If you’re an aspiring truck driver and your record contains a felony charge, you may face challenges when applying for your commercial driver’s license or CDL. While the easiest way to ensure you will receive a CDL is to apply for one with a spotless criminal and traffic record, this isn’t feasible for everyone. If you have some traffic violations or charges on your records, you might feel like you won’t be considered the right candidate for a commercial driving position. Not all hope is lost.
A prior arrest doesn’t automatically disqualify you from obtaining a CDL and making a living transporting goods and services. With the help of a traffic lawyer, it may be possible to clean up your driving record so you can apply for your commercial license with a fresh start.
Do You Want to Become a Commercial Driver but Have Prior Arrests?
Your application for a CDL will reveal your driving record to the DMV. The DMV must check your driving history to confirm that you’re eligible for a commercial license. For the most part, prior arrests don’t automatically disqualify you. Felonies, however, can stand in the way of achieving your career goals.
Felony charges may disqualify you from earning a CDL at the federal level. The following charges are just some of the more common examples of felonies that could prevent you from driving nationally:
- Using a commercial vehicle to commit a felony
- First- or second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle
- Negligent or reckless operation of a vehicle that leads to a death
- Driving any car with an elevated (more than 0.08) BAC
- Assault with the intent to murder
Additionally, individual states have specific laws pertaining to felonies and commercial driver’s licenses. Learn which felonies and convictions may lead to a CDL ban at the state level before applying for one. There might be technicalities in the law that allow you to obtain a CDL with a felony charge in your state.
Outstanding Warrants and Commercial Driver’s Licenses
If you have a warrant out for your arrest, and that warrant is for a felony offense, you’re automatically disqualified from a commercial driver’s license until the warrant is released. Warrants for traffic tickets or traffic violations might not prevent you from receiving a CDL. In some cases, you might be able to take your driving test and receive your commercial driver’s license with an active warrant; however, you could have trouble securing a job with traffic warrants.
Many employers hiring professional drivers inspect their traffic histories thoroughly to reduce risk. In this scenario, it might be easier to earn the trust of a small company rather than a large corporation when applying for a driving position. It may also be worth having your driving record evaluated by a trusted defense lawyer.
How a DUI Can Affect your CDL Prospects
DUI is typically a misdemeanor offense, but the stakes are much higher for commercial drivers. A DUI on your criminal and traffic record will severely restrict your prospects for landing a driving career. Federal law bans truck drivers from operating a vehicle after drinking before 4 hours have passed. In addition, the federal BAC for commercial vehicle drivers is half that of non-commercial drivers — a BAC of 0.04 could lead to a DUI charge that may prevent you from renewing your CDL.
If you’ve been drinking and you’re a commercial driver, you should know that you can lose your CDL if your BAC reaches 0.08 or above while driving any car, even if you’re not on duty and driving your personal vehicle. Without an aggressive DUI defense, you could lose your ability to make a prosperous career driving for a reputable company.
How a DUI Lawyer Can Help You Preserve Your CDL
A DUI arrest doesn’t have to be the end of your driving career. There are many defenses a competent DUI lawyer in West Palm Beach can present on your behalf. If you’ve recently been arrested for DUI, talk to an attorney who can investigate the details surrounding the traffic stop, the breath test, and your incarceration.
Attorney Brian Gabriel has staunchly defended DUI and related offenses in Palm Beach and surrounding counties for more than 25 years. He’s known for the investigative work he has completed to challenge Florida’s approved breathalyzer test machine and understands the complicated science behind breath tests. When you face the possibility of not only losing your job but also the possibility that you won’t be able to work in the industry again, you deserve top representation. Call 561-622-5575 for a free consultation or complete our contact form.