No driver likes getting pulled over for an alleged traffic offense. But for commercial drivers, the stakes are very high.
Commercial drivers are typically held to a higher standard under Florida law, and penalties for violations are severe. The risk goes beyond the loss of money for fines or a stain on your driving record. Your job may be in jeopardy. Your career could be on the line.
You need to fight these traffic charges.
At The Ansara Law Firm, our Fort Lauderdale Commercial Drivers Defense Attorneys will work to protect your license – and your livelihood. In many cases, particularly when the citation is issued to an out-of-state driver, our lawyers can appear on your behalf so you don’t have to return to Florida for court.
Our attorneys have in-depth knowledge of the specific state and federal laws and regulations applicable to drivers of trucks, delivery vans, taxis and buses. We work to defend professional drivers against a range of traffic offenses, including:
If you possess a commercial driver’s license and are cited for a traffic offense, a guilty plea could immediately and directly halt your professional prospects.
We recognize that with an aggressive defense, many of these charges may be reduced or even dismissed. If an opportunity exists to negotiate a favorable resolution with prosecutors, we’ll help you identify and take advantage of it. However, we are prepared to fight in court if necessary.Higher Standards for Commercial Drivers
Commercial drivers in Florida are held to a higher standard of conduct behind the wheel because, the thinking goes, they are responsible for larger vehicles and/ or human passengers. Thus, they need to be more cautious because there is greater potential for serious damage.
As the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) spells out, commercial drivers have to pass certain testing to obtain certification, depending on the type of vehicle they drive.
Endorsements may be necessary for placarded hazmat vehicles, tank vehicles, passenger vehicles, school buses and double/ triple trailers.CDL Disqualification for Traffic Violation
Commercial drivers in Florida can lose their commercial driver’s license on either a temporary or permanent basis for violation of traffic laws. Much of it depends on the severity of the violation. There are three basic types:
Major – First violation is one-year disqualification (or three years if the driver was transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded). A second violation is a lifetime disqualification, with possible reinstatement after 10 years, assuming certain conditions are met. Examples include:
Serious – First violation generally will not result in disqualification. A second violation in three years will result in a 120-day disqualification, with each additional violation to be served consecutively.
Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing – First violation is minimum 60 days’ disqualification. Second violation within three years is a minimum 120 days’ disqualification. Third and subsequent violations within three years will result in minimum one year of disqualification.
In addition to these, there are also CDL-specific violations that could result in federal-level penalties, which can range from license suspension to jail time. These include offenses like violation of grade restrictions (steepness) for his or her vehicle, falsifying log books (up to six months in jail) and driving a vehicle that’s overweight.Personal Violations
Commercial drivers who are cited for traffic violations while they are operating their personal vehicles could also face penalties or disqualification of their commercial license. Some examples of personal violations that can result in commercial driver’s license penalties are:
Bear in mind that if you receive a traffic citation for anything other than violation of a parking law, you have to disclose this to your employer within a month.
If you need assistance fighting your commercial driver’s license citation – or a personal traffic citation that threatens your commercial driver’s license – we can help.
Contact the experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers at The Ansara Law Firm by calling (954) 761-4011 or toll-free at (877)-ARREST-0 (277-3780).