Even Summary Offenses Can Impact Your CDL

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By T.R. Williams, Esq.

Are you a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holder? If you are charged with a criminal or summary offense under the Vehicle Code or a felony under the Controlled Substances Act where a vehicle is used in the commission of the offense, you very well could be facing a disqualification from driving a commercial vehicle if convicted. Because such a disqualification can have a dramatic impact on your livelihood, it is important that you know how a conviction for any of these offenses may affect your CDL.

If you are convicted of a Major Offense as set forth in 75 Pa.C.S.A. §1611(a) (such as DUI, Leaving the Scene of Accident and using a vehicle to commit a felony for example), or you refuse to submit to a chemical test when requested by a police officer, you will receive a one (1) year disqualification for a first offense. A conviction for a first offense involving the transportation of hazardous materials or the operation of a vehicle designed to carry sixteen (16) or more people will result in a three (3) year disqualification. For a second conviction of a Major Offense, a second chemical test refusal or a combination of the two, from separate incidents, you will receive a lifetime disqualification. If you are convicted of using a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony offense under the Controlled Substances Act, you will receive a lifetime disqualification for a first offense. Disqualification for most of these will apply whether you were operating a commercial motor vehicle or your personal vehicle at the time.

For convictions of two Serious Traffic Offenses as set forth in 75 Pa.S.C.A. §1603, 75 Pa.C.S.A. §1611(g) and as established by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation ( such as exceeding the maximum speed limit by 15 mph or more, Reckless Driving, making improper lane changes, Driving Without a License and Following Too Closely for example), from separate incidents within a three year period, you will receive a sixty (60) day disqualification. If you are convicted of third offense within a three year period, the disqualification will be for one hundred twenty (120) days. However, for these disqualifications to apply, you must have been a commercial driver’s license holder at the time of the violation and the conviction must result in a suspension of your noncommercial driver’s license, or you must have been operating a commercial vehicle at the time of the violation. The disqualifications will apply for convictions of some of these offenses even if you were operating a noncommercial vehicle at the time of the violation.

If you are a commercial driver’s license holder and find yourself in any of these situations, we may very well be able to help you. Call Scaringi Law, 717 657 7770, to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced motor vehicle law and criminal law attorneys.

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