Did you know that a California misdemeanor speeding charge is an FMCSA “serious offense?” You might ask, which is worse? The truth is that they’re both “a kiss of death” for a truck driver if convicted.
Consult with & Hire an Attorney for a Misdemeanor Speeding Charge
The first mistake many commercial drivers make when they get a speeding ticket of any kind is not considering the gravity. Many tell themselves, “It’s just a speeding ticket.”
The first thing you should do is remain silent until you speak to an attorney. The age-old tactic of trying to talk your way out of the ticket, often paints your attorney into a corner when you admit guilt. Some do not even consult with an attorney.
Right or wrong, when you appear in court for a misdemeanor speeding charge without an attorney, the judge might think you are not taking the charge seriously. That could be detrimental. Most judges want to help the truckers who deliver America’s goods.
The old myth that CA judges are against the trucker is not always true. We’ve seen judges reduce a misdemeanor speeding charge to the equivalent of a parking ticket. No-point convictions are more common than many realize and just a reduction from a misdemeanor to an infraction is a really big deal.
You should consult an attorney who has criminal and traffic court experience. Call Bigger & Harman right away, (661) 349-9300.
Common Defenses for a Misdemeanor Speeding Charge
The CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 22406.1 Speed Laws states, “A person who operates a commercial motor vehicle… upon a highway at a speed exceeding a posted speed limit established under this code by 15 miles per hour or more, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
Three common approaches to getting a dismissal are that speeding was required to avoid an accident, the law enforcement officer (LEO) was mistaken about which vehicle was speeding, or the device used to measure your truck’s speed was not calibrated, or the LEO was not properly trained on the device.
Trucks are often wrongfully accused of speeding by radar and lidar (laser device) because at a greater distance, the device could hit another vehicle and give the wrong reading.
It is smart to consult a traffic attorney with criminal court experience and develop a strategy for court.
How Is a Misdemeanor Speeding Charge a “Serious Offense”
FMCSA Title 49 CFR Part 383.51, Driver Disqualifications defines “excessive speeding” as a “serious offense” if convicted of speeding 15 or more mph over the speed limit. Since most commercial vehicles governed by CVC 22406, Speed Laws, are restricted to a speed of 55 mph statewide, a commercial vehicle going 70 mph is judged excessive speeding and a serious offense subject to an FMCSA driver disqualification upon a second conviction of excessive speeding.
However, if the driver is convicted of just one misdemeanor speeding charge in CA, they will have a criminal record, and the conviction will be forwarded to the FMCSA by the DMV. A second conviction of a serious offense within three years of the first will lead to a 60-day disqualification. Always consult a local traffic attorney.
Bigger & Harman, APC, Misdemeanor Speeding Attorneys in Kern County
When you have been charged with a misdemeanor speeding violation, call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
We practice only traffic law; therefore, we have experience in both criminal and traffic court. Give us a call to discuss your situation.
The 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf
Title 49 CFR Part 383.51, Driver Disqualifications