Commercial vehicles are enormous and must be driven carefully to avoid any accident or damage. To deter commercial drivers from acting recklessly, Florida has implemented a harsh penalty system for commercial driver’s license holders (CDL) with a traffic violation history. You only need two traffic violations to have your license suspended for a minimum of 60 days.
A license suspension is a nuisance for some, but for you as a commercial driver’s license holder it’s your whole livelihood. If you or someone you know had their CDL disqualified due to traffic tickets, it’s imperative you seek legal representation you can trust. Hiring an attorney can significantly increase your chances of getting your tickets appealed or suspension overturned.
Traffic Attorneys for Commercial Drivers in West Palm Beach, FL
Civil citations are definitely a hassle. However, if you work as a commercial driver a suspension can mean you’re without a job. That is why we highly recommend you secure trusted legal counsel so you can fight your suspension and save your career. To learn more, we recommend you get in contact with Meltzer & Bell, P.A..
The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. understand how stressful civil citations can be when they’ve piled up. Especially if you hold a commercial driver’s license. That is why they want to defend you with their extensive resources and knowledge from years of practice. Call (561) 500-5000 now to set up your first consultation with them completely free.
Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents people throughout the state of Florida including Palm Beach County, St. Lucie County, Martin County, Sarasota County and Broward County.
Overview of CDL Disqualifications in Florida
- Traffic Violations that Constitute CDL Suspension in FL
- FL Suspension Terms for CDL Drivers
- Traffic Offenses that Constitute CDL Disqualification in FL
- Disqualification Terms for CDL Drivers in FL
- Additional Resources
Traffic Violations That Constitute CDL Suspension in FL
The state of Florida suspends residents licenses based on a points system that occurs after each traffic violation. For commercial drivers, the Florida Statutes state that having certain offenses within a three-year period can result in the suspension of their CDL. These include:
- Reckless speeding;
- Improper lane changing;
- Following too closely;
- Unlawful speed of 15 miles per hour over the limit;
- Following too closely behind another car;
- Driving a commercial vehicle without a proper CDL or valid permit;
- Driving a commercial vehicle without the proper class of commercial driver license or commercial learner’s permit or without the proper endorsement; or
- A violation of any state of local traffic law that is connected to a crash that resulted in another person’s death
Suspension Terms for Commercial Drivers in Florida
According to Florida Statute 322.61, your CDL license could be suspended for up to 60 days if you are given two civil citations for any of the traffic violations listed above within a three-day period. If you are found to be convicted of three serious traffic violations, your CDL license will be suspended for up to 120 days.
It’s important to note you don’t have to be driving a commercial vehicle to have your license suspended. Many commercial drivers have their CDLs suspended because of a traffic citation they received while driving a noncommercial vehicle. Under Florida law, if you are convicted of three civil citations within a 3-day period, including noncommercial ones, you will have your commercial driver’s license suspended for up to 120 days.
Traffic Offenses That Constitute CDL Disqualification in FL
Certain traffic offenses can lead to the complete disqualification of a person’s CDL. This differs from suspension because you won’t be simply restricted in using your license but will be unable to driver a commercial motor vehicle at all. You could be disqualified from using a commercial motor vehicle if they’re convicted of:
- Driving a noncommercial motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle with a BAC of .04 or higher;
- Leaving the scene of a crash;
- Using a motor vehicle during the commission of a felony;
- Refusing to submit to DWI chemical testing to determine BAC;
- Violating of an out-of-service order;
- Failing to stop before checking at a railroad crossing;
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle on a suspended, cancelled or revoked license; and
- Causing the fatality of another person by negligent operation of the vehicle
Disqualification Terms for Commercial Driver in FL
Florida legislation states that a commercial driver license holder must have their CDL disqualified for up to one year if they’re convicted for any traffic crimes above. If the driver was transporting hazardous materials during the offense, their CDL could be disqualified for up to 3 years as well as face the statutory penalties.
Two convictions while driving a commercial vehicle will result in the permanent disqualification of a person’s license completely. In addition, a CDL driver can be permanently disqualified from using their license if they were convicted of a felony-level crime for possessing, manufacturing, distributing or selling a controlled substance with their commercial or noncommercial vehicle.
Drivers who are found to have committed a violation of an out-of-service order while driving a commercial motor vehicle is disqualified for:
- 180 days – 1 year for their first violation;
- 2 – 5 years for their second violation in two separate incidents within 10 years;
- 3 – 5 years for their third violation in three separate incidents within 10 years; or
- 180 days – 2 years for their first violation while transporting hazardous materials
Drivers who were convicted of any of the following offenses will have their CDL disqualified for at the least 60 days following sentencing.
- Failing to slow down and check that the train tracks are clear;
- Failing to stop before reaching the crossing if the tracks are not clear;
- Failing to stop before driving onto the crossing;
- Failing to have enough space to drive completely through the crossing;
- Failing to obey a traffic control device or all directions of a law enforcement official at a crossing; or
- Failing to negotiate a crossing because of insufficient undercarriage clearance
A second conviction for any of the following will result in a disqualification period of at least 120 days. CDL drivers convicted of three crossing violations within 3 years must have their license disqualified for at least one year.
Commercial Driver’s License General Info – Visit the official website for the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department (FLHSMV) to learn more about their commercial driver’s license program. Access the site to learn more about CDL licenses, how to obtain one, the requirements and the different types of CDL such as military CDL or out-of-state CDLs.
Disqualification Laws for CDL Drivers – Visit the official website for the Florida Statutes to learn more about CDL drivers and their licenses. Access the site to learn more about CDL suspension and disqualification terms as well as what offense could lead to a disqualification.
CDL Traffic Lawyer in Palm Beach County, FL
Have you or someone you know fear their license will be suspended or disqualified because of traffic violation? If so, we implore you to reach out and contact the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. Our traffic attorneys understand the stress that accompanies a violation for CDL drivers. We want to ease that worry by providing excellent legal service and fighting your violation.
Call us now at (561) 500-5000 to schedule your first consultation free. We can discuss the terms of your CDL suspension/disqualification, how to fight it and get your driving privileges back. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents people throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Boca Raton, and Lake Worth.