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Should I Fight this HazMat Violation from Kern County?

undefinedIf you ask any driver that’s been behind the wheel of one of these big rigs for more than a year, they’ll quite likely tell you to challenge it. No matter how much the fine or how many points it is, as a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder, you should challenge every moving violation.

Particularly when you consider how many hazardous material (HazMat) violations are a misdemeanor crime. Many truckers mistakenly believe they cannot afford to hire a traffic ticket attorney to defend them in traffic court.

They believe most attorneys charge by the hour, and whether they win or lose, they’ll need to pay the court and the lawyer a hefty price. However, if you look on Yelp, you will find more than 150 satisfied clients, many of whom are truckers. Sure, you will find the occasional bad review.

Not all tickets are winnable, nor can you please everyone. However, a knowledgeable and experienced attorney will do what it takes to resolve your ticket with the most favorably outcome for you under the circumstances. 

HazMat Violations While Hauling Explosives

Some novice truckers believe, paying $800 or $1,000 for a “dangerous parking” ticket is expensive. They’re right, it is, but it is not as bad as it could be. Because they do not understand the law or the DOT FMCSA regulations, they think they could have gotten a better deal if they explained their situation to the judge. When actually, that fine is nothing compared to what they could have paid if found guilty of a HazMat violation. 

CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 31602Transporting Explosives, paragraph (c) states, “It is a misdemeanor for the driver of any vehicle transporting explosives to stop at any place not designated as a safe stopping place unless the vehicle is disabled or except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or to comply with the orders of a peace officer or an official traffic control device.”

When you have a placarded vehicle hauling explosives, you cannot just stop anywhere, grab a cup of coffee, and continue on your way. In fact, you cannot even choose what route you will take without consulting the California Highway Patrol (CHP), and you must carry an up-to-date map approved by the CHP.

The fine for a violation of CVC 31602, a through c could be as much as $4,175, and three negligent operator treatment system (NOTS) points. 

Therefore, most HazMat drivers who have a ticket for a HazMat violation would love to pay a fine of $800 and walk away without a criminal record, three NOTS points, or more severe sanctions coming from the FMCSA. When an attorney can get a no-point conviction for you, they are worth every penny you pay because otherwise, your career is very likely in jeopardy.

Consult the Traffic Ticket Team of Bigger & Harman about a HazMat Violation in Kern County, CA

The CDL holder has no choice but to challenge every moving violation. However, when you consider there are more than 360 misdemeanors for a HazMat violation, your best option, when pulled over, is to accept the ticket without arguing or making a statement. Arguing with the CHP on the side of the roadway will only make you more memorable when you go to court.

Then, call Bigger & Harman, APC, to discuss your specific circumstances, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español 661.349.9755.

We have been serving the needs of truckers in Kern County and surrounding areas for more than a decade. We sit in Bakersfield Traffic Court several hours per week. You might just as easily find us in Mojave, Ridgecrest, Delano, Shafter, or Lamont. We will travel to other Central Valley counties when you need us. 

Send them an email, attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com.

References:

The 2019-2021 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf

CVC Section 31602Transporting Explosives