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Can I Go to Jail for Passing a Weigh Station in California

undefinedCA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 2813Lawful Orders and Inspections, affirms, “Every driver who fails or refuses to stop and submit the vehicle to an inspection when signs are displayed requiring that stop is guilty of a misdemeanor.”  

Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute (LII) states, “A misdemeanor is a type of offense punishable under criminal law. A misdemeanor is typically a crime punishable by less than 12 months in jail.” 

However, this is a violation of the traffic code that many judges look at as a “wobbler” or a gray area between a misdemeanor and an infraction. Although both are violations of the law and thus, illegal, an infraction in California can never require jail time. 

Even when the law enforcement officer (LEO) issuing the citation circles the “M” on the ticket for violation of passing a weigh station, the judge can downgrade it to an infraction with the driver's permission. 

You might think, “Well, of course, the driver would want it to be an infraction if there was no chance of jail.” However, that’s not always the wisest choice. You should follow the advice of your traffic attorney, who has considerable courtroom experience. It might be easier for an attorney to get a dismissal or reduced no-point conviction with a misdemeanor than an infraction. 

Either way, a moving violation conviction could damage the trucker’s career and their ability to get meaningful employment with a moving violation on their Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP) record. 

A conviction for passing a weigh station will get assessed 1.5 Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) for that moving violation. Therefore, the DMV will send a notification to the DOT FMCSA and the employer, even though the driver must notify their employer of any moving violation convictions within 30 days. 

Plus, most traffic attorneys with courtroom experience in the Nevada County Court know the judges, many LEOs, and court personnel. They know which LEOs show up for hearings and which are due to transfer or retire. They know how the judge most frequently rules on these wobblers. Therefore, it is in your best interest to consult a knowledgeable and experienced traffic attorney about your specific circumstances.   

Call Bigger & Harman for Assistance When Charged with Passing a Weigh Station in Truckee, CA 

Bigger & Harman, APC, can be reached at (661) 349-9300. We regularly appear in Nevada County Traffic Court to help commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders resolve traffic tickets, including those for passing a weigh station.

We offer CDL holders a free initial consult and provide representation using a flat fee so that regardless of the number of court appearances necessary to resolve your case, you will not be charged more.

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com

References:

The 2019-2021 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf.

The Cornell Law School LII misdemeanor definition.

CVC Section 2813Lawful Orders and Inspections