CDL Holders: Beware Of Traffic Offense Citations
You received a speeding ticket or any other traffic violation citation and worry that it will put your commercial driver’s license (CDL) at risk. What do you do now? Believe it or not, some truck drivers assume they can just pay the fine and attempt to move on. But traffic violations are not always a mere slap on the wrist, especially not for people who drive for a living.
At the very least, they add demerit points to your personal driver’s license, which can result in license suspension if you accumulate too many points. You may also face increased insurance rates because you are seen as a dangerous or careless driver (regardless of whether it’s true). Regardless of the circumstances of your citation, reach out to The Law Office of Geoffrey McInroy, LLC, for trustworthy guidance.
What If I Get A Citation As A CDL Driver?
Any traffic citation can be devastating if you’re a person who earns a living with a commercial driver’s license (CDL). As a truck driver, you may be fired or otherwise sanctioned by your employer (and, by law, you must notify your employer). Whether your employer takes action or not, many traffic offenses can lead to suspension or revocation of your Pennsylvania CDL.
What if you were off-duty and driving your own vehicle? Some ordinary “civilian” traffic citations may not affect your CDL, but serious or major traffic offenses definitely can. Most critically for your CDL privileges, many citations may be counted as disqualifiers by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). A conviction will result in a prohibition from driving a commercial vehicle for a period of time ranging from 60 days to a lifetime.
For example, operating a commercial motor vehicle at a low threshold of .04 blood alcohol content (BAC) triggers driving under the influence (DUI) charges and CDL suspension. The threshold is higher for drivers of private vehicles, but a conviction for DUI in your personal vehicle in Pennsylvania or out of state will, nonetheless, cost you your CDL regardless of the cited BAC.
About Trucking Rule Violations
In addition to motor vehicle violations, commercial drivers may be cited for PennDOT or federal trucking rule violations, such as traveling on restricted roads or bridges, driving an overweight vehicle, violating hours-of-service limits or falsifying logbooks.
For any traffic or trucking citation, no matter how minor it may seem, a CDL holder should contact a lawyer right away. It is critical for you to fight a ticket or violation citation when your livelihood is at stake.
About CDL Disqualifiers
PennDOT penalizes CDL holders who violate traffic laws and trucking rules, such as those listed below. Penalties vary according to the seriousness of the violations.
Serious traffic offenses (STOs) include:
- Driving more than 15 miles over the speed limit in a commercial vehicle (CMV) or in a private vehicle (PV) in a school or work zone
- Reckless driving in a PV or a CMV
- Improper or erratic lane changes when driving a CMV
- Following too closely in a CMV
- Texting or using a handheld mobile phone or device while driving a CMV
A conviction for any of these offenses may result in the loss of CDL privileges for 60 days to up to a year or longer.
Major offenses include:
- A DUI conviction
- Refusing chemical testing
- Accumulating numerous STOs
- Causing a fatality through negligent driving while operating a CMV
A single major offense can result in disqualification as a commercial vehicle driver for 60 days to a lifetime, depending on the severity of the offense.
For CDL holders, traffic tickets are often worth fighting. For defense in central Pennsylvania, contact The Law Office of Geoffrey McInroy, LLC. Attorney McInroy has more than 20 years of experience in criminal law practice, including defending professional drivers cited for traffic violations and trucking law violations. If your CDL has already been suspended or revoked, ask him for assistance reviewing opportunities for recovering your driving privileges.
Before Geoffrey McInroy opened his private practice, he served as a prosecutor, gaining invaluable insight into negotiation strategies and the legal process. As his client, you benefit from this understanding. He has defended countless people who counted on their CDLs for their livelihood. Call 717-540-6833 to get started with a free consultation today.
About Motor Vehicle Violations: Summary Offenses Versus Misdemeanors
A summary offense is any minor crime that is initially heard and decided by a district justice. Many violations of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, such as speeding, illegal parking and going through a red light, are summary offenses. However, DUI involving alcohol or drugs is not a summary offense; it is a misdemeanor, a more serious crime.
Attorney McInroy is equipped to handle your case involving a summary offense, or a misdemeanor classified as an STO or a major offense. You owe it to yourself to learn how he can help you resolve your case after a citation in Camp Hill, Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Cumberland County or elsewhere.
What Typically Happens If I Have Received A Citation?
A traffic offense citation contains a brief statement of the facts of the incident, how the law was violated and a specific statement of the section of the law that is alleged to have been violated. It also contains instructions on what must be done to respond to the citation.
Most summary crimes are enforced by a citation issued by a police officer to the person who is charged with committing the offense. Normally, the police officer who observed the incident hands the citation to the person charged. If no officer was present, or if, for any valid reason, the officer decides not to issue the citation at the scene, a citation/summons may be sent by mail.
In certain circumstances, a police officer may arrest someone and take them into custody, and then they may be brought before a magisterial district judge. In that case, a hearing can be requested. The hearing may be held immediately or at a later time, for which the magisterial district judge may require security to guarantee that person’s appearance. A citation will still be prepared and given to that person.
If you have been cited for any type of traffic or trucking violation, call 717-540-6833 or complete our online form to reach The Law Office of Geoffrey McInroy, LLC. We will respond to your message as promptly as possible because we know that your situation is urgent.
Is Erroneous Information On My Citation An Acceptable Defense?
If incorrect information on your traffic ticket is minor, such as a misspelled name, the wrong color or model year of your car or a misclassification of your truck according to its size, the mistakes will probably not invalidate the citation. If, however, the mistakes are major, such as a wrong listing of the section of the law allegedly violated, then the citation may be invalid if prejudice can be shown.
In the case of a DUI, an unsubstantiated claim regarding BAC or drugs in your system may result in a case dismissal. Attorney Geoffrey McInroy will review all aspects of the charges against you to determine whether the allegations lack sufficient evidence for a conviction.
Discuss Your Options When Your CDL Is At Risk In A Free Initial Consultation
Talk to attorney Geoffrey McInroy today and avoid unnecessarily risking your motor vehicle operating privileges, an increase in your insurance rates and/or your CDL privileges. To take advantage of a free initial consultation, contact our office in Camp Hill by calling 717-540-6833. You can also fill out our online contact form.