Holding a commercial driver’s license (CDL) requires high eligibility standards. Commercial drivers are expected to demonstrate the utmost care when it comes to driving safely and adhering to all of the traffic laws in North Carolina. CDL traffic violations can negatively impact commercial drivers’ employment opportunities and negatively impact a driver’s ability to earn a living or obtain employment as a commercial driver in the future.
The New Bern traffic ticket attorneys at Greene Wilson Crow & Smith understand the challenges of being convicted of a commercial traffic ticket in North Carolina. Our traffic attorneys have years of experience and an understanding of North Carolina traffic laws. We can fight to dismiss your charges and restore your rights as a commercial driver. Contact Greene Wilson Crow & Smith today to schedule your free initial consultation.
The Most Serious Commercial Traffic Tickets
Commercial drivers are subject to the same traffic rules as other drivers in North Carolina. However, they also must abide by more strenuous traffic laws explicitly aimed at drivers who drive for a living. All driving tickets can have negative repercussions for professional drivers, but some of the serious traffic offenses for commercial drivers include the following:
- Driving with a revoked, canceled, or suspended CDL
- Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Negligent driving that causes a fatal crash
- Traveling at 15 miles-per-hour or more over the speed limit
- Violating federal Hours of Service rules
- Driving a large commercial semi-truck without proper endorsement
What Should I Do If I’m Charged with a CDL Traffic Violation?
If a police officer has accused you of committing a serious traffic violation, he or she will serve you with a ticket, which can carry different consequences. The above charges are more likely to carry consequences beyond points on your driver’s license or fines. They may endanger your driving privileges and career. Unfortunately, mistakes and misconceptions can lead to commercial drivers being wrongfully charged and convicted of traffic violations that carry severe penalties.
How Will a Traffic Ticket Affect My Commercial Driver’s License?
The typical penalties for a traffic ticket in North Carolina include points on your driving record, fines, traffic school, and license suspension for the worst offenses. The consequences can be even more severe if you are a commercial driver who receives a ticket. They could endanger your ability to drive professionally. Depending on the type of traffic charge, commercial drivers may have their driver’s license suspended or revoked. The loss of a commercial driver’s license can last for months or even years. The driver’s license suspension could be permanent if the related offense, such as a fatal DUI crash, were serious enough.
Due to the alleged violation and loss of a driver’s license, commercial drivers are at a higher risk of losing their employment permanently. Even if they eventually regain their commercial driver’s license, their former company may refuse to hire them. Having these traffic tickets on your driver’s license may keep any other potential employer from hiring you even years after an incident.
Commercial drivers must also report some traffic violations to their employers. Depending on your employer’s policy and other factors, even common traffic infractions, such as speeding tickets, could endanger your career. As a result, it’s crucial that you reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible who can fight to prevent the severe repercussions from disrupting your life and your professional goals.
Moving Violations in Your Personal Vehicle Can Endanger Your CDL
Holding drivers to a different standard than other motorists may seem unfair. However, CDL holders need to walk a straight line and always follow traffic laws. As the holder of a commercial driver’s license, receiving an infraction while driving your vehicle could impact your commercial driver’s license.
The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides a comprehensive list of violations attributed to carelessness. If you’re issued a citation on one or more of the FMCSA’s safety violations, your commercial driver’s license could be in immediate danger of suspension. The FMCSA strictly enforces the mechanical aspects of driver safety. They are also tough on truck drivers convicted of other moving violations. The following types of traffic violations that occur while driving your personal vehicle can result in the loss of your commercial driver’s license:
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Repeated speeding tickets while driving your personal vehicle
- Refusing a breathalyzer or other sobriety test as requested by a law enforcement officer
- Operating a motor vehicle without proof of insurance
In addition to these safety-oriented traffic violations, operating with a revoked or suspended license and repeat offenses can result in a commercial truck driver disqualifying. The disqualification can range from 30 days to a lifetime, depending on the severity of the infraction.
DAC Reports Can Impact Driver’s Ability to Get a Job
Trucking companies emphasize the Drive-a-Check (DAC) report when they hire CDL holders. These detailed background checks highlight a driver’s personal driving history. They typically include employment history, accidents, criminal behavior, and previous driving infractions. The DAC report is important for truck drivers to become aware of and ensure that only factual information about moving violations is shared.
If you successfully fought a traffic ticket and won, our attorneys can help you ensure that the incident doesn’t appear on your DAC report. Moving violations are a primary concern for new drivers seeking to be hired by trucking companies. Drivers with the cleanest possible driving history are more likely to be hired.
Protect Your Driving Career with the Help of an Experienced Traffic Attorney
If you’ve been charged with a traffic ticket and are a commercial driver, discussing your case with an attorney is crucial. Greene Wilson Crow & Smith has a proven track record of advocating strongly for clients facing commercial driving infractions. We will negotiate for the best outcome possible, whether that is a dismissal of your charges or a reduction in the seriousness of your charges. Contact Greene Wilson Crow & Smith today to schedule your free case evaluation.