Criminal Accusations Against A CDL Holder In Cincinnati Ohio
There are approximately four to six million Commercial Driver License (CDL) holders currently employed in the transportation industry in the United States. Of those four to six million CDL holders, approximately 1.3 million hold a Class A CDL License, which allows them to operate oversized trucks, transport hazardous materials, or transport passengers. As a result, a CDL holder is held to a higher standard of behavior.
After a criminal accusation is made, judges and prosecutors often seek to impose severe consequences for CDL holders, including disqualification of the CDL. Cases involving a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CVM) or CDL holder are common. Statistics show that approximately 13 percent of fatal crashes involve a large truck or bus.
Furthermore, it is important to remember that some non-traffic-related criminal accusations in Ohio against a CDL holder can disqualify you for the commercial driver’s license. Finding an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential when protecting your name and continuing your profession as a truck driver.
Attorney For CDL Holders In Cincinnati, Ohio
Ohio law contains specific CDL disqualification rules that may come up during the prosecution of felony offenses. Police officers will often show the defendant’s CDL status on an arrest report or citation. If the prosecutor or judge seeks to impose any penalty that might trigger a CDL disqualification, your criminal defense attorney needs to have a good understanding of the laws in this area and know how to fight aggressively to avoid those consequences. Our attorneys work to prevent any mandated sanctions that the prosecutor might seek to impose on CDL holders accused of using a motor vehicle during the commission of a felony or certain types of misdemeanor offenses related to the consumption of drugs or alcohol.
Our traffic attorneys in Cincinnati, Ohio, are experienced fighting cases involving the possibility of mandatory license revocation or suspension. We are also familiar with the additional sanctions and sentencing restrictions that can be imposed on a defendant who holds a commercial driver’s license in Ohio. Our attorneys can help you contest an allegation that triggers a CDL disqualification, but you only have 30 days to demand an Ohio BMV administration hearing to contest the action.
- CDL Disqualification In Ohio
- Types Of CDL Disqualifications In Ohio
- Serious Traffic Violations Within Three Years
- Reinstating The CDL After A Lifetime Disqualification
- Mandatory CDL Disqualification For Driving Behaviors
- Non-Traffic Criminal Offenses That Trigger CDL Disqualification
- CDL Disqualification Chart & Additional Resources
- Criminal Defense For The CDL Holder In Cincinnati
CDL Disqualification In Ohio
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides commercial vehicle operator licensing and oversight regulations, and failure for states to comply can result in the loss of highway funding. Under Ohio law, the privilege to operate a CDL vehicle is disqualified when the driver is convicted of certain violations in commercial motor vehicles or non-commercial private passenger vehicles. During disqualification, no CDL driving privileges are permitted.
In Ohio, the disqualification length is based on the offense, and it can last from 60 days to life. The State of Ohio has codified FMCSA promulgated regulatory language through Ohio law which adopts language similar to the federal law. These provisions mandate the disqualification of a CDL for specified periods depending on the underlying offense that triggers the disqualification. Ohio goes further than the mandatory disqualifications required under federal law for many of these offenses and will criminalize the violation as a first-degree misdemeanor.
Types Of CDL Disqualifications In Ohio
Your CDL can be disqualified for a plethora of different reasons, including but not limited to:
- Refusing to submit a blood alcohol concentration test (BAC test);
- Operating a vehicle while under the influence (OVI);
- Convictions for multiple serious traffic offenses;
- Felonies committed by using a vehicle; or
- Violating out-of-service orders.
The length of the commercial driver’s license disqualification depends on the offense and the driver’s prior record. For example, two serious traffic violations within three years will result in CDL disqualification for 60 days. Three serious traffic violations within three years will result in CDL disqualification for 120 days. Moreover, the disqualification is one year for the following offenses:
- Operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04 percent or more;
- OVI regardless of if you are driving a commercial vehicle or a private non-commercial vehicle;
- Using your commercial vehicle in the commission of a felony; or
- Refusing to submit a blood, breath, or urine test.
If any of the above offenses are committed while operating a vehicle placarded for hazardous materials, the disqualification will be increased to three years.
A second violation of any of the above major offenses will result in a lifetime disqualification of your CDL.
Serious Traffic Violations Within Three Years
Under Ohio law, a 60-day disqualification will be imposed if you receive one of the following traffic violations within three years of each other, including, but not limited to:
- Speeding 15 mph or more over the speed limit;
- Reckless driving;
- Improper lane changing;
- Following too closely;
- Traffic control device violation resulting in a fatal accident;
- Driving a CMV without a CDL in your possession;
- Texting while driving;
- Driving without the necessary endorsements; and
- Railroad highway grade crossing violations.
Under Ohio law, if you are convicted of any of the above offenses three times within three years, your CDL will be suspended for 120 days. Violating out-of-service orders can result in a disqualification for 180 days to three years.
Reinstating The CDL After A Lifetime Disqualification
Under federal law, states may reinstate the CDL of a driver who has received a lifetime disqualification only after a ten-year period and if the driver has voluntarily entered and completed a rehabilitation program approved by the State.
Mandatory CDL Disqualification For Driving Behaviors
Under Ohio law, several major offenses that trigger mandatory CDL disqualifications are associated with driving behaviors, including driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, hit-and-run, leaving the scene of an accident, and refusing a lawfully requested blood, breath, or urine test. Under these offenses, the CDL disqualifications occur whether the defendant was operating a commercial vehicle or not.
Non-Traffic Criminal Offenses That Trigger CDL Disqualification
In certain situations, your CDL may be suspended permanently for non-traffic felony violations, including theft, sexual offenses, and other violent crimes. Courts will determine CDL disqualification for non-traffic violations on a case-by-case basis whether the felony was committed using a motor vehicle. Contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential because they will attempt to negotiate a disposition that will avoid the reporting of the offense to trigger the CDL disqualification.
Like in the above situations that call for mandatory CDL disqualification, it does not matter if the alleged offender was driving a commercial vehicle or a non-commercial vehicle to trigger CDL disqualification.
CDL Disqualification Chart & Additional Resources
CDL Disqualifications in Ohio – Visit the website of the Ohio BMV to learn more about suspension and CDL disqualification. You will find information on alcohol and drug-related CDL disqualification and out-of-state service orders. Find out more about ways to avoid a disqualification, how to pay a reinstatement fee, and related provisions under Ohio law.
Ohio CDL Chart – Visit the Ohio Department of Education website to find some of the following charts showing information for CDL drivers, the BMV, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Office of Licensing and Commercial Standards. Find updates on CDL endorsements and restrictions.
|Conviction:||First Conviction without Hazardous Materials (Operating Commercial):||First Conviction without Hazardous Materials (Operating Non-Commercial):||First Conviction with Hazardous Materials (Operating Commercial):||Second Conviction (Operating Commercial):||Second Conviction (Operating Non-Commercial):|
|Operating a Vehicle Under Influence||1 year||1 year||3 years||Life||Life|
|Operating a Vehicle Under a Controlled Substance||1 year||1 year||3 years||Life||Life|
|BAC of 0.04||1 year||N/A||3 years||Life||N/A|
|Refusing to take alcohol test||1 year||1 year||3 years||Life||Life|
|Leaving the scene of an accident||1 year||1 year||3 years||Life||Life|
|Using vehicle to commit a felony||1 year||1 year||3 years||Life||Life|
|Driving a CVM while CDL is revoked, suspended, or canceled||1 year||N/A||3 years||Life||N/A|
|Fatality through negligent operation of a CVM||1 year||N/A||3 years||Life||N/A|
|Using the vehicle in the commission of a felony involving manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled substance||Life (Not Eligible for Reinstatement)||Life (Not Eligible for Reinstatement)||Life (Not Eligible for Reinstatement)||Life (Not Eligible for Reinstatement)||Life (Not Eligible for Reinstatement)|
|Conviction:||Second Conviction of Convictions within a 3-year Period (Operating Commercial):||Second Conviction of Convictions within a 3-year Period (Operating Non-Commercial):||Third Conviction of Convictions within a 3-year Period (Operating Commercial):||Third Conviction of Convictions within a 3-year Period (Operating Non-Commercial):|
|Speeding excessively (15 mph or more)||60 days||60 days||120 days||120 days|
|Driving Recklessly||60 days||60 days||120 days||120 days|
|Making Improper or Erratic Traffic Lane Changes||60 days||60 days||120 days||120 days|
|Following the Vehicle Ahead Too Closely||60 days||60 days||120 days||120 days|
|Violating State or Local Law for Motor Vehicle Traffic Control Arising with Fatal Accident||60 days||60 days||120 days||120 days|
|Driving a CVM without Obtaining a CDL||60 days||N/A||120 days||N/A|
|Driving a CVM without CDL in your Possession||60 days||N/A||120 days||N/A|
|Driving a CVM without Proper Class of CDL||60 days||N/A||120 days||N/A|
|Texting While Driving||60 days||N/A||120 days||N/A|
|Holding Phone while Driving a CVM||60 days||N/A||120 days||N/A|
|Conviction:||First Conviction Required CDL Disqualification:||Second Conviction of Above Convictions Within Three Years that Required CDL Disqualification:||Third Conviction of Above Convictions Within Three Years that Required CDL Disqualification:|
|Failure to slow down and check that tracks are clear of approaching train||Not less than 60 days||Not less than 120 days||Not less than 1 year|
|Failure to stop if train tracks are not clear||Not less than 60 days||Not less than 120 days||Not less than 1 year|
|Failure to have sufficient space to drive completely through the crossing without stopping||Not less than 60 days||Not less than 120 days||Not less than 1 year|
|Failure to obey traffic control device or directions of an enforcement official at the crossing||Not less than 60 days||Not less than 120 days||Not less than 1 year|
|Failure to negotiate a crossing because of insufficient undercarriage clearance||Not less than 60 days||Not less than 120 days||Not less than 1 year|
|Conviction:||First Conviction Required CDL Disqualification:||Second Conviction of Above Convictions Within Ten Years That Required CDL Disqualification (Operating a CVM):||Third Conviction of Above Convictions Within Ten Years That Required CDL Disqualification (Operating a CVM):|
|Violating a driver or vehicle out-of-service order while transporting nonhazardous materials||Not less than 180 days, nor more than 1 year||Not less than 2 years, nor more than 5 years||Not less than 3 years, nor more than 5 years|
|Violating a driver or vehicle out-of-service order while transporting hazardous materials||Not less than 180 days, nor more than 2 years||Not less than 3 years, nor more than 5 years||Not less than 3 years, nor more than 5 years|
Criminal Defense For The CDL Holder In Cincinnati
A criminal defense attorney may help determine whether statutory or regulatory authority might trigger disqualification of a CDL after an allegation that you committed a felony with a motor vehicle. Call Brian Joslyn at Joslyn Criminal Defense Law Firm at (513) 399-6289 or submit an online form to talk to an attorney experienced in fighting traffic violations and crimes, including offenses involving allegations of alcohol and drug-impaired driving cases.