding and put some money in the county’s treasury.
Typically, this happens when the commercial truck driver was polite and did not confront the LEO about the ticket on the side of the road. Some drivers do not understand how crucial it is for them to be non-confrontational. Most LEOs are wearing a body cam now and will present the video to the judge in court. That doesn’t leave the attorney much wiggle room in negotiations with the judge.
However, when you get a commercial truck driver speeding or another traffic ticket, you must consult an attorney and challenge the ticket in court.
Got a Commercial Truck Driver Speeding Ticket in Riverside County, CA?
If you are ticketed as a commercial truck driver for speeding on I-5, 10, 15 or other CA freeway, call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
We are a Bakersfield Traffic Law Team who provides a free initial consultation in the office, by phone or email to CLD holders across CA. We understand you do not have time to sit in court to challenge a speeding ticket, yet you can’t afford just to pay the fine either. We will use a flat fee to resolve your commercial speeding ticket.
The 2019-2021 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf
The FMCSA CFR 49 Part 383.51, Driver Disqualifications
The Cornell Law School LII