Traffic Tickets and a Commercial Driver's License in Illinois
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If you hold a regular passenger-vehicle driver's license in Illinois, a first offense on an otherwise clean driving record generally doesn't require anything special. Many people just pay a speeding ticket, for example, and get back to driving as usual. It will count as a conviction, but as long as you don't get a second or third ticket in the near future, it shouldn't affect your driving privileges.
If you are a commercial driver, on the other hand, even speeding 15-20 mph over the limit is considered "serious" in Illinois. A conviction can put you on the path to disqualification. The same is true for other violations that you might not think of as serious, such as improper lane usage, driving without your commercial license in your possession, and following too closely. You can be disqualified for a period of time if you get two convictions for “serious” violations within a three-year period. For this reason, we recommend relying on an Illinois CDL defense attorney who knows what they're up against.
The goal of your CDL defense attorney will be to get your ticket amended (to 14 mph over, for example) or dismissed altogether. Keeping your driving record clean is essential, and an experienced CDL attorney will know this. Even your non-commercial driving record needs to be watched. Under Illinois law, traffic violations or a DUI while driving a car can lead to disqualification of your commercial license.
If you get arrested for a DUI while driving a non-commercial vehicle, you can lose your CDL for one year. If you are driving your commercial vehicle, a blood alcohol content of .04 is a DUI and will lead to a similar disqualification. A second offense can result in lifetime disqualification. Another important thing to know about the outcome of your case: If you get “court supervision” it is the same as a conviction. In other types of cases, getting supervision is considered a good outcome. This is not the case for a commercial driver.
For many, protecting their over the road trucking privileges is essential to their livelihood. Even on your first violation, it's important to take it seriously, because any additional violation in the next three years can mean disqualification. Hiring the right attorney can make all the difference. If your attorney doesn't know commercial driving laws, which are different from regular vehicle laws, they are not equipped to help you get the best outcome possible. Look for an attorney with extensive experience defending commercial drivers, as well as success in keeping driving records clean.
If you need help finding the right lawyer for your case, please contact us at any time. All calls are free and confidential.