If Traffic Violations Have Cost You Your Commercial Driver’s License, Goodwin Como Can Help
Losing your commercial driver’s license (CDL) can be devastating, especially when you need one to do your job. Attorney Goodwin’s family has been in the trucking business for over 50 years, and he is a former truck driver. He knows firsthand how important a CDL is to its holder and the ramifications it can have on an individual’s livelihood, family, and future success.
Why Do I Need a CDL?
A CDL is required to operate various commercial vehicles, including trucks, passenger vans, delivery vans, and school buses. For many people, including thousands of truckers, their livelihood depends on obtaining and maintaining a CDL.
To obtain a CDL, applicants must pass specific tests that assess knowledge and skills. Further, CDL holders are held to a higher standard. For example, traffic violations may impact your ability to obtain and maintain certification.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has issued a Disqualifications and Traffic Offenses (PDF) publication (DTO) that summarizes the law regarding losing your CDL. According to the DTO:
- A disqualification is the temporary or permanent withdrawal of a person’s privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).
- The length of disqualification depends on the violation and the driver’s record. It can be for a minimum of 60 days or as long as a lifetime.
- A disqualification can result from a single conviction for a Major Offense, an accumulation of Serious Traffic Offenses, or other specific violations, e.g., violations of railroad-highway grade crossings.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.
- Refusing to submit to chemical testing.
- Leaving the scene of an accident.
- Using a vehicle to commit a felony.
- Using a vehicle in the commission of a felony involving manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled substance.
- Using a CMV in the commission of a felony involving an act or practice of a severe form of trafficking in persons.
- Driving a CMV while the driver’s CDL is revoked, suspended, canceled, or disqualified.
- Causing a fatality through the negligent operation of a CMV.
Serious Traffic Offences
- Exceeding the maximum speed limit by 15 mph or more.
- Hazardous grades.
- Driving recklessly, as defined by state or local law.
- Making improper or erratic traffic lane changes.
- Following the vehicle ahead too closely.
- Violation of duty of care by a driver in construction and maintenance areas or on highway safety corridors.
- Violating State or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than a parking violation) arising in connection with a fatal accident.
- Driving a CMV without a valid CDL in the driver’s possession.
- Driving a CMV without the proper class and/or endorsements.
- Texting while driving a CMV.
- Use of a hand-held mobile telephone while driving a CMV.
Other Violations That Result in Disqualification
- Railroad-highway grade crossing violations.
- Out-of-service order violations.
- Being determined to constitute an imminent hazard.
In addition to disqualifying traffic offenses, practically any traffic conviction can jeopardize a CDL holder’s ability to keep or get a job. Trucking companies do extensive searches of a CDL driving history and may decide not to offer a job if the driver does not have a clean or nearly clean driving record.
How a CDL Attorney Can Help if You’ve Been Cited for a Traffic Violation?
We understand the law surrounding CDLs and the consequences of a conviction for certain traffic offenses. We fight fiercely to defend your CDL and your ability to work and support your family. If you’ve been cited for a traffic offense in Uniontown or Southwestern Pennsylvania, contact a CDL attorney at Goodwin Como or call us at 724-438-1616 for your free consultation.