The Facts About Moving Violations & No-Point Convictions
Moving violations are a common occurrence on our highways. Many commercial drivers receive traffic ticketseach year for offenses such as speeding, following too close, and making an unsafe lane change. However, there is a way for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to avoid a moving violation with a no-point conviction.
While these infractions may seem minor, they can have severe consequences with a conviction. Commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders face hefty fines, negligent operator treatment system (NOTS) points on their driving record, DOT FMCSA penalties, and even license suspension or revocation, which can end their careers.
How to Avoid Moving Violations with No-point Convictions
The first step in avoiding a moving violation with a no-point conviction is to consult with and hire a traffic attorney with an excellent reputation as a traffic violation defender. That traffic attorney must have traffic court and criminal trial experience. Too many traffic attorneys very rarely conduct a trial choosing to consistently take a lower fine instead; therefore, the judge or prosecutor has no incentive to negotiate a non-moving, no-point conviction equivalent to an expensive parking ticket.
CMV drivers need not understand the laws and regulations that apply to their infractions; they must consult a traffic attorney. In many cases, a driver may be cited for a moving violation but may be able to contest the charge in court.
Consult a Traffic Attorney About a Possible No-Point Conviction for a Moving Violation
It is never wise for a driver to defend themselves in court. Traffic court cases typically last five or ten minutes, and the judge expects a clear and concise explanation of the circumstances, but you could sit in court all day waiting for your name to be called. If the situation permits, a dismissal could be granted due to the ticketing officer not showing up for a trial or when technicalities exist.
A dismissal or reduced no-point conviction might be obtained by presenting evidence that the violation was not committed or arguing that the officer who issued the citation was not in a good position to observe your stop at a red light. For example, if a driver is cited for running a red light but has video evidence that the light was yellow when the driver entered the intersection, the charges could get dismissed.
Likewise, if the driver's face is not distinguishable in a red light camera violation, there is “reasonable doubt” about who was driving. You are not required to prove you were not the driver or tell the court who was driving. However, it’s easier to skirt that question when you challenge the ticket with an attorney, and you are not present in the court.
The “Art” of Negotiating a No-Point Conviction in Yolo County Traffic Court
Red-light tickets are often dismissed or downgraded; consult a traffic attorney before paying a red-light ticket. These typically cost around $500, but these and other moving violations can cost the CMV driver their career.
CMV drivers must consider hiring a traffic attorney to help contest the charges or negotiate a no-point conviction. CMV drivers earn by the mile driven; they cannot afford to sit in court and wait for a ruling on their case, which could take two appearances. But pleading guilty and paying the fine for a moving violation could be much more expensive when the NOTS points hit their fleet manager’s desk and again when it hits the FMCSA, who will leverage more fines and penalties.
Further, the conviction becomes part of the driver’s pre-employment screening program (PSP) record for three years. If terminated by their current employer, it could be next to impossible to get a driving position with another high-paying fleet, as they are mandated to review every applicant’s PSP.
A traffic attorney reviews your case and advises you on the best course of action, whether contesting the charges in court or negotiating a no-point conviction. Some drivers balk at paying an $800 fine for a speeding ticket that would have been $500 if they had just paid it. But it’s cheaper, in the long run, to take the $800 no-point conviction (this is just an example) because there is no record of the conviction of a moving violation, so their employer and the FMCSA are not notified.
When a plea bargain is accepted, the charges may be reduced to a non-moving violation, which means that no points will be added to the driver's record. This can be an excellent option for drivers who want to avoid a moving violation.
In summary, moving violations can have severe consequences for the CMV driver, including fines, points on their motor vehicle driving record (MVR), their PSP, and even license a suspension or revocation. However, the CMV driver can contest the charges in court with a traffic attorney.
Hire a Traffic Attorney for a Possible No-Point Conviction of a Moving Violation Accusation Around Woodland, CA
When you’ve been accused of a moving violation in your CMV, contact the office of Bigger & Harman, APC office, at (661) 349-9300 for a free consultation.
We frequently appear in Yolo County Traffic Court to resolve traffic infractions for commercial drivers using a flat fee.
Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
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