Any type of traffic citation or violation is serious. For commercial drivers, the stakes are much higher. In some circumstances, a commercial vehicle offense or violation can be career ending. For this reason, any person with a commercial driver's license (CDL) or how is a professional driver in the trucking industry, should hire an experienced traffic ticket attorney.
Attorney for Commercial Drivers in San Francisco, CA
If you received a civil traffic violation when driving your personal vehicle or a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) then contact an experienced attorney in San Francisco, CA, at Ticket Crushers. Let us put our experience to work for you. From speeding tickets to more serious crimes for driving a commercial vehicle with a blood or breath alcohol level over .04, we can help.
Call 1 (866) 842-5384 today to discuss your case.
Violations Causing Disqualification of the CDL
You will lose your CDL for at least one (1) year for a first offense of:
- Driving a CMV if your BAC is .04 percent or higher
- Driving a CMV under the influence of alcohol
- Refusing to submit to blood alcohol testing
- Driving a CMV while under the influence of a controlled substance
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving a CMV (often called "hit and run")
- Committing a felony involving the use of a CMV.
- Driving a CMV when the CDL is suspended / revoked
- Causing a fatality through negligent operation of a CMV.
You will lose your commercial driver's license (CDL) for at least three (3) years if the offense occurs while you are operating a CMV that is placarded for hazardous materials. You will lose your CDL for life for a second offense.
You will lose your CDL for life if you use a CMV to commit a felony involving controlled substances.
You will be put out of service for 24 hours if you have any detectable amount of alcohol under .04 percent.
Serious Traffic Violations for the CDL
The CDL will be disqualified for 60 days for two serious traffic convictions within three years if the person is a CDL holder. The three-year time period is based on the violation date rather than conviction date. Serious traffic convictions for the CDL holder include:
- driving a CMV without the proper class of CDL and/or endorsements;
- driving a CMV without obtaining a CDL or without having a CDL in the driver’s possession;
- traffic offenses committed in a CMV in connection with fatal traffic accidents;
- following a vehicle too closely;
- excessive speeding (15 mph or more above the posted limit);
- improper or erratic lane changes; and
- reckless driving.
The 60-day disqualification also applies to a first citation for a railroad-highway grade crossing violation while the person is operating a CMV.
For a third serious traffic violation within a 3 year period, the CDL will be disqualified for at least 120 days.
Violation of Out-of-Service Orders for the CDL Holder
For violations of an out-of-service order, the CDL holder will be subject to the following penalties:
- At least 90 days for your first violation of an out-of-service order.
- At least 1 year if you have committed 2 violations of an out-of-service order in a 10-year period.
- At least 3 years for 3 or more violations of an out-of-service order in a 10-year period.
Points on the CDL Holder’s Driving Record
Convictions that occur for a CDL Holder or while driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) are retained on the driving record for the following time periods:
- Major violations and disqualification actions - 55 years.
- Out-of-service violations and disqualification actions - 15 years.
- Accidents, serious violations, and disqualification actions - 10 years.
- Railroad grade crossings and disqualification actions - 4 years.
- Minor convictions - 3 years.
A traffic accident for driving unsafely counts as 1 point. Any accidents that the CDL holder contributed to or was responsible for or was at fault for, are normally counted as 1 point.
If you the CDL holder is convicted of reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and/ or drugs, or of a hit-and-run, then the driver is charged with 2 points.
Points Causing a Loss of CDL Driving Privileges
The CDL holder will lose his or her privileges to drive if the driver is considered a negligent operator of a CMV when the driving record shows the following point counts:
- 4 points in 12 months
- 6 points in 24 months
- 8 points in 36 months
The CDL holder may be entitled to a higher point count (6, 8, or 10 points) if the driver requests and appears for a hearing and if 4, 6, or 8 points were not obtained in a Class C vehicle.
A violation received in a CMV carries 1½ times the point count.
A Class A or B driver who does not have a special certificate or an endorsement may be allowed 2 additional points before being considered a negligent operator.
Traffic Violations in a Personal Vehicle for a CDL Holder
The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (MCSIA) of 1999 requires a CDL holder to be disqualified from operating a CMV if the CDL holder has been convicted of certain types of moving violations in their personal vehicle.
If the driver’s privilege to operate his or her personal vehicle is revoked, canceled, or suspended due to violations of traffic control laws (other than parking violations), then the driver will also lose his or her CDL driving privileges.
If the privilege to operate the CDL holder’s personal vehicle is revoked, canceled, or suspended due to alcohol, controlled substance, or felony violations, the driver will lose his or her CDL for one (1) year.
If the CDL holder is convicted of a second violation in his or her personal vehicle or CMV, then the driver will lose his or her CDL for life.
If the CDL holder’s license to operate his or her personal vehicle is revoked, canceled, or suspended, then the driver may not obtain a “hardship” license to operate a CMV.
Holders of a Hazardous Materials Endorsement
Certain criminal convictions have serious consequences for holder of a hazardous materials endorsement. For example, if you have a hazardous materials endorsement, then you must notify and surrender your hazardous materials endorsement to the state that issued your CDL within 24 hours of:
- any conviction or indictment in any jurisdiction, civilian or military, any conviction in which you were found not guilty by reason of insanity of a disqualifying crime listed in CFR, Title 49 §1572.103;
- who is adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution as specified in CFR, Title 49 §1572.109; or
- who renounces his or her U.S. citizenship.
For drivers of commercial motor vehicles, if the driver is required to obtain a hazardous materials endorsement, then the driver must submit his or her fingerprints and be subject to a background check. The driver will be denied or will lose the hazardous materials endorsement if:
- the driver is not a lawful permanent resident of the U.S.
- the driver renounces his or her U.S. citizenship.
- the driver is wanted or under indictment for certain felonies.
- the driver has a conviction in military or civilian court for certain felonies.
- the driver has been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution.
- the driver is considered to pose a security threat as determined by the TSA.
The disqualifying crime listed in CFR, Title 49 §1572.103 include:
- Espionage or conspiracy to commit espionage.
- Sedition, or conspiracy to commit sedition.
- Treason, or conspiracy to commit treason.
- A federal crime of terrorism as defined in 18 U.S.C. 2332b(g), or comparable State law, or conspiracy to commit such crime.
- A crime involving a transportation security incident.
- Improper transportation of a hazardous material under 49 U.S.C. 5124, or a State law that is comparable.
- Unlawful possession, use, sale, distribution, manufacture, purchase, receipt, transfer, shipping, transporting, import, export, storage of, or dealing in an explosive or explosive device.
- Making any threat, or maliciously conveying false information knowing the same to be false, concerning the deliverance, placement, or detonation of an explosive or other lethal device in or against a place of public use, a state or government facility, a public transportations system, or an infrastructure facility.
- Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, 18 U.S.C. 1961, et seq., or a comparable State law, where one of the predicate acts found by a jury or admitted by the defendant, consists of one of the crimes listed in paragraph (a) of this section.
- Interim disqualifying criminal offenses including:
- Unlawful possession, use, sale, manufacture, purchase, distribution, receipt, transfer, shipping, transporting, delivery, import, export of, or dealing in a firearm or other weapon. A firearm or other weapon includes, but is not limited to, firearms as defined in 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(3) or 26 U.S.C. 5 845(a), or items contained on the U.S. Munitions Import List at 27 CFR 447.21.
- Dishonesty, fraud, or misrepresentation, including some identity fraud and money laundering crimes;
- Immigration violations.
- Distribution of, possession with intent to distribute, or importation of a controlled substance.
- Kidnapping or hostage taking.
- Rape or aggravated sexual abuse.
- Assault with intent to kill.
- Fraudulent entry into a seaport as described in 18 U.S.C. 1036, or a comparable State law.
- Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. 1961, et seq., or a comparable State law, other than the violations listed in paragraph (a)(10) of this section.
- Conspiracy or attempt to commit the crimes in this paragraph (b).
Attorney for the CDL Holder in California
The attorneys Ticket Crushers represent holders of a commercial driver’s license when they receive a traffic violation citations, traffic tickets or criminal traffic offenses. Our attorneys represent commercial motor vehicle driver’s throughout San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area.
Our San Francisco attorneys represent CDL holders, truck drivers, drivers of large commercial vehicle, CMV placarded for hazardous materials, and professional drivers in the trucking industry. We represent CMV drivers who are traveling in interstate or intrastate commerce.
We can help you find ways to avoid a disqualification of your commercial driver’s license so that you can keep your job. If you are disqualified for any reason, then you may not drive a commercial motor vehicle. Call 1 (866) 842-5384 today to discuss your case.
This article was last updated on Friday, February 17, 2017.