CDL Tickets

How to Fight a CDL Ticket in Arizona

As a commercial driver, you have greater responsibilities than an ordinary driver. You face harsher penalties for an infraction than drivers without commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) in Arizona. A ticket for an infraction such as speeding could go on your truck driving record – potentially threatening your career. It is important to fight a CDL ticket using proven strategies if you wish to protect your job and future.

Hire a CDL Traffic Lawyer

As a commercial driver, you have to more to lose in having a violation on your driving record. You will not receive the same breaks as a regular driver. Before you try to fight a CDL ticket, hire a lawyer to help you. An Arizona CDL ticket lawyer can help you understand what is at stake, as well as your options for fighting the ticket. A lawyer can represent your interests and may be able to get you a deal. If your case needs to proceed to trial, a lawyer can represent you.

Aim for Dismissal

First, your lawyer will try to fight your ticket by getting it dismissed. Dismissal is the easiest way to resolve a CDL ticket and keep your record clear. You might qualify for dismissal if the police officer that gave you the ticket does not appear at your court date. In this case, the courts may grant a motion for dismissal and your case will not continue. The courts may block the dismissal, however, and give the state more time to bring the officer to court instead. In that case, your case will proceed to court.

Prepare for Trial

Prepare your case for trial with help from your CDL lawyer. Your lawyer can subpoena information such as the original traffic ticket, as well as witnesses. The burden of proof during a CDL ticket case is with the state. It will be up to the state to prove that you were speeding or guilty of another moving violation. Your side of the case will need to combat the state’s arguments and evidence against you. You may testify for yourself during a trial, but you do not have to. Your lawyer can advise you on how to proceed during your specific case.

Fight Your CDL Ticket at Trial

Once your traffic ticket trial date arrives, you and your lawyer will appear in court to defend your side of the case. Your lawyer will have prepared all the evidence and information related to your case, as well as subpoenaed the appropriate parties. The state will present its case against you, namely in the form of testimony from the officer that issued the ticket. If the officer appears, he or she and the state must prove a few elements for the courts to uphold the ticket.

  1. You were the person driving the vehicle and speeding. The courts might side with you if your lawyer can prove the vehicle speeding might have been in front of or beside you.
  2. You were in a county where the officer had jurisdiction. The state must prove you received the ticket while in the correct county.
  3. You were speeding. The most complex element of proof will be to establish that you were actually speeding. This may take evidence related to the radar gun used.

The state will need to prove that the radar gun was working properly at the time of your speeding ticket. This may take documents such as radar calibration records. The state will also need to prove that the officer operating the radar gun had a valid certification to do so. An officer needs a special certification to operate a radar gun. Your lawyer could potentially poke holes in the state’s case by proving the officer’s certification had expired or that the radar gun was improperly calibrated in a speeding ticket case.

Contact an Arizona CDL Lawyer Today

If you recently received a ticket for speeding, following too closely, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident or committing another infraction in Maricopa County or the surrounding area as a commercial driver, contact the CDL lawyers at Corso Law Group. Your career could be at stake. Our lawyers can investigate your traffic ticket, subpoena the correct documents, and represent your interests in and out of a courtroom in Arizona. Call (480) 471-4616 today for a free initial consultation.

Arizona CDL Speeding Ticket Cost

A speeding ticket as a commercial driver is different from the average ticket. Drivers with commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) have more to lose. A mark against a commercial driver on his or her record could ultimately lead to the loss of a career in commercial driving. A commercial driver will have more to worry about than just the dollar amount of a CDL speeding ticket. A ticket could have life-changing consequences. The Arizona Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicles Division (MVD) can revoke a CDL if a driver commits certain prohibited acts. Speak to a lawyer if you are a commercial driver facing a speeding ticket in Arizona.

CDL Speeding Ticket Costs

A speeding ticket for a CDL holder is more serious than a speeding ticket for a regular driver. It could be charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona – the equivalent of a major crime such as driving under the influence. Commercial drivers convicted of traffic infractions in Arizona, including speeding, could face fines of up to $2,500. Additional penalties include up to six months in jail and points against the commercial driver’s license.

More serious infractions and crimes can lead to more severe penalties for a CDL driver. The MVD in Arizona will revoke a commercial driver’s license for one year upon a conviction for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, chemical test refusal, using a motor vehicle to commit a felony crime, driving a commercial vehicle on a revoked license, leaving the scene of an accident, or causing a death due to a traffic violation. If the incident occurred in a hazmat vehicle, the MVD will revoke the driver’s CDL for three years. A second or subsequent conviction of any of these crimes will result in the lifetime revocation of the CDL.

Cost of Having Points on Your Commercial Driver’s License

Like many states, Arizona has implemented a driver’s license point system to encourage safe driving behaviors. Convictions for certain moving violations will lead to points added to the driver’s official record. A certain number of points in a short period of time can lead to penalties such as driver’s license suspension. Driving under the influence, for example, is equal to eight points against the driver’s license. Hit-and-run is six points. Speeding is three points. Most lesser moving violations are two points.

Points remain on a driver’s record for 12 months in Arizona. Accumulating 8 or more points in 12 months will lead to a one-year license suspension or mandatory Traffic Survival School. Traffic Survival School is not an option for commercial drivers, however. As a commercial driver, your employer has the right to take action against you after the conviction of any moving violation – regardless of how many points it adds to your driver’s license. Your employer could put you on probation or even terminate your employment if you receive a speeding conviction.

Speeding Tickets and CSA Scores

The government agency in charge of interstate commerce and commercial trucking safety, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, created the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program to assess a commercial driver’s fitness for the job. A commercial driver’s CSA score can have a significant impact on his or her career. Convictions for crimes and traffic infractions could negatively impact a driver’s CSA score. A speeding ticket on your record, for example, could hurt your CSA score.

You can check your score as a commercial driver through the Safety Measurement System website. Commercial drivers are ineligible for traffic school in lieu of facing penalties for speeding in Arizona. In most cases, the only way to handle a CDL speeding ticket is by paying the fine or hiring a lawyer to fight the ticket at trial. Speak to an Arizona CDL lawyer today for assistance with fighting your speeding ticket.

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