Navigating CDL Violations: Trusted Lawyers at Your Service


Illinois law places strict regulations on those who operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and own a commercial driver’s license (CDL). CDL holders often rely on their license to work and can face severe hardship if they lose their driving privileges. One simple CDL traffic ticket could cause your commercial driver’s license to be suspended for a year and your life upturned.

If you are a CDL driver in Chicago and have been cited for a traffic ticket or serious traffic violation, seek legal help immediately. The consequences of CDL violations are severe, and the only way to prevent your commercial driver’s license from being revoked is by getting help from a strong defense attorney.

At Hirsch Law Group, we understand how challenging life can be for truck drivers with long hours and demanding work schedules. Our CDL attorneys understand that one simple mistake should not be enough to lose your job and be without a means of income. Our law firm represents professional drivers throughout Chicago and Illinois, fighting against serious traffic violations.

We have a team of Chicago CDL lawyers with a deep understanding of local law and regulations and significant experience defending against traffic violations. Our team of former prosecutors has the skills to get your license reinstated and get a positive outcome in your case.

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


Commercial Driver’s License Chicago


Separate from a personal vehicle, an individual must get a commercial driver’s license (CDL) for a commercial motor vehicle, which includes vehicles that weigh over 26,000 pounds, carry 16 passengers or more, or carry hazardous materials. Illinois law holds those with a commercial drivers license to a much higher standard than those with a standard driver’s license.

This is because an individual must undergo training and have specific experience and skills to get a commercial driver’s license. As a result, if you are cited for a traffic violation in Chicago with a CDL, you are subject to much harsher penalties. The problem with harsher penalties for CDL holders is that these individuals rely on their licenses to make a living. As a result, severe penalties can have an enormous impact on the life of a commercial driver.

Our attorneys have vast experience defending against CDL violations and the consequences that follow. We will work tirelessly to reinstate your suspended license so you can return to working and earning a living.


Chicago CDL Traffic Violations


Under Illinois law, there is a difference between major traffic violations and serious violations. Major violations are regarded as more severe and carry harsher penalties. However, if you are convicted of two serious traffic violations within three years, you may be subject to the same penalties as a major violation.


Major Violations

Several major violations can cause an automatic suspension of your commercial driver’s license for at least one year, including:

  • Operating a commercial vehicle with a suspended, canceled, or revoked license.

  • Leaving an accident scene.

  • Using a commercial vehicle to commit a felony offense includes distributing, manufacturing, or dispensing a controlled substance.

  • Causing a fatal accident through negligent driving.

In addition to the above, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) will also be a major traffic violation for CDL drivers. Under Chicago law, regular drivers have a legal limit of 0.08%. However, for a CDL holder, the legal limit is 0.04%.

Suppose you are caught operating a commercial or regular motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content higher than 0.04%. In that case, you will face criminal penalties plus a one-year license suspension. Commercial drivers will also face an automatic suspension if they refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test or take part in a field sobriety test at a traffic stop.


Serious Traffic Violations

Serious violations are less severe than major violations under the law. However, you could face serious penalties depending on the circumstance and the particular violation you are accused of. Some examples of Chicago CDL serious violations include:

  • Speeding A speeding ticket in which the individual was driving 15 miles or more over the posted speed limit will be a serious violation.

  • Reckless driving.

  • Distracted driving.

  • Improper lane usage

  • Violating a motor vehicle traffic control law (except for a parking violation), such as texting while driving or using a telephone.

  • Driving too close to the vehicle ahead.

  • Operating a commercial vehicle without a CDL.

  • Operating a commercial vehicle without the correct class of CDL.

  • Operating a commercial vehicle without the CDL license in your possession.

A first-time serious traffic violation may not result in any penalties relating to your Chicago CDL license. However, if you are convicted of two serious traffic violations or more within a certain period, you will be subject to harsh penalties and face license suspension or revocation.


Consequences of a Chicago CDL Traffic Violation


Commercial driver’s license violations can have serious consequences. The severity of the consequences depends on the type of violation you are accused of, the number of previous violations you have committed, and how severe the violation was.

A minor traffic ticket may affect your employment, insurance rates, and Chicago driving record. However, more serious violations can cause severe consequences that massively affect your life.


Major Violations

As the law considers major violations more severe than serious ones, there are harsher consequences. If convicted of a major violation, such as a DUI or leaving the scene of an accident, you will receive an automatic one-year suspension of your commercial driver’s license.

If you are convicted of a second major violation, your CDL license will be suspended for life. A CDL holder can be convicted of a major violation while driving non-commercial and commercial vehicles.

Besides license suspension, an individual may also face criminal consequences for a major violation. For example, if convicted of a DUI, a person may face fines of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, and a criminal record.

For leaving the scene of an accident, a CDL holder could be charged with a Class 4 felony. The penalties for a Class 4 felony include a mandatory minimum prison sentence of one year, which can be extended up to three years, and a maximum fine of $25,000.

A felony conviction will also create a permanent criminal record, affecting your ability to find a job, apply for a loan, get child custody, and vote in elections.


Serious Traffic Violations

Most initial serious violations do not result in a loss of commercial driving privileges. However, if you are convicted of two serious traffic offenses within three years, your CDL license could be suspended for six months. Being convicted of four violations within three years can cause an automatic disqualification for 120 days.

A CDL license suspension means you lose all commercial driving privileges and cannot participate in employment that involves driving a commercial vehicle. An individual can still operate using their regular license, depending on the violations they are convicted of.

Being convicted of a serious traffic violation can cause job loss, increased insurance rates, and difficulty finding new employment within the commercial industry. You must contact an experienced traffic attorney if you have been cited for a CDL violation in Chicago.


Railroad and Highway Grade Crossing Offenses


Will County, along with other counties in Northern Illinois, is strict regarding railroad crossing violations due to the number of people dying on railroads every year. Any violation involving improper actions while crossing a railroad could result in a CDL suspension for the first offense for no less than 60 days. Railroad and highway-grade crossing offenses can include:

  • Failure to slow down to see if tracks are clear before crossing

  • Failure to stop before driving onto the crossing (if the tracks are not clear)

  • Failure to stop and wait until enough space is available to prevent stopping on the tracks

  • Failure to obey a traffic control device or warning sign regarding a crossing

  • Failure to negotiate a railroad crossing because of insufficient undercarriage clearance.

If a driver is convicted of two railroad or highway-grade crossing offenses within three years, they will face disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for 120 days. A third conviction within three years can result in suspension for one year.

Neglecting to follow proper procedures at railroad and highway-grade crossings may have deadly consequences, not only for the operator but also for passengers and pedestrians. It is vital to follow all traffic laws, especially when dealing with railroad crossings.


How a Chicago CDL Ticket Lawyer Can Help


Fighting against Chicago CDL traffic violations can be extremely difficult. The law places high standards on commercial drivers and is tough on those who commit traffic infractions or crimes during work. Like all crimes and violations in Chicago, it is your word against the police officers; their priority is to get you convicted.

The only way to protect yourself against a CDL traffic violation is by hiring an experienced Chicago CDL ticket attorney. An attorney can help you by investigating your case, assessing whether the stop was legal, determining whether your rights were violated, and gathering evidence to support your innocence. They will then use this evidence to build a defense on your behalf and fight against the violation claims.

The most essential thing in these cases is having a legal defense team who can help you protect your rights. Whether you’re a truck driver, bus driver, or other commercial driver, the experienced CDL defense attorneys at Hirsch Law Group can provide you with aggressive legal representation to get the best possible outcome in your case.

We have represented clients in various CDL violation cases throughout Illinois, from simple traffic tickets to DUI and other serious offenses. Contact us today for a free consultation—we’re here to help you fight for your rights and preserve your livelihood.


Contact a Chicago, IL CDL Violation Lawyer at Hirsch Law Group!


If you are a commercial driver in Chicago who has been charged with a moving violation for breaking state or local law, contact our Chicago CDL ticket lawyers immediately. Inaction can cause a loss of your commercial driving privileges, which means you cannot work and earn a livelihood. The stakes are high in CDL violation cases, and the law is strict on commercial drivers.

The attorneys at Hirsch Law Group are among the best CDL lawyers nationwide. They have the experience and skills necessary to fight against the alleged traffic offenses and help keep your commercial license. Our lawyers understand the stakes are high, and we will do everything possible to avoid license suspension and criminal penalties. This includes investigating your case, building a Mitigation Packet to support your defense, and fighting against a conviction.

A serious traffic offense can cause your CDL privileges to be lost or suspended for some time. Such results can spell disaster for your driving career and livelihood, as finding employment in the transportation industry becomes nearly impossible. Our attorneys will do everything possible to protect your rights and minimize the penalties.

If you have been charged with a CDL violation and are located in or near Chicago, contact Hirsch Law Group today for a free consultation at 312-967-0275. We are here to help even experienced drivers protect their rights and future. Let us fight for you.