When you are driving for a living, it is only a matter of time before you will end up with a traffic ticket. It happens to even the most careful of drivers. And while a traffic ticket is not a big deal for the average driver, it can be a big impediment to working for an Oklahoma CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) driver.
It takes time and effort to get a commercial driver’s license and for you, it is how you earn your money. You depend on it to earn a living.
Getting a traffic ticket or other moving violation can take you off the road for months, at a minimum. Here is what you need to know to protect your livelihood.
Oklahoma Uses Points
Oklahoma is a state that uses the point system for traffic violations. Points can mean higher insurance costs. If you rack up too many points, your license could be suspended or revoked.
Moving Violations Can Result in a CDL Suspension
Any Oklahoma highway officer may pull your rig over at any time. Even if you think you are driving safely, an officer’s assessment of your driving performance can be very different than your own.
If you failed to observe the proper speed limits, or you were driving too fast for weather conditions, or following too closely, or carrying too much weight for your rig, you could get a ticket.
A ticket for a moving violation can be a serious matter for a professional driver. Unlike a Class D driver, a professional driver cannot afford to ignore an Oklahoma CDL ticket.
More than one ticket can result in a CDL disqualification. Even one moving violation can result in exorbitant insurance costs.
And professional drivers are not allowed a hardship waiver or work permit in Oklahoma. A disqualification or suspension means that you cannot drive.
Two traffic tickets for a CDL driver within three years for an unsafe lane change, following too closely, or using a cell phone can mean two months out of work. A third traffic ticket can mean four months without the ability to drive.
Failing to stop at a railroad crossing is an immediate 60-day CDL suspension for the first offense. A second ticket could mean the loss of your license for a year.
An Oklahoma CDL Attorney Can Help
All too often, a person who needs to fight a speeding ticket will try to argue their case alone before the judge; all too often, their argument fails. That is because while some of the tickets a CDL driver faces are clear cut, others rely on a murkier “reasonable” standard.
For example, if you are using your cell phone and driving, that is clear cut. You are either on your phone or not.
But following too closely is a much more subjective criterion. What does that really mean?
Your Oklahoma CDL attorney can effectively argue that your actions were reasonable for the circumstances at hand.
It is important to contact an attorney before the case is set for pleading. This is true even if you intend to plead not guilty.
For a CDL driver, a plea agreement for a deferred sentence that results in no actual conviction could still cost you your license or even your job. If any court costs are paid for a moving violation, you might lose your CDL or your job.
Even in the early stages of a case, an attorney can contest the factual basis of the charge, resulting in a not-guilty finding by a court. An attorney could also try to get charges amended to a non-moving violation, but that needs to happen before the driver enters a plea.
You may be tempted to just pay the fine and get on with your work, but doing so may cost you. Protect your livelihood by seeking out the help of an experienced CDL attorney in the Okmulgee area as soon as possible. An Okmulgee attorney can help you keep your record clean by working for a dismissal or getting you a lesser charge.
Free Consultation with an Okmulgee Lawyer
Call 918-756-9600 or 1-888-Wirth-Law (1-888-947-8452) now for a free consultation with an Okmulgee, Oklahoma lawyer at Wirth Law Office – Okmulgee.
You can also submit the question form at the top right of this page, and one of our attorneys will call or email you right away.