What can happen when a Commercial Driver or CDL holder violates California’s “Hands Free” or Texting Law? : CALIFORNIA DUI and CDL DEFENSE CENTER BLOG

What can happen when a Commercial Driver or CDL holder violates California’s “Hands Free” or Texting Law?

by Attorney Felicia Woods-Yates on 03/29/15

What can happen when a Commercial Driver or CDL holder violates California’s “Hands Free” or Texting Law? 

Today’s technology makes it almost inevitable that you, your friends, and work colleagues, will be carrying around some type of an electronic mobile device in the form of a smartphone, electronic tablet, or both.  Therefore, California has enacted legislation to address the use of mobile devices while operating a motor vehicle.  Some studies have shown that driving while texting, or what my office refers to as a “DWT”, can have similar or greater effects than alcohol on a person’s overall ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.  This would be especially true while operating a commercial vehicle. 

Therefore, CDL holders need to be very aware of the potential penalties for being convicted of a violation of California’s “Hands Free” or Texting Law.  The penalties are as follows:  Regardless of the type of vehicle you are in at the time of a violation…  

  • You may lose your CDL upon conviction, for at least 60 days, if this is your second violation within a 3 year period, and receive one point on your driving record
  • You may lose your CDL upon conviction, for at least 120 days, for your third and subsequent violations within a 3 year period, and receive one point on your driving record 

It goes without saying, if you earn a living by driving professionally as a CDL holder, you should not just simply post bail and forfeit your day in court, just because you have been cited for a violation of California’s “Hands Free” or Texting Law.  As noted above, a second conviction over the course of a three-year period, would mean a CDL suspension, and in some cases, even the loss of employment.  Commercial drivers should contest any and all of these types of citations in court, preferably by hiring a competent attorney.

Since everyone's traffic incident is unique to that individual and the specific circumstances, you should consult with a competent defense attorney to determine your best course of action.  Felicia Yates has been practicing law for over 30 years in California and can be reached at (760) 326-5297, and found at Law Offices of Felicia Yates & Associates.



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