What types of traffic violations are classified as “serious” and thereby justifying the suspension or disqualification of a CDL or commercial driver’s license? : CALIFORNIA DUI and CDL DEFENSE CENTER BLOG

What types of traffic violations are classified as “serious” and thereby justifying the suspension or disqualification of a CDL or commercial driver’s license?

by Attorney Felicia Woods-Yates on 04/19/15

What types of traffic violations are classified as “serious” and thereby justifying the suspension or disqualification of a CDL or commercial driver’s license? 

Our law office is often asked under what types of circumstances a CDL holder may have their license suspended, or even permanently revoked.  Well, there are several scenarios that may lead to the temporary suspension of a CDL, and some that may lead to the permanent suspension of a CDL. 

The California vehicle code classifies “serious” traffic violations as  i) excessive speeding in a commercial (15 mph or more above the posted limit),  ii) reckless driving,  iii) improper or erratic lane changes,  iv) following a vehicle too closely,  v) traffic offenses committed in a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in connection with a fatal traffic accident,  vi) driving a CMV without obtaining a CDL or having a CDL in the driver’s possession, and  vii) driving a CMV without the proper class of CDL and/or CDL endorsements.  Under these circumstances, a CDL holder would lose their license as follows:

·         For at least sixty (60) days if they have been convicted of two serious traffic violations within a three-year period involving a CMV

·         For at least 120 days for three or more serious traffic violations within a three-year period involving a CMV 

The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (MCSIA) of 1999 also requires that 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 your privilege to operate your personal vehicle is revoked, cancelled, or suspended due to certain violations of traffic control laws (other than parking violations) you will also lose your CDL driving privileges as well.  The penalties are as follows:

·         If your privilege to operate your personal vehicle is revoked, cancelled, or suspended due to alcohol, controlled substance or felony violations, you will lose your CDL for one (1) year.

·         If you are convicted of a second such violation in your personal vehicle or CMV, you will lose your CDL for life.  

If your license to operate your personal vehicle has been revoked, cancelled, or suspended, the State of California will not issue a “hardship” license for a person to operate a CMV.  As a result of the foregoing, CDL holders should always consider contacting an attorney anytime a traffic citation is issued to them in the State of California.

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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