As a commercial driver in California, receiving a "Following Too Closely" ticket can significantly affect your driving career.
Many drivers underestimate the impact of simply paying the fine. They are unaware that it equates to a guilty plea, resulting in fines, points on their driving record, and potential consequences, including driver disqualification by the Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (DOT FMCSA).
In this blog post, we will explore the implications of "Following Too Closely" tickets for commercial drivers and emphasize a CA traffic attorney's crucial role in contesting these citations.
The Hidden Consequences of Paying the Following Too Closely Fine
Paying the fine for a "Following Too Closely" ticket is equivalent to admitting guilt. In CA, this offense carries a fine of $238 for all drivers, and 1.5 Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points for commercial drivers, whereas a non-commercial driver is assessed 50% less.
The conviction resulting from a paid fine will be recorded as a "moving violation" on your CA Motor Vehicle Driving Record (MVR). Many drivers don't realize that the DMV will notify the DOT FMCSA about the conviction, and the FMCSA considers following too closely a “serious offense.”
Second Conviction of a DOT FMCSA Serious Offense & Its Impact
A second conviction for a serious offense within three years can lead to a 60-day driver disqualification from the FMCSA. This disqualification can have dire consequences for your driving career. Fleet managers are unlikely to hold your driver position open for sixty days, especially if they can find another driver with a clean record. In fact, they may even consider hiring a recent driving school graduate over an experienced driver with moving violations, particularly a serious offense such as following too closely, an unsafe lane change, speeding, 15 mph or more over the limit, illegal cell phone use, and others.
Preserving Your Driving Career
Given the severe implications of a following too closely conviction for commercial drivers, it is crucial to consult a CA traffic attorney to protect your driving career. A knowledgeable traffic attorney specializing in commercial driving cases will have a deep understanding of the applicable laws, regulations, and defense strategies. They will work diligently to contest the citation and strive for a favorable result.
1.Legal Expertise and Defense Strategies
A good CA traffic attorney will thoroughly review the details of your case, including any available evidence, such as dashcam footage or witness testimonies. They will identify potential defenses and challenge the State's case against you. With their legal expertise, they can present compelling arguments to demonstrate that you were not following too closely or that extenuating circumstances justify a dismissal or reduction of charges.
2.Protection Against Points and Convictions:
One of the primary goals of a traffic attorney is to minimize the impact of a following too closely ticket on your driving record. By contesting the citation, they can work towards avoiding points on your record or negotiate for reduced penalties. They aim to prevent a conviction that would lead to a moving violation appearing on your MVR and PSP.
3.Representation and Negotiation
Having a skilled traffic attorney on your side provides invaluable representation during court proceedings. They will navigate the legal process on your behalf, advocate for your rights, and present your case effectively. In some instances, they may negotiate with the traffic court judge to reach a favorable plea agreement for a no-point conviction or explore alternative options that minimize the consequences on your driving career.
Commercial drivers facing "following too closely" violations in CA must recognize the potential consequences and take immediate action to protect their driving career. Instead of paying the fine, they must consult a CA traffic attorney. With their expertise, defense strategies, and negotiation skills, a traffic attorney will fight to contest the citation and mitigate the negative impact on your driving record and career.
They understand the intricacies of commercial driving laws and regulations, allowing them to craft a strong defense tailored to your case. By contesting the citation, they aim to achieve a dismissal or reduction of charges, sparing you from points on your record and the associated FMCSA notifications.
Preserving your driving career is of utmost importance, as fleet managers highly value a clean record. By enlisting the help of a traffic attorney, you demonstrate your commitment to resolving the citation professionally and responsibly. Their representation in court sends a powerful message to potential employers, highlighting your dedication to compliance and safety.
Contact Bigger & Harman, When Charged with Following Too Closely Around Needles in San Bernardino County, CA
Remember, paying the fine without seeking legal advice can have far-reaching consequences. Don't jeopardize your driving career and future opportunities. Consult a reputable CA traffic attorney experienced in handling commercial driving cases.
Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
The DMV Portal CA Commercial Driver Handbook.
The FMCSA CFR 49 Part 383.51, Driver Disqualifications.