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IL defense lawyerOver the last several years, there has been a growing number of serious car accidents caused by distracted driving due to texting and other handheld cell phone use. In response to this problem, Illinois and many other states have begun to implement laws restricting the use of electronic devices while driving, including for drivers of commercial motor vehicles. If you are accused of texting while driving, you could face serious consequences, including the suspension of your commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Penalties for Handheld Cell Phone Use

According to Illinois law, drivers of commercial vehicles are prohibited from texting or using a handheld mobile phone while operating their vehicles, including while the vehicle is in motion and while it is stopped in traffic or at a traffic signal. When a driver who holds a CDL is convicted of violating these laws, the violation becomes part of their driving record. If the offense constitutes a second serious traffic violation within three years, the driver can lose their CDL for up to two months. If the offense constitutes a third violation within three years, suspension of the CDL can extend up to four months. The State of Illinois can also assess fines and driver’s license points for a texting or handheld cell phone use violation, which may impact even the driver’s personal driving privileges.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also has regulations prohibiting handheld cell phone use. A driver who violates the prohibition for the first time can be fined up to $2,750, and the FMCSA will suspend a driver’s privileges for repeat offenses.

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IL defense lawyerTrucking weight restrictions were established throughout the United States in order to preserve our roads and promote safety. Trucks and vehicles that are carrying excess amounts of weight can damage streets and highways, creating safety hazards for other motorists. In the state of Illinois, if a police officer has reason to believe that a truck is overweight, he or she can require the driver to stop the vehicle and submit to a weighing. If it is determined that your vehicle is in violation, serious financial penalties may result. If you are a CDL holder who has been cited for a weight restriction, Attorney Patricia Magaña is prepared to help. Fluent in English and Spanish, Attorney Magaña has more than 15 years of experience helping commercial drivers contest violations.

Financial Penalties for Trucking Weight Violations

In Illinois, a commercial truck driver may face weight restriction violations if:

  • The gross weight of the truck exceeds the maximum specified amount
  • There is too much weight on the axles

According to 625 ILCS 5/15-113, the driver of an overweight truck shall be fined based on the following schedule. If the truck is overweight by:

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Posted on in Traffic Violations

IL CDL attorneyA commercial driver’s license (CDL) is not just your license to drive. It is a way to earn an income to support yourself and your family. As a commercial driver, you must follow all of the same traffic laws as other drivers, but you are also regulated by other state and federal laws. It is not surprising then, to have many questions when you are accused of violating these laws. If you carry a CDL, below are some of the most frequently asked questions about CDL violations and the answers to them.

Is Court Supervision Available for CDL Violations?

When non-commercial drivers face traffic violations, court supervision is often a better alternative than a conviction. However, CDL holders should never undergo court supervision. The Illinois Secretary of State treats court supervision for CDL drivers as though it was a conviction, so it will not help you avoid suspension of your CDL or disqualification. Even if you were in your own vehicle at the time of the offense, court supervision will still appear on your public driving record.

When is a CDL Suspended or Disqualified?

Illinois law states that your CDL may be suspended or disqualified when you commit two serious traffic violations in a three-year period or three violations in a three-year period if the convictions for the offense would result in your non-CMV privileges being suspended. If you commit two serious violations within three years, your CMV is disqualified for two months. Three violations within three years will disqualify your license for four months.

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Il defense lawyerMotorists tend to associate driver’s license suspensions and revocations with drunk driving offenses, and it does seem logical that such a harsh penalty would result from a serious traffic violation. However, the Illinois Secretary of State (IL-SOS) provides for many other ways you might lose your driving privileges. Generally, when you get a traffic citation, points are added to your driving record. If you reach a certain level, IL-SOS will suspend your driver’s license for a number of months that corresponds to the total points you accumulated.

Still, this basic description overlooks some of the very important details involved when moving or non-moving violations impact your driving privileges. You can obtain these specifics by consulting with an Aurora, IL traffic tickets attorney, but it is worthwhile to be aware of how traffic tickets can lead to a driver’s license suspension.

Traffic Violations and Illinois’ Points System

To protect the public and discourage repeat traffic offenses, Illinois law provides for sanctions beyond the fine you might receive for a citation. Therefore, every time you are ticketed, a designated number of points is added to your driving record maintained by IL-SOS. The more serious the infraction, the higher the number of points. For example:

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IL CDL defense lawyerDrivers of commercial vehicles are generally held to a higher standard than most motorists due to the fact that the vehicles they operate are so large and are often used to transport dangerous cargo. For instance, those who drive commercial vehicles must obtain a special license (Commercial Driver’s License), satisfy specific training requirements, and comply with both federal and state regulations. Further, drivers who fail to abide by these rules risk losing their CDL driving privileges either temporarily or permanently, depending on the type of moving violation that they commit. It is possible, however, for drivers to have their CDLs reinstated, so if you were recently convicted of a major or serious moving violation, you should speak with an experienced DuPage County CDL violations defense lawyer who can advise you.

Serious Moving Violations

Commercial vehicle drivers who are convicted of a serious violation will not necessarily have their licenses revoked immediately, although second and third violations will result in disqualification for at least 60 and 120 days respectively. The most common serious violations include:

  • Speeding 15 miles per hour or more above the legal limit
  • Driving recklessly
  • Violating a state or municipal law in connection with a fatal traffic accident
  • Having multiple driver’s licenses
  • Making improper or erratic lane changes or following too closely
  • Driving a commercial vehicle without obtaining a CDL
  • Using a prohibited electronic device while operating a vehicle
  • Texting while driving

A commercial driver who was not driving a commercial vehicle at the time of a violation could still face revocation of his or her CDL, but only if the act would also result in a suspension of the driver’s non-commercial driving privileges.

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Law Office of Patricia Magaña, LLC

1555 Bond Street, Suite 103A, Naperville, IL 60563

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