According to CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 35551, Axle Limits, and CVC Section 42030, Weight Violations, you could pay up to $1.00 per pound for every pound overweight. However, when your commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is more than 4,501 pounds overweight, you could be guilty of having a misdemeanor overweight truck unless you have a Caltrans permit.
Caltrans permits for oversized vehicles must be issued before driving on CA roadways. You will need to get a permit from the Caltrans Transportation & Permit Division if you have one of the following overweight/oversized conditions:
A truck that is overweight by 4,500 or less will typically receive an infraction. The “I” will be circled on the issued citation. These infractions usually have a smaller fine depending on the county. In Kern County, it is around $238, and up depending on the amount overweight, as prescribed in CVC 42030. But, the amount in CVC 42030 is the “base fine,” not the total amount you will pay.
If you do not have a permit and the law enforcement officer at the weigh station, usually a CHP officer does not specify if the “M” on the traffic ticket is circled, that is a misdemeanor crime. The truck could be in violation of weight limits even though it is not overweight. The weight over one tire or axle, depending on the length between axles, could make it overweight.
When the weight violation is 4,501 pounds or more, you could face penalties of six months in county jail or probation and a fine depending on the amount overweight as prescribed in CVC 42030. Despite what it says there, that is not the total amount you will pay. There are ten surcharges, penalties, and assessments.
After approving the CVC for an overweight truck, the California legislature and the governor have also approved ten separate penalties that are primarily based on a percentage of the “base fine.” For instance, there is a state assessment that is 100 percent of the base fine. Therefore, if your fine is $500, you will pay an additional $500 for the state assessment. There is also a county surcharge of 70 percent, or $350 on a $500 base fine, plus eight others.
So, you can see how easily your fine could total $1.00 per pound overweight.
You Need an Attorney for a Misdemeanor Overweight Truck Ticket in Kern County
When you see an “M” circled on your ticket, that means you have a misdemeanor overweight truck ticket; call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
Do not make any further statements to the CHP, LEO, or court officials until you speak to one of us. In Bakersfield, we could be there within minutes. It could take us a while to get to Mojave, Delano, Shafter, or Lamont. Be patient and quiet. We’re sure you’ve heard that “…everything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” That applies to misdemeanor traffic tickets as well.
The 2019-2021 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf