People who have spent the time and money to obtain a commercial driver’s license [CDL] must pay close attention to all the traffic laws, whether driving a commercial vehicle or their own personal vehicle. Any ticket that they receive has the potential for seriously affecting their CDL.
Commercial Driver and Traffic Tickets
If you hold a commercial driver’s license you have unique issues with any traffic ticket you receive. Civil citations issued to you implicate not only your insurance premiums but also your employer’s insurance premiums. You need to take care of every ticket you receive regardless of where and when you got it.
Your One Option Under Florida Law
Florida law is very hard on people who have a commercial driver’s license. Your options as a CDL driver who has received a ticket, are limited. By law you cannot take a driving school to keep the points off your M. V. R.. This means you have one option – set your ticket for a hearing. If you are like most commercial drivers you won’t have time to attend a hearing so you’ll have to hire an attorney to represent you in court.
Section 322.61 of the Florida Statutes specifically deals with the circumstances when the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles [hereinafter “Department”] can disqualify a driver from operating a commercial motor vehicle. Of course, disqualification also means no employment as a commercial driver. I’ve broken down this law so it is easier to understand on my Florida CDL Law page.
Electing A Hearing: Keeping The Points Off Your M.V.R.
Since you cannot keep off the points any other way except for electing a hearing and fighting your ticket to a dismissal or agreeing to an amendment it is important that you make the correct election. Once ticketed you have 30 days to do this.
All Florida citations should have the instructions for asking for a hearing on the ticket. If not look at the ticket and find out what county you were cited in – this is usually in the upper left-hand corner of the ticket. Then go to the Clerks Of Court directory for Florida. This page lists all the clerks in Florida with links to their websites. From the website you should be able to find out how to contact them and make the election for a hearing.
If you make this election, remember that the Clerk will send the Notice of Hearing to the address found on the ticket unless you specify a different one. Also, the date of the hearing will be at the Clerk’s convenience. If you can’t make the date it is set for then immediately contact the Clerk and ask for a new date. Do not wait until the day before (or even the week before) the hearing.
The Federal Reporting Requirements
Today, if you want to keep points off the only driving record that counts, you have to either have the ticket dismissed or amended to a non-moving violation.
Hiring A Traffic Lawyer To Save You Time And Money
Hiring a Traffic Lawyer is well worth the time you’d spend trying to do it yourself. Make sure the attorney does traffic court as part of his or her regular practice. If the fee seems too high it probably is. Shop around to make sure you are getting the best representation for the price.
I have been representing drivers since 2005. I will file on your ticket, set it for a hearing, attend court, and send you the disposition. You don’t have to do anything after you hire me.
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