For a Pennsylvania commercial driver (CDL holder), a DUI can jeopardize your career and livelihood. This is a very serious matter that can affect your future in a very profound way. This is why you need to get the right information and guidance. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by our CDL clients:
What are the penalties for a first DUI conviction?
For a CDL driver, the penalties for a first offense are:
- Personal license suspension up to 12 months
- CDL license disqualification for 12 months or 3 years if it was in a HAZMAT vehicle
- Up to six months imprisonment
- Up to $5,000 in fines
What are the penalties for a second DUI conviction?
For a CDL driver, the penalties for a Second offense are:
- Personal license suspension up to 18 months
- LIFETIME DISQUALIFICATION OF CDL
- Up to 5 Years imprisonment
- Up to $10,000 in fines
What is a disqualification of my CDL?
A disqualification is a temporary or permanent withdrawal of a person’s ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
Will my CDL be suspended if the violation occurred in a noncommercial vehicle?
Yes. If you are convicted of a DUI in your personal vehicle, you will still have a disqualification of your CDL.
Is ARD a good option for me?
Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) is not a good option for CDL drivers at all! It will not reduce the disqualification of your CDL license. Many attorneys wrongfully advise CDL drivers to opt for the ARD program. If you talk to an attorney who advises ARD then RUN. This attorney does not know the laws and can get you in irreparable trouble with this is bad advice. The only way to avoid a CDL disqualification is to challenge the case and get a “not guilty” verdict, get the charges amended, or get the charges dropped.
Will I be able to get a CDL in another state to avoid the lifetime disqualification?
No. Your disqualification will show up in the National Drivers Registry and you will not be able to get a CDL.
What are some of the long term consequences of a DUI conviction?
Many trucking companies avoid hiring drivers with a DUI on their record. They normally elect to hire a driver with a clean record to reduce their overall liability. This may make it very difficult for a CDL driver convicted of a DUI to find meaningful work. This problem will not go away after a couple years because a DUI conviction will show up on background checks forever.
You may also find it difficult to get insurance. If you are able to find coverage, it will be much more expensive.
You will even find it difficult to get work as a noncommercial driver. Uber and Lyft (as well as most delivery services like Postmates) will disqualify you if you have a DUI on your record in the past 7 years.
What is the best course of action for me at this time?
If you are a CDL driver charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania, you need to find an experienced attorney who deals specifically with CDL drivers. Many CDL drivers who were in a similar situation to you chose The McShane Firm and were completely satisfied with the results. Here is what some of them had to say:
Justin McShane represented me before Judge Evans on a DUI case. He and his team got me a complete and total not guilty victory. It was awesome! I am a CDL truck driver and if I had even an ARD that means I would have lost my job, my house and everything. Thanks Justin. You guys are AWESOME!
I have a CDL and probably would have lost my job. Justin understood the importance of this and worked above and beyond my expectations.
I hired The McShane Firm to represent me in my DUI case because they came highly recommended. I have a Commercial Drivers License and could not afford to lose my livelihood. they did and outstanding job and were very informative. The McShane Firm got my charges reduced to an M2 with no loss of License or traffic violations. Thank You for the outstanding job!!!!
The McShane Firm is amazing! Not only did they negotiate my case so that I could keep my job as a CDL operator, they also were available if I had questions/concerns throughout the whole judicial process & even afterwards! I highly recommend them. They are personable, but also very professional when needed to be. Thank you so much for everything!!
At The McShane Firm, we represent a lot of professionals who need to protect their careers. People who can’t afford to get a DUI- hire The McShane Firm. For a free consultation, call us now at (717) 657-3900.