A CDL, also known as a Commercial Driver's License, allows individuals to drive certain types of vehicles used for commercial purposes, such as tractor-trailers and buses. The reason such special licenses are issued is to make sure that the individuals driving trailers and buses have the required skills and qualifications to operate such heavy vehicles. It is to ensure that the highways are safe for other drivers. If your CDL is suspended or you have been charged with traffic violations, the consequences of CDL penalties can cause serious issues with your employment.
If you drive professionally, getting and keeping a clean driving record is worth the fight.
It is possible for a good Pittsburgh traffic lawyer, one who has experience fighting for those who hold CDL licenses, to get your charges either reduced or dismissed. The money spent on hiring the lawyer is a good investment, because less will go to fines and increased insurance rates, and you will lose less time at work.Why Should I Fight These Charges?
As per the law in Pennsylvania, CDL holders cannot afford to make even minor mistakes while driving their vehicles. An offense that may lead to a few points on a non-CDL holder’s license can automatically cause suspension of the license of a CDL holder. You can be charged for taking the wrong route, driving an overweight vehicle, over hour violations and even not adhering to proper notations in your logbook. Offenses for CDL holders have been divided into three categories: (1) serious traffic offenses, (2) railroad or highway grade crossing offenses, (3) major offenses. Here are some of the common offenses that can result in you being issued a ticket.
- Improper passing on the right or left
- Improper passing on a hill
- Improper passing at a railroad crossing or intersection
- Improper passing at a bridge or tunnel
- Exceeding maximum speed limit by 15 mph or more
- Reckless driving
- Failure to negotiate a railroad crossing
- Refusal to submit to chemical testing
These charges and convictions can have severe consequences on your employment. In addition, the process of issuing tickets has its own flaws and, in many cases, people are falsely charged. For these reasons, fighting your ticket or other CDL penalties is very important.Notification
In Pennsylvania, drivers who hold CDL licenses are required to report traffic tickets to their employers within 30 days. If you get a ticket while driving out of state, you are also required to tell PennDOT within 30 days.Penalties:
Below is a list of offenses for which your CDL will be suspended or revoked for a minimum of one year at the first offense:
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle with a suspended, canceled, revoked, or recalled commercial driver’s license.
- Using your commercial motor vehicle in the commission of a felony.
- Failing to report an accident after you have left the scene.
- Causing an injury or death when involved in an accident with your commercial motor vehicle.
- Damaging an unoccupied vehicle or property while driving your commercial motor vehicle.
- Driving your commercial motor vehicle after drinking, when your blood alcohol level is half the legal limit in Pennsylvania (.04) or higher.
- Refusing to submit to a blood alcohol test.
The second time you are convicted of one of the above, you face permanent revocation of your CDL.
If your load consists of hazardous materials when you commit any of the offenses listed above, your CDL will be suspended for three years.
If you are convicted of a felony using your commercial motor vehicle, and controlled substances are involved, you face permanent revocation of your CDL.
If you have two serious violations in a three year period while driving your commercial motor vehicle, your CDL could be suspended for a minimum of 60 days. That punishment jumps to 120 days if you have three violations in three years.Out of State Violations
If you are an over-the-road driver, and travel many miles outside of Pennsylvania, a suspension you receive in another state will be added to the National Driving Register. The company you work for can access this database and find the suspension. So can other people and organizations.
The majority of states share information in regards to traffic violations. The Driver License Compact is a 46-state agreement that Pennsylvania participates in. If your license is suspended in one of the member states, Pennsylvania will probably suspend it, as well.
Minor traffic offenses are also reported to the state under this compact. PennDOT will add points to your license for minor tickets in other states.
It is important that you hire a seasoned Traffic attorney like those at Logue Law Group in Pittsburgh, who specializes in CDL Penalties and Offenses, to fight these charges and protect your rights and privileges.How Can Logue Law Group Help You?
The Traffic Ticket Attorneys at Logue Law Group specialize in CDL offenses and other traffic violations in the Pittsburgh area. They bring a methodical approach to your case and are well aware of the huge consequences that suspension of your commercial driver’s license can have on your career. They will make every effort to discredit the evidence that has been gathered against you. Investigations are a part of their approach to every case. They are passionate about proving the innocence of their clients.
Descriptions and definitions of traffic violations are found in the Pennsylvania Traffic Code under Title 75.