If a someone with a commercial driver’s license is charged with a DUI in Norfolk, there are disastrous short-term and long-term consequences. Because these CDL holders rely on their license for employment, any suspension or revocation of their license will be incredibly damaging to their careers and their overall well-being.
Contact and schedule a consultation with a Norfolk DUI lawyer to discuss your particular case.
Individuals holding a commercial driver’s license (CDL) should know that there is a possibility that the judge will hold them to a higher standard because of their commercial license. Because of this, it is very possible to that the consequences for them will be worse than had they just been a layperson receiving the conviction for a DUI.
In Norfolk, a commercial driver’s license holder will have their license suspended once they are charged until the case is resolved. At that point, whether the license remains suspended is going to depend on what happens with the case.
CDL holders are held to a higher standard in court because having a commercial license requires a higher standard of driving in general. Many commercial drivers are responsible for enormous vehicles that may be moving any number of items that can result in disastrous consequences if there were to be a collision on the road. Safety is the primary concern when it comes to DUIs and because of the elevated consequences that could happen if a commercial driver’s were to be driving under the influence, the court holds them to a higher standard and rightly so.
Long term, a DUI conviction can be extremely detrimental to the CDL holder. If the DUI is a first offense, then the CDL is disqualified at least for one year and often for even longer. This can result in the driver no longer being able to make a living and having to find another job since an entire year without working is not exactly feasible for most people.
In Norfolk, if a CDL holder is convicted of the DUI, then their CDL will be disqualified for at least a year for a first offense. These are just the legal consequences. An employer can impose their own consequences and may not allow someone convicted to return to work at all or they could impose a longer time period than whatever the court decided, in which the driver won’t be allowed to operate their commercial vehicle.
If they are not convicted, then this should not have an effect on their ability to work. But obviously this is going to be up to their employer. If the case is dismissed completely, then keeping their commercial driver’s license shouldn’t be an issue at all. If the charge was reduced to something else however, then it is possible that the commercial driver’s license will be affected depending on what the lower charge is and what the consequences imposed are.
Once an individual is charged and has their CDL suspended, he or she is not allowed to drive a commercial vehicle at all. They must wait until after their case is resolved before they will be able to operate commercial vehicle again.
If it is a second or subsequent DUI offense, then the disqualification a CDL holder received for their first DUI is made permanent. Having their commercial driver’s license disqualified for good means that a CDL holder must absolutely choose another career path, because they will no longer be able to operate a commercial vehicle for work.
An attorney’s main priority in these cases is to get the charge reduced or dismissed so that a license suspension is not an issue at all. If this is not an option, then an attorney can attempt to negotiate with the driver’s employer, but in reality there are not a lot of legal avenues available once the conviction is finalized. When someone’s license is suspended because of a DUI, there is no option to petition the court to release the license.
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