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CDL, Rolling Meadows traffic violations lawyerIf you are a professional driver, your commercial driver's license (CDL) is probably one of the most valuable documents you have. Without it, you cannot legally do your job and may suffer significant financial hardship. Getting a CDL is not something just anyone can do. As a CDL holder, you are held to a higher standard of driving conduct than those with standard driver’s licenses. If you are a professional driver in Illinois or hold a CDL for other reasons, it is imperative that you understand your rights and responsibilities. Read on to learn how traffic violations can put your commercial driver’s license at risk and what to do if you have been charged with a traffic violation.

Laws Are Stricter For Commercial Drivers

Most people with a CDL are tasked with transporting others or operating large vehicles like tractor-trailers, flatbeds, box trucks, buses, or dump trucks. Larger vehicles can obviously do much more damage than average-sized vehicles when operated in an unsafe manner. CDL holders have a greater responsibility to operate their commercial motor vehicle in a manner that protects the safety of pedestrians and other drivers. Consequently, commercial drivers face more severe punitive repercussions when they do commit a traffic violation. Traffic violations that could put your CDL in jeopardy include:

  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) without a valid CDL;
  • Driving a CMV without the appropriate endorsements;
  • Driving a CMV with a suspended, revoked, or expired CDL;
  • Speeding (driving 15 mph or more above the speed limit);
  • Reckless driving;
  • Improper lane changes;
  • Driving under the influence (DUI);
  • Refusing a blood alcohol content or sobriety test;
  • Leaving the scene of an accident;
  • Negligent driving;
  • Committing a felony while using a CMV; and
  • Using a CMV to distribute or manufacture a controlled substance.

Penalties for Traffic Violations Committed By a Commercial Driver Can Be Severe

When an individual with a CDL is convicted of any of the above violations, they may lose their ability to legally operate a commercial vehicle. A CDL operator convicted of a serious or major traffic violation can face CDL suspension or revocation, driving record points, fines, job loss, higher insurance rates, and even jail time. The severity of the punishment will vary from case to case and is dependent on the severity and frequency of the traffic violations.

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Traffic tickets can be an expensive, and occasionally, serious issues. Whether you were speeding, performed illegal lane usage, forgetting to use your turn signal, texting while driving, or speeding in a construction zone, it is important to consider the benefits of fighting your traffic citation.

The benefits of contesting your traffic ticket:

  • The potential for the charges to be dropped, which will prevent you from having to pay hefty fines, instead allowing you the ability to keep your driving record clean.
  • In the event that you reach a plea bargain agreement, the likeliness of reduced charges increases.
  • The possibility of maintaining your driving privileges. In repeat offender cases, by contesting your charges, you are more likely to keep your driver’s license.
  • By contesting your traffic tickets, you may also be able to save yourself from potentially harmful consequences when it comes to things such as your job and schooling. This will especially ring true for commercial drivers with a CDL.
  • Depending on your driving record, and any previous tickets, by contesting your traffic ticket, you may eliminate the need to attend mandatory traffic school.

In the event that you have received a traffic ticket, it may be essential to enlist the help of a criminal defense attorney that specializes in traffic violations. They will help you to better understand the severity of your violation, as well as provide their professional advice, especially when trying to decide if you wish to contest your ticket.

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When it comes to Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), the laws are stricter and hold drivers at a higher standard than other types of drivers. With a larger vehicle comes a larger responsibility to ensuring the safety and well being of pedestrians and drivers. For this reason, this is why commercial drivers have greater repercussions when a traffic violation occurs.

By understanding traffic violations and the repercussions for violating them, you will prevent receiving a ticket, being fined, possible jail time, as well as ensure that you will keep your CDL.

Serious Traffic Violations:

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