Why You Should Fight a CDL Violation

If you have a CDL, then you know how important it is to protect your CDL. Without it, you can’t drive and lose your job. Receiving traffic violations can quickly put a CDL license holder at serious risk of losing their job. Why? Because CDL drivers have a different set of laws applied to them for traffic violations, especially when it comes to punishment. Texas and Federal laws do not allow plea agreements for CDL drivers that do not result in convictions.

Why You Should Fight a CDL Violation

The worst thing you can do is simply pay a traffic citation. Simply paying your fine for a traffic ticket means that you agree that you are “guilty” of the charge, and are therefore, “convicted.”  For a CDL driver, being convicted of, or found guilty of a traffic ticket can have at least five (5) serious consequences.

First: High fine amounts

If you are guilty, you must pay a monetary fine.  Depending on the traffic violation, the fine could be several hundred dollars. Hiring Todd E. Tkach to fight your traffic ticket could result in a dismissal of the charges. In that event, you don’t have to pay any fine!! Even if the ticket is not dismissed outright, attorney, Todd E. Tkach will aggressively negotiate for a favorable plea agreement, including a reduced fine amount.

Second: Increased automobile insurance rates

Convictions of traffic tickets can raise your automobile insurance rates. For CDL drivers, traffic ticket convictions can result in being dropped from automobile insurance coverage. Virtually all trucking insurance companies check your driving record before agreeing to insure you or renew your automobile insurance. In fact, many of them routinely check your driving record, regardless of whether it’s up for renewal. Having “convictions” for traffic tickets on your driving record can cost you money, dropped insurance coverage, or a loss of your job. Your automobile insurance company may increase your insurance rates when you apply for new insurance or for a renewal of your existing insurance. In some cases, they will immediately drop you. In either of these situations, your job may be at risk.

Avoid insurance increases or a loss of insurance coverage! Hire attorney, Todd E. Tkach to prevent a conviction and protect your insurance rates, insurance coverage and your job.

Third: Driver’s license suspension

It takes only 2 convictions of “serious violations,” as defined by the Texas Transportation Code, to get a suspension of your CDL. For some CDL drivers, only 1 conviction of any moving violation will result in immediate termination of their employment. Additionally, the State of Texas has a “Point System” that affects your right to hold and maintain a Texas driver license. You are charged “Points” against your driving record if you are convicted of certain traffic tickets. These include convictions of any moving violation, even if it’s not a “serious violation” described above. The number of “Points” charged varies depending on the type of traffic ticket you are given, but ranges from one (1) to six (6) points. “Points” remain on a driver’s record for three (3) years. Accumulating too many points on your driving record can result in a driver’s license suspension. Additionally, the Texas Department of Public safety can suspend your driver’s license if you get as few as three (3) convictions within twelve (12) months. If that happens, you cannot legally drive an automobile in Texas. With so much at stake, qualified legal representation is essential for any CDL driver charged with a traffic violation.

Fourth: Surcharges from DPS

Convictions of certain traffic citations can cost you “Surcharges” imposed by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Surcharges are assessed in two ways: 1) Having 6 or more Points; and 2) Convictions for certain traffic violations. A Texas driver gets 2 points for most traffic violation convictions (3 points if a crash is involved). “Points” remain on a driver’s record for 3 years.  The Texas Department of Public Safety assesses a yearly $100 surcharge for 6 points; with another $25 surcharge for each additional point. The surcharge continues to be assessed as long as the Points total 6 or more. For example, being convicted of driving without a valid driver’s license or driving without liability insurance will cost you a $750.00 surcharge when you apply for an original or a renewal of your driver’s license. Likewise, being convicted of driving without a driver's license will cost you a $300.00 surcharge. In fact, the Texas Department of Public Safety will suspend your driver's license until the surcharges are paid “up to date." Don’t risk being convicted of these charges and face huge surcharges. We’ll fight for a dismissal of these citations and the surcharges that accompany them. If we can’t obtain an outright dismissal, we’ll fight to get a dismissal through plea negotiations and keep the charges off your driving record.

Fifth: Enhanced charges for multiple violations

All traffic tickets, traffic violations, code violations and other municipal tickets are “Class C” misdemeanors, according to the laws of the State of Texas. The range of punishment for Class C misdemeanors does not include jail time. The punishment range is “fine only.” All Class C misdemeanors are initially handled in Municipal Courts and Justice of the Peace Courts. Although these are the lowest level of criminal courts in the State, some Class C misdemeanors can have significant and long-term effects. For example, multiple convictions for disorderly conduct can be enhanced to Class B or Class A misdemeanors, which carry jail time in their range of punishment. A conviction for a charge of Class C assault/family violence can be enhanced and can prohibit you from owning or possessing a firearm.

Don’t get caught in the vicious cycle of Points, Surcharges, driver’s license suspensions,  sky high automobile insurance rates and loss of employment. Call attorney Todd E. Tkach to make sure your rights are protected!