If you hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), you already know that you are not only subject to the State of Florida traffic laws, but also subject to Federal Code and Regulations. This double layer of regulations and laws can have a devastating impact on a truckers livelihood. – a CDL Disqualification! This CDL Disqualification can be an unintended consequence for certain dispositions to even “minor” moving violations for those who are not aware of the interplay between state law and federal regulations.
The Tampa CDL Attorneys at Taracks & Associates have extensive experience in assisting hard-working truck drivers navigate these double layers of traffic codes and laws. So if you have a pending traffic violation, call 813-281-2897 for a Free Consultation, to discuss the facts of your ticket, and we will chart out a plan that will strive to keep you driving and providing for you family.
Fla. Stat. §322.61(1)(a) mandates suspension (disqualification) of CDL privileges due to certain driving offenses that occur in commercial vehicles and passenger vehicles.
For example, if you are convicted of 2 of any of the following moving violations in separate incidents in a commercial vehicle in a 3-year period, you will be disqualified for 60 days. If you receive 3 such violations, then you will be disqualified for 120 days. If any of these violations occur in your passenger vehicle, and your operator’s license results in a suspension, then you are facing an additional CDL disqualification of either 60 or 120 days.
The following civil infractions can result in a CDL disqualification, even if the Court withholds adjudication (points), or you attend Defense Driving School through the exercise of the clerk’s option:
- Any violation of the traffic code resulting in death,
- Reckless driving,
- Unlawful speed >15 mph over the posted speed limit.
- Improper lane change,
- Following too closely,
- Driving a commercial vehicle without a CDL,
- Driving a commercial vehicle without the proper class, learner’s permit or proper endorsement,
- Driving a commercial vehicle without CDL permit in possession.
Fla. Stat. §322.61(1).
Further, Florida allows drivers to elect traffic school for most “minor” violations pursuant to Fla. Stat. §318.14, resulting in the moving violation being dismissed. This law, however, does not protect your CDL privileges. 49 C.F.R. Part 383.5 defines a conviction to include “. . . the payment of a fine or court cost . . . “. This provision has been interpreted by Florida DHSMV that either the court imposing a withhold of adjudication or the exercise of the clerk’s option to attend Defensive Driving School, amounts to a conviction for purposes of CDL qualifications.
For example, if in a period of 3 years you receive the following violations:
(1) Speeding ticket 15 mph over the speed limit in which you go to traffic school,
(2) Following Too Closely ticket in which you also go to traffic school, and
(1) Improper Lane Change ticket in your commercial vehicle, and the Judge agrees to withhold adjudication so you don’t have points on your operator’s license.
You will still receive notice that your CDL permit has now been disqualified for the same three tickets in which you have received “0” points.
Because of this combined operation of Florida Law and United States Federal Code, and its drastic impact on CDL operator’s ability to drive a commercial vehicle to earn a decent wage, it is now more important than ever to consult with an experienced Tampa CDL Traffic Attorney for even “Minor” traffic violations.
The above CDL Disqualifications for “minor” violations are in addition to the CDL Disqualification for “serious” violations that results in the disqualification of a CDL permit, regardless if they are committed in a commercial motor vehicle or in a passenger car if the operator such as:
- Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol,
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Level .04% or higher,
- Using a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony,
- Refusing to take a breath, blood or urine test,
- Driving a commercial vehicle while CDL permit is suspended, canceled, revoked or disqualified,
- Causing a fatality through negligent operation of a commercial motor vehicle.
Fla. Stat. §322.61(3).
So if you have a pending traffic violation, and you want to make sure you keep your CDL so that you can feed your family, call the Experienced Tampa Trucking Attorneys at Taracks & Associates at 813-281-2897, for your Free Consultation. We will then discuss the steps necessary to resolve your traffic violation in the best manner to help you avoid the drastic impact of a CDL Disqualification on your ability to provide for you and your family.