Being a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver is challenging, especially regarding traffic violations. One of the most common moving violations commercial drivers face is "following too closely," which occurs when they fail to maintain a safe distance between their vehicle and the one in front of them.
This violation can lead to serious consequences, including fines, points on your license, increased insurance rates, and for a second conviction within three years of the first, a driver’s disqualification by the DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
The FMCSA considers a following too closely conviction or paid fine as a “serious offense” that can result in a driver's disqualification from driving a CMV for 60 days. As a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder it is crucial to take any moving violation seriously and take the necessary steps to dispute the charges.
In this blog post, we will explore why CMV drivers should hire a traffic attorney to assist them in disputing a following too closely charged in South Lake Tahoe, CA.
Understanding the Consequences of a Following Too Closely Charge
The consequences of a "following too closely" conviction can affect a CDL holder’s career. Although the fine is only around $250, the 1.5 negligent operator treatment system (NOTS) points on their license and the designation as a serious offense will leave a severe scar on your pre-employment screening program (PSP) record for three years.
Furthermore, due to the risk of increased fleet insurance premiums for too many moving violations, a fleet manager with too many could terminate a driver with a previously clean record when faced with a Safety Measurement System (SMS) percentile above 74.
If terminated by your current fleet, the serious offense on your PSP could discourage other high-paying fleets from hiring you. Most would rather take a chance with a driver fresh out of school than a driver with a serious offense on their PSP.
Commercial drivers depend on their CDL to earn a living, and a moving violation can significantly impact their career. A conviction or paid fine for a serious offense like following too closely could cause them to lose their driving position with their current fleet and face difficulty finding future employment.
Hiring a CA Traffic Attorney to Dispute a Following Too Closely Charge
Disputing a traffic violation charge is challenging, particularly for commercial drivers who cannot afford to sit in traffic court waiting for their names to be called. Turning down a run could mean thousands of lost miles, and commercial drivers are paid by the mile.
This is where hiring a CA traffic attorney is helpful. An experienced traffic attorney can review their case and develop a defense strategy to gain a reduced non-moving violation to minimize the consequences or gain an outright dismissal.
A traffic attorney can help you to challenge the evidence presented against you in court. They can present evidence that supports your case. The law enforcement officer (LEO) frequently did not have an optimal view of the situation. When a four-wheel vehicle pulls back in too soon after passing a trucker, it might look like the truck is tailgating.
A CA traffic attorney must raise the level of “reasonable doubt.” They can assist the commercial driver in navigating the complex legal system. They can keep the driver on the road and out of court by submitting documents and subpoenas to possibly get the charges reduced or request dismissal.
They have experience in the South Lake Tahoe Traffic Court and know whom to talk to get the necessary information and documents. They will file the necessary paperwork on time and represent you in court.
“I have a Class A license which I greatly depend on. They were able to get one of my tickets dismiss and the second one (non-point, sign violation). I still had to pay a fine and I'm okay with that as long as my driving record is clean.”—R D., Sacramento, CA. Read more…
In conclusion, facing a "following too closely" charge as a commercial driver can be overwhelming when you know you don’t have time to sit in court. The consequences of a conviction or paying a fine for a serious offense are severe to their career. Taking the necessary steps to dispute the charge effectively with a CA traffic attorney is crucial.
Consult with Bigger & Harman, the CA Traffic Attorney Who Represent Commercial Drivers in South Lake Tahoe, CA, Traffic Court
If an LEO cited you for following too closely on Highway 50 in South Lake Tahoe, CA, opt for a free, no-obligation consultation with Bigger & Harman at (661) 349-9300. Also, you can utilize their contact form or email a copy of your ticket and a brief summary to email@example.com.
We have represented thousands of commercial drivers in CA traffic courts from Bakersfield to Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe, CA. We know many of the traffic court personnel and how to navigate the legal system. Contact us before deciding.
Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
The DMV Portal CA Commercial Driver Handbook.
The FMCSA CFR 49 Part 383.51, Driver Disqualifications.