Commercial Driver Keeps Serious Moving Violation off Record, Protecting His CDL
A Commercial Driver’s License (“CDL”) is required to operate a commercial vehicle in Illinois. Just like a traditional Driver’s License, it is a privilege to have a CDL. Drivers holding a CDL are expected to have a higher level of knowledge, experience, skills, and physical abilities. This means they are held to a higher standard than drivers without a CDL in the eyes of the law.
For that reason, there are added layers of complexities involved for CDL drivers who receive seemingly simple petty speeding tickets. A petty speeding ticket is not a criminal offense, but it is a moving violation. For CDL holders, receiving a ticket for speeding more than 10 MPH over the limit in Illinois is considered a “serious” moving violation as defined by the Uniform Commercial Driver’s License Act, even if you’re driving your personal vehicle that does not require a CDL.
Moreover, supervision in Illinois is counted as a conviction for CDL drivers. While supervision is an excellent option for many drivers in a tough situation, supervision is not as helpful to a CDL driver. A common trap that CDL holders fall into is pleading guilty on certain petty tickets and receiving a sentence of supervision, because they think this sentence will not affect their CDL status. However, a supervision sentence on this type of ticket will negatively affect your CDL status and possibly your livelihood.
During the winter of 2020, the Buffalo Grove Police Department ticketed our CDL client with petty speeding 15-20 MPH over for allegedly driving 51 MPH in a 35 MPH zone, near the intersection of Deerfield Parkway and North Buffalo Grove Road. Our client was ordered to appear at the Mundelein Branch Court in Lake County.
After reviewing his case and consulting with our client, we determined neither a trial nor a plea on the petty speeding ticket for supervision would be in his best interest. In our client’s case, he was concerned about the impact of a petty speeding on his CDL and his ability to remain employed as a CDL driver. Supervision on this petty speeding ticket could have suspended our CDL client’s license because, remember, it is a “serious” moving violation.
Because a trial, conviction, or even supervision on the petty speeding ticket had great potential to jeopardize our client’s CDL and disrupt his livelihood, the next step was negotiating with the state’s attorney’s office. When negotiating on behalf of our client, we gather mitigating information before presenting the prosecutor with all positive facts about our client and the case to obtain the best possible terms for a plea agreement.
When it was our client’s day in court, we assembled all the positive information we could about our client, highlighted his CDL status, and argued for an amended ticket. The prosecutor and judge agreed, and our client’s ticket was amended to a non-moving violation for a $250 fine plus court costs, keeping a serious moving violation off his record and protecting his CDL.
If you are a CDL who received a petty speeding ticket – even if it’s marked “No Appearance Required” – do not plead guilty to that speeding ticket or mail it in. Call Driver Defense Team today to speak with an experienced traffic attorney and protect your CDL.