What the public and many truck drivers do not understand about an overweight truck ticket is that a conviction is costly. Typically, it costs $1.00 per pound overweight, and it could even leave you with a misdemeanor criminal record.
An Overweight Truck as a Misdemeanor
A truck that exceeds 4,500 pounds overweight could be a misdemeanor crime. Since many traffic court judges consider this a “wobblette,” either the judge or DA is often open to negotiating with a traffic attorney to spare a trucker the criminal record.
According to Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute (LII), a wobbler is, “A crime that can be either a misdemeanor (a conviction punishable by a small amount of jail time, typically one year or less) or a felony (a conviction punishable by time in state prison). Wobblers can be charged either way.”
The same is true for a wobblette; the judge could consider it either an infraction or a misdemeanor. An infraction has no jail time penalty and does not count as part of your criminal record. Your best opportunity to get a reduced charge such as this is when a knowledgeable traffic attorney asks the judge directly.
CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Sections 35550 – 35558, Axle Limits and Sections 35550 – 35796, Truck Weights, collectively discuss overweight trucks, exceptions, and permits for oversized vehicles (weight, height, width, overhang, and length).
Although, CVC Section 35550, Axle Limits, states, “The gross weight imposed upon the highway by the wheels on any one axle of a vehicle shall not exceed 20,000 pounds and the gross weight upon any one wheel, or wheels, supporting one end of an axle, and resting upon the roadway, shall not exceed 10,500 pounds.” There are exceptions and allowable permits.
Typically, a permit for a truck the fleet or owner-operator knows to be overweight is procured from Caltrans before transport within California is begun. What may be a legal truck in Nevada, Oregon, or Arizona, may require a California permit.
Fleet managers and owner-operators are advised to contact Caltrans to get a permit before entering the state to save getting a ticket for an overweight or oversized truck. In addition, some local jurisdictions will sometimes require an additional permit.
NOTE: Drivers are reminded that some transportation restrictions may apply in CA during holidays; check with Caltrans.
Restricted times for vehicles over 10′ wide.
The SF/Oakland Bay Bridge has specific traverse hours, 6:30 to 9:00 am and 3:30 to 6:30 pm. Overwide trucks of 12’ or more are restricted from traversing the bridge except between 11 am and 1 pm, Monday through Friday, and those more than 11’ wide or over height, require a CHP escort.
Legal Limits & Permittable Limits
For permits and questions about oversized or overweight trucks, contact Caltrans Transportation Permits Division, call (916) 322-1297 during business hours, 8 am-5 pm, Monday through Friday except for CA State & Federal Holidays.
What to Do about an Overweight Truck Violation
Although most traffic court judges want to be lenient with truckers, going into court by yourself and telling the judge you didn’t realize the truck was overweight or oversized is not a good idea. That merely tells the judge you did not handle your responsibilities as a professional driver to find out how much your truck weighed, or if it was a danger to the public because too much weight was borne by one tire or axle.
Had you checked, you might have received a permit from Caltrans. However, if you drove an overweight truck, you could be guilty of a misdemeanor. You need to hire a CA traffic attorney who frequently operates in Lamont, CA, Traffic Court. They know the judges and court personnel who can help you with a reduced charge. They also know when to ask the judge for dismissal.
The conviction for an overweight truck up to 4,500 pounds could mean a fine of $1.00 per pound overweight, and an overweight truck that exceeds 4,500 could mean a fine, jail time, and a criminal record. Don’t chance going it alone. Call a CA traffic attorney for a free initial consultation today.
Need Assistant with an Overweight Truck Ticket in Lamont, CA, Traffic Court
When you have a ticket for an overweight truck, it could easily cost you $8,000 or more; call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300.
We are CA licensed traffic law professionals who often resolve over height, over length, or overweight trucks in Roseville Traffic Court. We offer a free consultation to truckers and CDL holders who have various traffic citations. Give us a call; let’s talk it over.
Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
The 2019-2021 CA Commercial DriverHandbook.pdf
CVC Sections 35550 – 35558, Truck Weights
The Caltrans Transportation Permits Division