CDL Traffic Violation Attorney in Virginia
Driving a commercial vehicle carries significant expectations and responsibilities. For these reasons, Virginia and other states require drivers who wish to operate commercial vehicles to obtain specialized training and apply for a separate commercial driver’s license, or CDL.
CDL holders are expected to obey traffic and motor vehicle laws even more than the average driver because they are professionals. So, when a CDL holder commits a traffic violation, the driver may receive a disqualification of their CDL, which could temporarily or even permanently remove their authorization to drive a commercial vehicle.
Facing a CDL disqualification can mean that you risk losing your commercial driving job. If you have a CDL, and you have been charged with a traffic offense in Virginia, you need experienced legal representation to help you protect your rights and interests. Attorney Samantha Upton has a proven track record of helping commercial drivers like you reduce the impact that tickets can have on their driving privileges and wallets. If you would like to discuss your case in a free and confidential consultation, contact Upton Law, PLLC today.
How Long Do Tickets Stay on a CDL Record?
The length of time that a traffic ticket and the resulting points stay on your driving record varies depending on the severity of the traffic offense. Normally, traffic tickets and points remain on your driving record for at least three years or as many as 11 years from the date that you commit the offense.
Understanding CDL Disqualifications
Virginia law groups the traffic offenses that may result in a CDL disqualification into one of two groups: Major violations and serious violations.
Major violations are considered the more serious offenses. They can result in disqualification of your CDL. Examples of offenses that fall into the major violation category include:
- Driving with a disqualified CDL
- Driving a commercial vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Causing a motor vehicle accident while intoxicated, resulting in serious bodily injury
- Refusal to submit to a breath test or blood alcohol test while driving a commercial vehicle
- Failing to stop or immediately return to the scene of a motor vehicle accident
- Committing a felony involving a commercial vehicle
- Using a commercial vehicle to manufacture or distribute controlled substances
A first-time major violation will result in a one-year disqualification of your CDL. However, if you were carrying hazardous substances at the time of the major violation, you will receive a three-year disqualification. A first-time major violation involving manufacturing or distributing controlled substances will result in a lifetime disqualification.
A second major violation will result in a lifetime disqualification from holding a CDL. However, if two or more major violations occur in the same incident, they will result in consecutive term-of-years disqualifications.
Examples of serious violations that can lead to disqualification from your CDL include:
- Speeding more than 15 miles per hour above the posted or legal speed limit
- Reckless diving
- Making an unsafe lane change
- Using a handheld electronic device while driving
- Committing a traffic offense that results in a fatality
- Operating a commercial vehicle without a CDL or commercial learner’s permit
- Operating a commercial vehicle without having your CDL or commercial learner’s permit in your possession
- Operating a type of commercial vehicle without the appropriate class or endorsement on your CDL or commercial learner’s permit.
If you commit two serious violations while operating a commercial vehicle within a three-year period, you will receive a 60-day disqualification of your CDL. Committing three or more serious violations while operating a commercial vehicle will result in a 120-day disqualification.
If you commit two or more serious violations within three years while driving a non-commercial vehicle, and it results in the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license or driving privileges, you will receive a 60-day disqualification of your CDL for two violations, or a 120-day disqualification for three or more violations.
CDL Holders Not Eligible for Driving School Charge Reductions
Typically, drivers in Virginia can seek a reduction in the severity of their traffic violation charges, or even an outright dismissal of the charges, by attending driving school as permitted by the trial court. However, any Virginia driver who holds a CDL cannot seek a reduction or dismissal of traffic charges by attending driving school. This is true even if the CDL holder committed the traffic violation while driving a non-commercial vehicle.
How a Virginia CDL Traffic Violation Lawyer Can Help
If you have been accused of traffic offenses or violations as a commercial driver, you need a Virginia CDL traffic violation attorney on your side. An attorney can help you understand your options for addressing and potentially avoiding a disqualification of your CDL.
Attorney Samantha Upton has a deep background in working with commercial drivers who have received traffic tickets in Virginia. She can help you by:
- Handling your Virginia traffic violation case, regardless of whether you are a Virginia resident or an out-of-state driver, and taking all the pressure off you.
- Offering a compassionate but honest assessment of your case, including the potential of a CDL disqualification and your realistic options for fighting your charges.
- Providing a free consultation for you to better understand your legal rights and what to expect in your case.
- Quoting a flat fee for your case so that you know what the legal representation you need will cost. You won’t have to worry about surprise charges or running up bills to talk to your CDL lawyer.
Contact a Dedicated Virginia CDL Driver Ticket Attorney Today
Don’t wait to get the legal advice you need if you are facing disqualification of your CDL. You need an experienced CDL traffic violation attorney who will fight to protect your livelihood and ability to work as a commercial driver. At Upton Law, PLLC, a skilled Virginia CDL traffic violation lawyer will be ready to sit down with you and discuss your situation when you call or reach out to us online. The consultation is free, so get started now.
Upton Law, PLLC serves clients in Richmond and throughout Virginia, as well as CDL drivers from out of state who have been ticketed in Virginia.