Are You at Risk of Losing Your Texas Commercial Driver’s License? | Wilson County Criminal Defense Attorney

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Are You at Risk of Losing Your Texas Commercial Driver’s License?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Atascosa County criminal defense attorney traffic violation

The drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMV), also known as semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and big rigs, play an important role in the U.S. economy. From transporting important cargo across the country to keeping online businesses alive, truckers keep the economy going, especially this past year. The job may seem fairly straightforward—drive from one destination to another—but truckers have a large responsibility to uphold to both the companies that they work for and others on the road. Because these 18-wheelers are so large and powerful, the drivers of these massive vehicles are required to obtain a special license, known as a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and run the risk of facing harsher criminal penalties than the average driver for committing traffic violations

CDL Disqualifications

It is no secret that semis take up a large portion of the road and make other drivers nervous due to their large size and fast speed on Texas highways. This fear of CMVs is not unwarranted, as 39,193 crashes involving semi-trucks occurred in 2019 in Texas alone. That year, 613 Texans were killed by these massive vehicles. Law enforcement recognizes that CMVs can easily place other drivers at risk of injury or death as soon as they join the road. In an effort to keep commercial drivers in check, there are a number of traffic offenses that can leave drivers without their CDL, including the following:

  1. Drivers who accumulate two serious traffic offenses within three years, such as excessive speeding, improper lane changes, reckless driving, and following too closely, can have their CDL disqualified for 60 days. If these offenses increase to three violations within that three-year period, their license suspension period will be increased to 120 days.

  2. Drivers who are found guilty of railroad-highway grade crossing violations receive a 60-day suspension for a first offense, a 120-day suspension for a second offense within three years, and at least a one-year suspension for a third offense in three years.

  3. Traffic violations involving alcohol are especially serious. Drivers found with alcohol or driving while intoxicated (DWI) have their CDL suspended for at least one year for the first offense and permanently disqualified for a second offense.

  4. Those drivers who are found leaving the scene of an accident or the commission of a felony will also be suspended for at least one year for their first offense and a lifetime for a second offense.

Reinstating Your License

If you are a commercial trucker, the validity of your license can be the difference between providing for your family and struggling to make ends meet. For those who have their license disqualified as a result of two or more serious traffic violations, there are no reinstatement requirements aside from waiting out your disqualification period and maintaining a spotless driving record throughout that time. If, however, your CDL has been disqualified for life, you may be able to have your license reinstated after 10 years if you have properly completed an appropriate program provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety. This is common for those who committed violations involving drug or alcohol use. Those who have been convicted of a felony involving controlled substances or human trafficking are not eligible for reinstatement.

Contact a Karnes County Traffic Violations Lawyer

Hiring an attorney to defend against minor traffic violations may seem unnecessary, but for commercial drivers, it can save their livelihood. Truckers are granted harsher penalties for violations, which is why it is important to defend yourself against such charges before they become a conviction and limit your ability to work. Our BCP Criminal Defense Attorneys help those facing traffic citations create a strong defense strategy to seek out a not-guilty verdict or reduced sentence. Our legal team has over 40 years of experience defending Texans and we have a proven track record of winning. To save your CDL, call our Karnes City traffic violations defense attorneys at 830-769-1010 to schedule your initial consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.txdot.gov/government/enforcement/annual-summary.html

https://www.dps.texas.gov/driverlicense/commercialmvdisqualifications.htm

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