Today I received a phone call from someone who has a Commercial Drivers License (“CDL”).
He went to court a few months ago for a speeding infraction that occurred while he was off of work and in his own car.
When he went to court, the judge made an announcement that persons with good driving records would be eligible for “supervision” which was described as a type of sentence where the infraction would “fall off” his driving record if he paid a fine and didn’t get another ticket for four months. Based on this, the person plead guilty to the speeding ticket.
A few months later, he found out that he had a conviction on his record. How did that happen?
What the judge didn’t say (because either he didn’t know or because it only applies to a few people) is that the United States government forbids states from giving CDL drivers any type of traffic sentence that could be hidden on their driving record.
As a result, if a CDL driver gets a sentence of “supervision” for a traffic violation, it is recorded as a “supervision/conviction” on their driving record — supervision for their “regular” drivers license and a conviction for the CDL.
There are a few consequences as a result of this. First of all, the violation will appear on the CDL holder’s driving record. Second, the CDL driver will accrue points towards a license suspension or revocation, which would have been avoided with a pure supervision.
So my advice to CDL holders is to retain a traffic attorney to represent you in court, to see if the charges can be dismissed or if not that, at least reduced to a non-moving or less serious moving violation.