CDL Violations

CDL Violations

A traffic violation conviction carries significant legal consequences for many Michigan drivers, especially those who rely on driving to get to and from their jobs. These consequences are more severe for individuals with a commercial driver’s license (CDL), as state laws impose stricter regulations and heavier penalties on CDL holders, affecting their income potential. For licensees, a suspension due to a CDL violation can also affect their professional future. Therefore, securing a proficient Oakland County motor vehicle offenses attorney is crucial.

An experienced Oakland County criminal defense lawyer can provide you with the robust defense you deserve. At Michigan Defense Law, our lawyers leverage their experience to strategize effectively against CDL violation charges. We understand that your CDL is more than a driving license; it is essential for your income and success. Contact us at (248) 451-2200 for a consultation and receive personalized legal guidance tailored to your unique situation.

Serving Our Clients’ Needs in All Michigan Criminal Defense Cases

While a conventional traffic ticket may mean a fine, CDL violations subject commercial drivers to license suspension and other penalties. The consequences depend upon the type of offense.

Major Disqualifications

A finding of a “major” violation of law can result in a CDL disqualification for a year for the first offense; a second offense is a lifetime disqualification. These offenses apply whether you’re driving a commercial vehicle or your own car, and they include DUI, refusal to take a chemical test for alcohol, leaving the scene of an accident, driving a commercial vehicle while under suspension, and other violations.

Serious Traffic Violations

These types of offenses become significant if cumulative, as only second and subsequent offenses within a three-year period will result in a disqualification ranging from 60-120 days. Violations in a non-commercial vehicle are typically not included in serious traffic violations. A serious violation includes such acts as speeding, reckless driving, or erratic lane changes.

CDL-Specific Offenses: 

Certain regulations apply only to CDL holders, but a violation may result in license suspension or jail time. These offenses may be carrying an oversized load without a permit, improper logging of trip data, and grade restrictions on steep hills. In addition, it’s unlawful to possess more than one CDL in your home and additional states. You risk losing all of the licenses, incarceration, and fines.

CDL Disqualifying Offenses

In Michigan, holding a commercial driver’s license (CDL) means adhering to both state and federal regulations, which impose strict penalties for violations. It is essential for all CDL holders to be aware of these violations to maintain their driving privileges and employment. Here are the primary offenses that could lead to the revocation of your CDL privileges:

Major Offenses: A first-time violation of any major offense results in a mandatory one-year disqualification of your CDL. These major offenses include:

  • Operating a commercial vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Refusal to undergo a chemical test.
  • Involvement in a hit-and-run incident.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident.
  • Using a commercial vehicle to commit a felony.

If the violation involves transporting hazardous materials, the disqualification extends to three years for the first offense. A second violation of any major offense can lead to a lifetime disqualification, emphasizing the severity of these breaches.

Serious Traffic Violations: Accumulating multiple serious traffic violations within a three-year period also leads to CDL disqualification, which can range from 60 to 120 days. These violations typically include:

  • Excessive speeding.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Improper or erratic lane changes.
  • Following too closely behind another vehicle

Railroad Highway Grade Crossing Violations: Railroad crossing violations are taken seriously due to the high risk involved. Disqualification for these offenses ranges from 60 to 120 days, depending on the specific circumstances and the number of offenses. Penalties are applied for offenses such as:

  • Failing to slow down or stop
  • Disobeying traffic control devices
  • Insufficient undercarriage clearance
  • Lack of sufficient space to drive safely

Every commercial driver must stay informed about these disqualifying offenses to protect their career and ensure public safety on the roads. For more detailed information, consulting with a motor vehicle offenses lawyer is recommended. Contact Michigan Defense Law today to schedule a consultation.

Offense Category Description Penalty
Major Offenses First-time: 1-year CDL disqualification for violations like DUI, hit-and-run, felony use of commercial vehicle. Hazardous material violations: 3 years. Second violation: lifetime disqualification. 1 year / 3 years / Lifetime
Serious Traffic Violations Multiple violations in 3 years lead to 60-120 days disqualification, including speeding, reckless driving, improper lane changes, tailgating. 60-120 days
Railroad Highway Grade Crossing Violations include failing to stop, disobeying signals, clearance issues, lack of space. 60-120 days

Don’t Do It Alone: Get Help from an Oakland County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Michigan state law on commercial driving regulations is constantly changing, and state officials continue to enforce regulations rigorously. Therefore, it’s essential to have knowledgeable legal counsel to assist in defending your rights. The stakes are high, impacting more than just your driving privileges; your livelihood could depend on securing the most favorable result in cases involving your commercial driver’s license (CDL). For more information on how our attorneys can help, contact Michigan Defense Law at (248) 451-2200. We’re happy to answer your questions or arrange a case evaluation.

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