TACDL
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Tennessee Bar Association
National College of DUI Defense
iapp
DUI Defense Lawyers Association

Commercial Driver's License

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders are not given the same leeway as other drivers when it comes to resolving traffic violations. Moving violations have immensely serious consequences for CDL holder’s and can quickly result in suspension of your license. Not only that, but Federal law significantly inhibits a state prosecutor’s discretion to grant diversion or offer plea deals.

Masking

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the administration within the Department of Transportation responsible for promulgating the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). The FMCSRs govern the licensing requirements for CDL holders. Pursuant to the regulations, it is unlawful to mask a CDL conviction. Masking is an act by which the nature of the conviction is concealed. For example, the prosecutor may not offer deferral or diversion thereby allowing the person to complete probation or pay a fine in exchange for a dismissal of the charges or judgment. Moreover, the prosecutor is not allowed to offer a plea for a lesser included offense unless there is a bona fide legal or factual issue justifying the state’s refusal to prosecute the act as charged.  

Options

Pay the Fine: Paying the fine without appearing in court is an admission of guilt and results in a conviction for the cited offense.

Appear in Court: You may appear in court and contest the violation. The best-case scenario is an outright dismissal of the charge or at least a bona fide reduction to a lesser offense. You will want to consider hiring an attorney to represent you in court

Visit Commercial Driver License Citations (tn.gov) for more information.