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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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Posted on in DUI

IL CDL defense lawyerDriving a commercial vehicle is a difficult endeavor and requires specialized training and licensing. Furthermore, once granted a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), those who drive commercial vehicles are also held to a higher standard than other motorists, so what would amount to a relatively minor traffic violation for a regular driver, could represent a serious offense for a CDL holder. The penalties for violating a CDL provision also tend to be severe, so if you drive a commercial vehicle and your CDL has been suspended, you should call a dedicated Will County CDL violations defense lawyer who can help protect your legal interests.

Legal BAC Limits

Under Illinois law, a driver is considered to have been driving under the influence if he or she has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more. The illegal BAC limit for CDL holders, however, is much lower, at .04 percent. Any commercial drivers who are found to have any alcohol in their system whatsoever, no matter how small the amount, will automatically be placed out of service for at least a day.

The Illinois Secretary of State imposes a penalty of a one-year disqualification of a driver’s CDL privileges if:

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IL defense lawyerBeing a commercial truck driver can come with some serious potential complications and risks. Commercial truck drivers are asked to drive day and night, through inclement weather, in vehicles that can weigh up to 30 times as much as standard motor vehicle collisions. Recognizing the inherent risks of commercial truck driving, it should come as no surprise that law enforcement officials are on the lookout for drivers violating commercial trucking laws. Unfortunately, many truck drivers are pressured by their employers to violate these mandates. If you have been charged with a CDL violation, it is time to seek out the assistance of a knowledgeable legal professional.

Experiencing Employer Pressure and Negligence in the Trucking Industry

While many CDL violations, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and reckless driving, are directly the fault of the driver, many other violations can be caused by employer negligence or recklessness. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for commercial trucking companies to pressure their employees into acting negligently, in order to expedite the shipping process. One common example of this is companies asking their drivers to falsify their driving logs in order to drive for more consecutive hours than is legally allowed. Falsifying an electronic driving device can potentially result in a CDL suspension or permanent revocation, as well as possible jail time.

In other instances, employers will overload a vehicle’s cargo. If you are aware of the overweight vehicle and were pressured to avoid weigh-in stations, you should alert your attorney right away. If you were unaware that the vehicle was overweight, your attorney can work to prove that you were not acting in a negligent manner. Other examples of employer negligence include pressuring a driver to drive on high-grade roads that would violate grade restrictions and providing a driver with an improperly maintained vehicle.

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Law Office of Patricia Magaña, LLC

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

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