CDL License Defense Attorney
If you are a trucker or an operator of a commercial vehicle, protecting and maintaining your commercial driver’s license (CDL) is one of your highest priorities. If you have and use your CDL license, you rely on that license in order to legally perform your job duties. Without your license, your source of income and financial security are in jeopardy. Therefore, when something threatens your ability to retain your license, it is vital to have an experienced CDL license defense attorney fighting to protect your livelihood and future.
At Fienman Defense, we understand the consequences of losing your CDL license as well as the possible criminal penalties you may face due to a conviction. Whether you are a licensed CDL driver with a DUI, or some other alleged infraction is threatening your freedom and your ability to do the work you enjoy, we are here to provide you with aggressive and experienced legal representation with the goal of minimizing or eliminating the potential consequences you are facing.
Facing Your Charges
As the driver of a commercial vehicle, you likely operate a large vehicle that has the potential to cause severe and even fatal injuries to others if something goes wrong. Because of the equipment you operate, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania takes any potential threats to the stability of your current/future driving and operational skills very seriously.
Our legal team at Fienman Defense is committed to the protection of your driving record, driving privileges, and freedom. An experienced CDL license defense attorney from our team will not only defend you vigorously against any criminal charges, but also support you with skilled representation throughout your driver’s license suspension administrative hearing.
Reasons for a CDL Suspension
You may incur a suspension or disqualification of your CDL license for one of several possible violations, including:
- Refusal to take a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Committing a serious traffic offense
- Violating an out-of-service order
Penalties for Offenses Resulting in CDL Suspension
Your privilege to operate a commercial vehicle in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania – which is directly connected to having your CDL license – is subject to regulations established by state and federal governments. License disqualifications may last for certain periods of time in connection with the different offenses.
There is a one-year disqualification for the first violation of a major offense, including (but not limited to):
- DUI or drug-related charges
- Non-compliance with a BAC test
- Use of a vehicle involving a felony
- Hit and run (leaving the scene of your trucking accident)
There is a three-year disqualification for the first violation of a major offense that occurs while transporting hazardous materials.
Other violations and penalties include, but are not limited to:
- Lifetime suspension for a second violation of a major offense
- Up to a 120-day suspension for more than one serious traffic violation within three years
- Up to a 120-day suspension for a railroad-highway grade crossing violation
Potential Consequences of a CDL Suspension
Your CDL license may be suspended as a result of an offense, regardless of whether the said offense occurred while at work or on your own time. If you incur a CDL suspension, your economic stability and career prospects will be put in jeopardy.
The potential consequences of losing your CDL include:
- The loss of your job
- Inability to obtain unemployment compensation
- Increase in your insurance premiums
- Required payment of heavy fines
- Significant increase in financial and personal strain on you and your family
These consequences alone make it vital to obtain the services of an experienced CDL license defense lawyer in order to secure your rights.
You may also ask, “can I get/keep a CDL license with a DUI?” The answer may be “no.” However, your license defense attorney may be able to provide you with representation that helps you achieve your goal of obtaining your license after you have met certain requirements and the appropriate timeframe has passed.
If the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation deems that your CDL license is to be
suspended or disqualified, you are not permitted to obtain an administrative hearing to contest the decision. However, you may request the department to provide a hearing in order to:
- Update or review your driving record
- Request credit for time served on your disqualification or suspension
- Appeal the DOT’s decision regarding your restricted license eligibility
- Request credit for an ignition interlock order
A Pennsylvania DOT administrative hearing will not be held to:
- Reduce the period of years of a CDL license suspension or revocation
- Determine the validity of a revocation or suspension action
- Adjust or correct your driving record
- Challenge the DOT’s order to use an ignition interlock device
The hearing before the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation involves you – the petitioner – testifying under oath and presenting evidence and witnesses, as well as answering questions presented by the Bureau of Driver Licensing’s representative or legal counsel.
The Bureau will also present witnesses and evidence through its legal counsel. You and/or your CDL license defense lawyer may ask the Bureau and any of its witnesses questions – although you are not required to have attorney representation at the hearing.
Proposed Report and Final Order
Subsequent to the hearing, the Hearing Officer will issue a report containing a discussion of the relevant law and evidence of record, a proposed finding of facts, and conclusions of law along with an order. Starting from the mail date of the proposed report, both you and the DOT will have 30 days to file exceptions to the report in accordance with 67 Pennsylvania Code Section 491.12. The proposed report will become final if no exceptions are received within the required timeframe.
CDL and the ARD Program
As a licensed CDL driver with a DUI in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you will lose your CDL for one year. This penalty may be enforced even if your DUI occurred while you were driving your own personal vehicle. However, an experienced CDL license defense lawyer from our team may be able to help you avoid the loss of your license.
One way this can be done is through participation in the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program (ARD) program. If you are a first-time DUI offender and qualify for participation in the program, you may take advantage of it and avoid conviction while potentially having your record expunged.
Contact an Experienced CDL License Defense Attorney
We understand the struggles you are facing as your CDL license is under threat of suspension or revocation. Our experienced legal team at Fienman Defense is committed to building the strongest possible case on your behalf. We will fight hard in order to reach a reduction of, or – if possible – elimination of the consequences you are facing. We know how to defend your livelihood.
Call our office today at (215) 839-9529 to set up a consultation.