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To drive a large truck in or around Los Angeles and California, drivers are required to have a commercial license. It’s required because the duties and responsibilities of a commercial driver far exceed those of somebody who is only licensed to operate a passenger vehicle. Nearly all of those legal duties and responsibilities appear in state statutes and federal regulations that govern large commercial truck safety. They include but aren’t limited to:
Why there are truck weight limits
Tractor-trailers can be well over 60 feet in length, and they can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. They’re far less maneuverable than passenger vehicles, and given their size and weight, their stopping distances are much longer than those of other vehicles. Stopping distances are increased even more if a truck is overweight. Because they’re gigantic, large commercial trucks cause exponentially more wear and tear on roads and bridges when they’re traveling, and they also cause far more severe injuries in accidents than passenger vehicles. Those are the primary reasons why overweight truck laws are strictly enforced.
Violations can be cited as misdemeanors
Overweight vehicle cases can be cited as either traffic infractions or misdemeanors. If a driver is cited with a misdemeanor offense, it’s punishable with a jail term of up to six months.
Fines for overweight vehicles get complicated, but couple those with court costs, and they can become terribly expensive. It’s not at all unusual to see fines and court costs for an overweight truck exceed $1,500. Some commercial trucking companies know that a truck is overweight from the beginning. When their drivers are cited, the trucking company sometimes picks up the fines and court costs for the driver. The number of independent truckers is rising though. These owner operators bear the burden and expense of overweight fines and court costs themselves.
Commercial driver’s license consequences
The consequences of a conviction on an overweight citation don’t stop with a massive fine plus court costs. That conviction goes on the government’s record of the driver’s history. A driver’s license suspension could result, and that puts a driver out of work for the duration of the suspension. Since it’s likely that another driver is in line to take the suspended driver’s place, an overweight conviction might even mean getting fired. That fired driver can have a difficult time finding another job with a blemished driving record.
An overloaded truck can hit you hard. With the stakes being so high, you want an experienced and respected attorney to represent you in court. Our law firm regularly represents truckers in and around Los Angeles for overweight and other violation cases. Infractions can directly impact your livelihood and ability to support yourself and your family. Start the process now, and contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation on an overweight or any other citation involving a truck and your commercial driver’s license. Based on the facts that you give us, we’re pleased to answer any questions that you might have and give you the best legal opinion possible.