Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Cases
Drivers who possess Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) and who face traffic or criminal charges need representation by an attorney who understands the complex nature of the laws governing CDL drivers.
For example, when a CDL driver is charged with drunk driving, and even if the driver was not driving a commercial motor vehicle at the time, each step of the process involves a risk that the CDL will either be disqualified or suspended. Under Code of Maryland Regulations 11.11.12.07 the MVA may not issue a CDL if the driver's license is suspended or restricted. Accordingly, a driver with a work restriction or an ignition interlock restriction may not have a CDL. Further, a CDL driver who refuses the breath test faces a one year disqualification of the CDL.
In court, if the CDL driver is found guilty of driving while under the influence of alcohol, or driving while impaired by drugs, or drugs and alcohol, or by controlled dangerous substances, the MVA will impose a one year disqualification of the CDL on a first offense. Subsequent disqualifications are for life. It is important to note that a probation before judgment (PBJ) does not avoid the disqualification. If acquittal is not a possibility or a likely outcome, it is crucial for defense counsel to try to get guilty finding to a lesser offense of driving while impaired by alcohol to avoid the CDL disqualification.
Finally, if a CDL driver finds him or herself facing suspension or revocation as a result of point accumulation (caused by a drunk driving conviction or any other offense) it is essential that counsel request a reprimand since, as discussed above, any other sanction would result in the loss of the CDL.
Any suspension, modification, or disqualification of one year or more may require a CDL driver to reapply for his/her CDL at the conclusion of the period of time. It is important to be aware that even for shorter CDL suspensions or modifications drivers with special endorsements on their CDL, such as HAZMAT, may also be required to reapply before obtaining a new CDL.
Some criminal charges may also have a profound impact on a CDL driver’s ability to maintain their CDL. It is essential you hire an attorney who understands the specific implications of the charges on your CDL.
If you are facing criminal or serious traffic charges in Maryland and you have a CDL call Leonard R. Stamm or Johanna Leshner of Goldstein & Stamm, P.A. at 301-345-0122 for a free consultation.