Holding a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Cook County means you must abide by tighter road regulations. Illinois law makes it more difficult for commercial drivers to maintain their licenses and even one traffic violation can cause your driver’s license to be suspended.

The consequences of a suspended license are far more severe for CDL holders, as they rely on their commercial driving privileges to earn money. Losing your CDL license could lead to being dismissed from your job and going into serious financial difficulty. The only way to prevent losing your license is to put up a strong defense against the alleged violations.

Hirsch Law Group

If you have received traffic tickets on a commercial driver’s license or have received a citation for a serious traffic violation, contact a Cook County CDL violation attorney as soon as possible. At Hirsch Law Group, we have seen the hardships faced by commercial drivers, and our lawyers understand that it is difficult to make a living working long hours without enough breaks.

Traffic violations can easily happen when you are overworked. One violation should not be enough to have your license suspended or revoked and leave you without an income. The lawyers at Hirsch Law Group have the experience and skills necessary to get a favorable outcome in your case. We have worked as former prosecutors, so we know what tactics to use when defending a case.

We will take all the necessary steps to prevent your license from being revoked or suspended, including fighting against the alleged violation, negotiating to get charges reduced, and preventing your record from being affected. If your license has already been suspended or revoked, we will fight to get it reinstated.

Call our law firm today at 312-967-0275 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced CDL lawyer.

Cook County Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

The law in Illinois requires drivers to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL) if they drive a commercial vehicle. A commercial vehicle is a vehicle weighing over 26,000 pounds, that carries hazardous materials, or can carry over 16 passengers. Drivers must be over the age of 18 with a valid standard driver’s license and pass a proficiency test before applying for a CDL license.

Because commercial drivers must undergo specific training to get a commercial driver’s license, they are held to much stricter standards under the law. The law imposes harsh penalties on CDL drivers for traffic violations, and they risk losing their licenses for even minor traffic tickets.

Commercial Motor Vehicle Traffic Violations Cook County

Commercial drivers in Cook County can be cited for two types of traffic violations; serious violations and major violations. Depending on the severity of the traffic violation, the penalties can vary. Major traffic offenses are considered more severe than serious violations and carry with them much harsher penalties. However, even a minor traffic offense can lead to suspension or revocation of your CDL license.

Commercial drivers can be convicted of CDL violations while driving either a commercial motor vehicle or their personal vehicle. Because of this, commercial drivers must take extra care when driving at all times. There is a higher duty of care for drivers with CDL privileges, and Illinois law is tough on those accused of CDL traffic infractions.

Serious Traffic Violations in Cook County

Under Illinois traffic law, serious traffic violations are considered less serious than major violations. Most minor traffic infractions are treated as serious traffic violations for commercial drivers. However, because commercial drivers have more responsibilities, the penalties for a serious violation can be quite severe.

Some examples of serious traffic violations for CDL drivers include:

  • Speeding ticket
  • Reckless driving
  • Improper lane usage
  • Erratic traffic lane changes
  • Operating a commercial motor vehicle without a valid license
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle without carrying your commercial driver’s license
  • Distracted driving
  • Texting or using a mobile phone while driving
  • Violating a motor vehicle traffic control law (except for a parking violation)
  • Disobeying or ignoring a traffic control device
  • Some other minor moving violations

A CDL holder must ensure to obey all traffic laws while driving both a commercial and non-commercial vehicle. Serious violations can lead to your driver’s license being suspended or revoked in some circumstances.

Penalties For a Serious Traffic Violation

Although the law considers serious traffic offenses to be less serious than major violations, being convicted of multiple violations can have a serious impact. If you are convicted of two serious traffic violations within three years, you will face CDL license suspension for 6 months. This penalty increases to an automatic disqualification for 120 days if convicted of four serious violations within three years.

If you have your commercial driver’s license suspended, you cannot legally operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) during the suspension period. This means that you cannot work as a commercial driver during this time, and you may face dismissal from your current job.

Major Traffic Violations in Cook County

Certain traffic violations are considered major offenses under Illinois law. The penalties for a major moving violation by CDL holders can be quite severe, and you could face CDL disqualification or automatic license suspension for a minimum of one year. Some examples of major traffic violations in Cook County include:

  • Leaving the scene of a car accident
  • Driving a commercial vehicle with a revoked, canceled, or suspended driver’s license
  • Causing a fatal accident through negligent or reckless driving
  • Committing a felony offense while using a commercial vehicle
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI); the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for commercial drivers in Cook County is 0.04%
  • Refusing to submit a breathalyzer or field sobriety test

Penalties For a Major Traffic Violation

Most major offenses are criminal traffic offenses under the law, which means they carry significantly harsher penalties. Some major traffic offenses lead to either a misdemeanor or felony conviction. If you leave the scene of a traffic accident, for example, you may face Class 4 felony charges. The penalties for a felony conviction include prison time of one year and fines of up to $25,000.

On top of the criminal penalties you may face, such as fines, jail time, and a criminal record, you will also face severe CDL penalties. For a first-time major offense, a commercial driver can receive an automatic suspension of their commercial driver’s license for one year. For a second conviction of a major traffic violation, your commercial driver’s license will be suspended for life.

This means that if convicted of two major offenses, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or leaving the scene of a car accident, you will lose your commercial driving privileges. Without your commercial driver’s license (CDL), you cannot continue employment as a commercial driver.

Consequences of Commercial Driver’s License Violations

Those who hold an Illinois commercial driver’s license are held to a much higher standard than regular drivers. For most people, traffic tickets do not affect your license unless you receive three moving violations within a 12-month period, or surpass the permitted number of penalty points. However, for commercial drivers, the stakes are much higher, and drivers can receive an automatic suspension for a major violation.

On top of this, commercial drivers can face difficulties at work if convicted of a traffic offense. As drivers rely on their licenses to carry out their jobs, losing their licenses can leave them unable to work. Most commercial drivers that have their licenses suspended or revoked face losing their jobs and have difficulties finding new employment.

In Illinois, drivers can also receive an Out of Service Order (OSO) if law enforcement decides that their driving is unsafe. This order is usually brought against those found driving with alcohol in their system. An OSO can lead to significant fines for both the commercial driver and their employer.

CDL violations can cause a hike in your insurance premiums and will end up on your driving record. It is not possible to expunge or seal most traffic tickets as a commercial driver, and you must wait several years before these tickets are cleared from your record.

Is Court Supervision a Good Option For Commercial Drivers?

If you are a regular driver in Cook County, court supervision can be a favorable resolution in your case, particularly if you are facing harsh penalties or if there is significant evidence against you. However, court supervision is not a good option for commercial drivers license holders.

If you accept court supervision as a sentence for commercial driver’s license violations, you are pleading guilty to the alleged traffic violations. Doing this can lead to a CDL disqualification and your license being suspended or revoked.

It is important to always speak with a CDL ticket lawyer if you are facing traffic violations. They can advise you on the best outcome for your case and negotiate a favorable solution on your behalf.

Contact a Cook County CDL Violation Lawyer at Hirsch Law Group Today!

Commercial drivers face significant challenges when driving in Cook County. Driving a CMV every day for your job can be extremely tough, and drivers often have to work long hours with few breaks. To make things worse, the law places tough requirements on commercial drivers, and they are subject to harsh penalties if convicted of traffic violations.

The only way to protect yourself against the tough laws against CDL drivers in Illinois is to hire strong legal representation from an experienced CDL violation attorney. The CDL violation attorneys at Hirsch Law Group have the experience and skills necessary to get a favorable outcome for your case.

Once you contact our law firm, we will assign an experienced traffic violations attorney to your case. They will investigate your case, assess whether the charges brought against you are legitimate, assess the evidence against you, negotiate on your behalf, and fight aggressively to get your charges reduced or dropped. We will do everything in our power to avoid the loss of your commercial drivers license. If you have already lost your license, we will fight to get it reinstated.

Our lawyers have won multiple awards and recognitions for their aggressive defense strategies and are recognized by the Illinois State Bar Association. We understand that experience and skills are the most important considerations when dealing with difficult CDL violation cases.

Call our law firm today to schedule a free consultation at 312-967-0275.