Under Pennsylvania Law, anyone driving a Commercial Vehicle or School Bus must have a Commercial Driver’s License (“CDL”).  There are very specific requirements for receiving a CDL, and it is very easy to have your CDL taken away.  Under Pennsylvania Law, a conviction of a traffic offense, whether you are driving your commercial vehicle at the time or not, can suspend your CDL or revoke it for life.  A conviction of a traffic offense may include a finding of guilt, a plea of guilt or no contest, a payment of a fine or court cost for a traffic offense, or a failure to pay a fine or appear in court to contest a citation.  Because it is so easy to lose your CDL, it is very important to contact an experienced attorney to defend your traffic offense.

If you received a conviction for a traffic violation, or other crime listed in the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, the Court must notify PennDot of your conviction.  Upon receipt of that report, PennDot must disqualify your CDL in addition to any other penalties.  Depending on your conviction, you may lose your CDL for 60 days, 120 days, 6 months, 1 years, 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years, or life.  If you are found guilty of more than one offense, each suspension will be imposed consecutively, which means back-to-back.

Pennsylvania law also has a zero tolerance policy for CDL’s when it comes to diving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  While the Blood Alcohol Content for everyone else is 0.08% in Pennsylvania, if you are operating a commercial vehicle or school bus, you cannot have any alcohol in your system.  If you are found guilty of driving with alcohol or drugs in your system, you will suffer fines and a suspension of your CDL in addition to any penalties imposed under the Pennsylvania DUI Law.

As part of your CDL license and privilege, you provide Pennsylvania with an implied consent to test your breath, blood, or urine at any time for the presence of alcohol or a control substance.  If an officer has reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, that officer has the right to request the chemical testing.  He must tell you that you have a right to refuse the testing.  But, if you refuse the testing, you will lose your CDL for 1 year regardless of whether or not you had any drugs or alcohol in your system.

For many people, a CDL allows them to earn a livelihood and pay the bills.  Without it, many people will lose their jobs.  Therefore, it is very important to protect that CDL as much as possible.  If you have been charged with a traffic violation or other crime in Pennsylvania, you need to hire an experienced attorney to defend your case in an effort to avoid a suspension.  Give my office a call at (412) 209-0657 to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows how to defend your case and protect your livelihood.