If you are a commercial driver in New York, a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) traffic ticket can pose a serious threat to your driving privileges. You may lose your license on either a temporary or permanent basis, depending on the type and degree of the violation.
The violation is characterized as either:
- Serious (resulting in cumulative disqualifications); or
- Major (resulting in immediate disqualifications)
Types of Serious Traffic Violations and Their Penalties
In New York, 8 traffic violations are considered serious, and the penalties depend on how many times you have broken the traffic law.
The 8 serious traffic violations in New York are:
- Erratic/improper lane changes
- Excessive speeding (15 or more mph over the posted limit)
- Reckless driving, as defined by New York Law (i.e. disregard for the safety of others and/or property)
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) without a CDL
- Driving a CMV without a CDL currently in your possession
- Driving a CMV without the appropriate class of CDL
- Violating a New York traffic law in connection with a fatal accident
A first-time serious violation does not result in a disqualification. A second offense within 3 years will result in a 60-day disqualification, and a third offense in 3 years will result in a 120-day disqualification.
Penalties for Major Violations
For major violations, a first-time offense results in an automatic 1-year disqualification. If you were transporting hazardous materials, you will face a 3-year disqualification instead. A second violation results in a lifetime disqualification.
The 6 types of major violations in New York are:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance
- Refusing to take an alcohol test
- Prematurely leaving the scene of an accident
- Using the vehicle to commit a felony (including manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled substance)
- Driving under a revoked/suspended/canceled CDL, or during a disqualification period
- Negligent operation of a CMV that causes a fatality
After 10 years, you may be eligible for reinstatement after receiving a lifetime disqualification, unless you used your vehicle to illegally manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance.
Disqualifications for Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Offenses
If you are operating a CMV and you violate railroad-highway grade crossing laws, disqualifications include 60 days (for the first violation), 120 days (for the second), and 1 year (for the third).
These violations include failing to:
- Slow down and check for an approaching train
- Stop if the tracks are not clear
- Stop if required by the specific crossing
- Stop if you don’t have enough space to drive completely through the crossing
- Obey a traffic control device or a law enforcement official’s directions
- Have sufficient undercarriage clearance allowing you to cross the tracks
If you are driving with a CDL, you can also be penalized for violating an out-of-service order, carrying an oversized load without the appropriate permit, failing to keep an accurate logbook, or violating grade restrictions (driving on a road that is too steep).
Enlist the Support of an Experienced CDL Ticket Attorney in New York
If you received a CDL traffic ticket, you may be facing disqualification. Losing your license may jeopardize your income and employment, even if the disqualification is only temporary. If this is your first offense, you likely will not face an immediate penalty, but it will go on your record and affect how the court treats future violations. At Martin A. Kron & Associates, P.C., our founding attorney’s experience as a judge gives him the training and knowledge you need for your case.Call our CDL traffic ticket lawyer at (212) 235-1525 today for a free evaluation. We will work to help you keep your driving privileges.