As a commercial driver, your workplace is the road. Whether you transport goods or passengers, maintaining a clean driving record is crucial for your livelihood. However, even the most cautious drivers can face traffic tickets. Unfortunately, for commercial drivers in Louisiana, traffic violations can have more severe consequences compared to non-commercial drivers. In this guide, we’ll explore how traffic tickets can impact your commercial driver’s license in Louisiana. We’ll cover the points system, potential penalties, and the importance of seeking legal representation. Gain the knowledge you need to navigate this complex terrain.
Understanding the Points System
When it comes to traffic violations and their impact on your commercial driver’s license (CDL), one essential concept to grasp is Louisiana’s points system.
How Points are Assigned
In Louisiana, each traffic violation carries a specific number of points that are added to your driving record upon conviction. The severity of the offense determines the number of points assigned. For example:
- Speeding less than 10 mph over the limit: 2 points
- Speeding between 11 and 20 mph over the limit: 3 points
- Running a red light or stop sign: 4 points
Accumulating too many points within a certain period can lead to penalties such as license suspension or revocation. For commercial drivers in Louisiana, these penalties are stricter compared to non-commercial drivers.
- If you accumulate 6-10 points within one year: Your CDL will be suspended for up to 60 days.
- If you accumulate 11 or more points within one year: Your CDL will be suspended for up to one year.
It’s important to note that these penalties apply regardless of whether violations were committed while driving a commercial vehicle or personal vehicle.
The Impact on Your CDL
Receiving a traffic ticket as a commercial driver can have serious consequences beyond just accumulating points. Let’s explore how these violations can affect your CDL.
Many employers, especially those in the transportation industry, conduct regular checks on their drivers’ records. Having traffic violations on your record can make you less desirable to potential employers and could even jeopardize your current employment.
Increased Insurance Rates
Traffic violations can also lead to higher insurance rates for commercial drivers. Insurance companies consider drivers with tickets to be higher risk, resulting in increased premiums that can affect your financial bottom line.
Potential Loss of Endorsements
Certain endorsements on your CDL may be at risk if you accumulate too many points or commit certain types of violations. For example, if you rely on a hazardous materials endorsement (HME) or a passenger endorsement (P), losing your CDL due to excessive points would mean losing those endorsements as well.
Penalties and Consequences
Beyond the immediate impact on your CDL, traffic tickets for commercial drivers in Louisiana come with additional penalties and consequences.
Fines and Court Costs
When issued a traffic ticket, you may face fines and court costs that can quickly add up. It’s essential to understand the potential financial implications of each violation.
Mandatory Traffic School
In some cases, depending on the severity of the offense or prior convictions, attending mandatory traffic school may be required. Not only does this take up valuable time but it also adds an additional expense.
Impact on Driving Record
Traffic violations remain on your driving record for an extended period. This means that even after serving any penalties or attending traffic school, the offense will still be visible upon review by employers or insurance companies.
Seeking Legal Representation: The Role of a Traffic Ticket Attorney
Navigating Louisiana’s complex legal system while facing traffic violations as a commercial driver is no small feat. Seeking the assistance of a traffic ticket attorney can be immensely beneficial.
Expert Advice and Guidance
A traffic ticket attorney specializing in commercial driver cases will have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process. We can offer expert advice on how to handle your specific situation and work toward minimizing the impact on your CDL.
Negotiating Reduced Charges
An experienced traffic ticket attorney may negotiate with prosecutors to reduce the charges against you. This could potentially result in fewer points assigned, lesser fines, or even having the violation dismissed altogether.
Representing You in Court
If your case goes to court, having a skilled attorney by your side is invaluable. We will advocate for your rights, present evidence in your favor, and challenge any inconsistencies or inaccuracies.
Conclusion: Protecting Your CDL Matters
As a commercial driver in Louisiana, safeguarding your CDL should be a top priority. Understanding how traffic tickets can affect your license is crucial for maintaining a clean driving record and preserving employment opportunities. By familiarizing yourself with the points system, recognizing potential penalties, and seeking legal representation when needed, you can take proactive steps to protect your livelihood on the road. Remember, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to traffic violations – drive safely and responsibly! If you find yourself in need of a traffic ticket attorney, call our office at 504-434-7000 to discuss your options. Let us fight your traffic ticket for you and protect your license.