Everything becomes more significant when you drive a commercial truck. Your vehicle is larger, your level of responsibility greater, and the penalties you could face for violating a traffic law escalate with a commercial driver’s license. Driver’s license agencies hold commercial vehicle drivers to a much higher standard because driving CMVs requires a special skill set and carries greater liability. Therefore, being a commercial driver carries a relatively high level of risk, including the risk of the DMV disqualifying your CDL.
Truck drivers and others who depend on driving can expect harsh consequences for committing some of the more common traffic crimes. A Florida CDL is a driver’s gateway to earning a living; without it, he can be out of a job in an instant over making the wrong move behind the wheel. If you’re a commercial vehicle driver and your license has been disqualified, working with an attorney could improve your chances of regaining your license and livelihood.
Which Offenses are Most Likely to Cause a CDL Disqualification?
Commercial drivers can be as susceptible to making mistakes behind the wheel as anyone else; however, their mistakes are more costly. The driver of a big rig stands to lose much more if he’s involved in a crash and later tests positive for alcohol or drug use. Some of the most common major traffic offenses that can threaten a driver’s commercial license and employment status include:
- Driving under the influence. All it takes is a BAC of 0.04% or greater while operating a CMV to be charged with DUI as a professional driver. If the police believe you were incapacitated while driving a company car, you need to acquire legal representation quickly.
- Leaving the scene of an accident. Leaving the scene, or hit-and-run is a major traffic violation for which non-commercial drivers may face a misdemeanor or felony charge. A driver may face a felony hit-and-run charge when the accident resulted in another’s injuries. A conviction may lead to years in prison and a steep fine. The judge may also order the driver to pay restitution.
- Using your car to commit a felony. If you use your commercial vehicle to commit a felony, you could lose your license for at least 12 months for your first conviction.
- Refusing to follow implied consent laws. If you refuse to submit to a breath or alcohol test as a commercial driver, the state Department of Motor Vehicles may suspend your license.
- Driving a commercial vehicle without a CDL in your possession or not having the proper class of CDL or endorsements for the specific vehicle operated. Your credentials must be in check and must always be on you so you can show the police that you have the authority to drive your CMV to perform your work duties. Failing to have proof of your license on you when you’re stopped could result in penalties.
- Not having a commercial driver’s license. Not having your CDL or driving with a suspended CDL could lead to thousands of dollars in fines. In aggravated cases, you could face criminal penalties. Your employer may also face harsh penalties in the form of steep fines if they allow you to drive without a valid CDL.
As a commercial driver, you could lose your job if you’re convicted of any of the above offenses. It’s normal to feel confused, scared, and even threatened by the charges against you. If you’re feeling uncertain about what steps to take after an arrest for a major traffic crime, you can find solace in speaking with a reputable criminal traffic attorney. You’ll learn about what you can do to avoid the worst penalties, including steps you might be able to take to win your license back.
Are Traffic Violations Holding You Back? Contact Gabriel Law Team
Charges for a serious traffic violation or a CDL-specific traffic violation could not only lead to criminal penalties, but these charges may also appear on your record for years, restricting your opportunities for future employment. A serious traffic violation won’t go away by paying a fine. Legal representation is the key to challenging the charge against you and restoring your driving privileges.
Attorney Brian Gabriel has dedicated decades of his career to helping commercial drivers fight for their licenses. By investigating the accident details, he can come up with a strategy that could weaken the prosecution’s case against you. It may even be possible to have your traffic charge dismissed. With his help, you could protect your job and maintain your way of life. Contact our firm in West Palm Beach for a free consultation regarding your traffic charge. Call 561-622-5575 or complete our contact form.