Understanding the Impact of a Speeding Ticket on CDL Drivers

Speeding Ticket

For commercial drivers, maintaining a spotless driving record isn’t just about pride—it’s a professional necessity. A single speeding ticket can have a domino effect on a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) holder’s career. Here’s what you need to know about the implications of a speeding violation and how legal counsel can assist in mitigating the consequences.

1. Points on Your CDL Record Speeding violations result in points on your driving record. Accumulating too many points can lead to the suspension or revocation of your CDL, especially if multiple offenses occur within a three-year period.

2. Increased Insurance Rates Insurance providers often increase premiums for drivers with speeding tickets, seeing them as higher-risk policyholders. For CDL drivers, this can mean significantly higher operational costs.

3. Employment Challenges Trucking companies and other commercial driving employers may hesitate to hire drivers with speeding offenses, fearing the potential for costly accidents and the impact on their safety record.

4. CDL Disqualification CDL holders convicted of two serious traffic offenses within three years face a mandatory disqualification for at least 60 days. Speeding 15 mph over the limit qualifies as a serious offense, and three convictions within three years increase the disqualification period to 120 days.

Additional Consequences Other repercussions include a higher likelihood of FMCSA audits, complications in CDL renewal, hurdles in renting commercial vehicles, and difficulty in obtaining a TWIC card—essential for accessing maritime facilities.

How Can a Lawyer Help? Facing this cascade of penalties, enlisting a lawyer specialized in traffic law can be a CDL driver’s best defense. Here’s how they can help:

  • Assessing the Citation: A lawyer can scrutinize the circumstances of the ticket and the evidence against you, possibly identifying procedural errors or defenses.
  • Negotiating Penalties: Skilled in negotiation, lawyers can often reduce the charges or the severity of the penalties, such as advocating for a reduction in points or fines.
  • Representing in Court: If your case goes to court, a lawyer can represent you, presenting arguments on your behalf and working towards the best possible outcome.
  • Advising on Long-Term Impact: They can provide counsel on the potential long-term effects on your career and advise on strategies to mitigate future risks.

Takeaway Speeding tickets can significantly derail a CDL driver’s career. The complexities of traffic law and the severe consequences for commercial drivers make it crucial to have a legal expert on your side. If you’re a CDL holder facing a speeding ticket, consider consulting with a lawyer who can help navigate the legal system, minimize the fallout, and keep your career on track.