Many people take speeding tickets lightly; they receive a ticket, write out a check, drop it in the mail and promptly forget about the entire business. While this is hardly the best way to handle a speeding ticket, for those with a CDL license, it is even more important how you handle your ticket. As a person with a “regular” Florida driver’s license you will have points put onto your driving record, you will also likely see a substantial increase in your automobile insurance.
For those with a CDL (commercial driver’s license) in the state of Florida, the repercussions for getting a speeding ticket are likely to be even more severe. Commercial drivers are held to a much higher standard than those without a CDL license. To obtain a commercial driver’s license in Florida requires specific driving skills as well as a knowledge-based test (according to the type of vehicle being driven). CDL drivers who cross state lines must be 21 years of age. As a CDL driver, you may have any of the following classifications of CDL license:
- A Class A CDL license allows you to drive any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight of 26,001 pounds or more, provided the gross weight of the towed vehicle exceeds 10,000 pounds.
- A Class B CDL license allows you to drive a single vehicle with a gross weight of 26,001 pounds or more, or a vehicle towing another vehicle weighing not more than 10,000 pounds.
- A Class C CDL license allows you to drive any combination of vehicles which do not meet the definition of a Class A or Class B, but is designed to transport sixteen or more passengers (including the driver) or is transporting hazardous materials. A school bus driver can be classified as either B or C, depending on whether the vehicle weights more than 26,001 pounds.
As a CDL driver, you can lose your CDL licensing status either temporarily or permanently depending on how your violation is characterized. If your violation is classified as “major”—and it is your first violation—you could suffer a one year suspension of your CDL license (or 3 years if you were transporting hazardous materials). If you have committed a second major violation, you could have your CDL revoked for your lifetime, although in certain situations you may be eligible for reinstatement after ten years. Major violations include DUI, refusal of a breath or blood test when under suspicion of DUI, having an alcohol concentration higher than 0.04% when operating a commercial vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident, or using the commercial vehicle to commit a felony.
Serious traffic violations—such as speeding 15 miles or more above the posted speed limit or driving recklessly—will not result in your having your CDL license revoked for a first offense, however a second serious traffic violation within three years of the first will result in a 60-day disqualification, while a third serious violation within three years will result in a 120-day disqualification. A CDL driver who is driving fifteen miles or more above the posted speed limit while towing a trailer could have their license suspended. The penalties for CDL drivers are not limited to the commercial vehicle. A driver who is driving his or her own vehicle may also have their CDL license suspended for certain types of moving violations such as:
- If the driver has his or her personal license suspended due to a serious speeding violation, then his or her CDL license will also be revoked for a period of 60-120 days.
- If the driver has his or her personal license suspended due to an alcohol violation, his or her CDL will be revoked for one year.
- Should the driver receive a second alcohol conviction in his or her personal vehicle, the CDL will be lost for life.
- CDL drivers convicted for any traffic violations—other than parking offenses—regardless of whether they were driving the commercial vehicle or their personal vehicle, must inform their employer within 30 days of the conviction.
Potential Defenses for CDL Holders Issued a Traffic Ticket
It is important that you speak to a knowledgeable Florida traffic ticket attorney at the earliest possible time after receiving a speeding ticket, as your livelihood could be in jeopardy. Florida does not allow CDL holders to take driving school as a means of preventing points from being added to their driving record, making it even more important to fight your speeding ticket in court, with a skilled attorney by your side. An attorney from the firm of
The Law Place may be able to request that the judge enter a disposition where adjudication is withheld, meaning no conviction, no points on your driving record, and you are able to continue driving with your CDL license.
The judge could require you to attend a driving course in return for withholding adjudication. Your The Law Place attorney may also be able to challenge the police officer’s training on radar or laser or even challenge the device itself by finding out whether it has been properly calibrated. Our attorneys have considerable experience helping CDL drivers like you retain their license and their livelihood. We understand the position you have found yourself in, and will work aggressively on your behalf to ensure you have the fewest repercussions possible for your speeding ticket.