Criminal Defense LawyerLakeland, Tampa, FL

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) DUI Attorney

Make sure you protect your rights and your livelihood

When you’re a holder of a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you have a lot riding on your ability to drive. It’s not just a way to get around. It’s your livelihood. A DUI charge can put the career you’ve worked so hard to build at risk. All it takes is one mistake or moment of bad luck to derail your future.

The way out is to meet the charges against you with a strong defense. You need an experienced Lakeland CDL DUI attorney on your side. I have a winning track record in high-stakes cases, including some that other lawyers thought were unwinnable. Fight back with Thomas C. Grajek, Attorney at Law on your side.

How is DUI different for CDL drivers?

First, when you’re driving a commercial vehicle, you are held to a more stringent legal standard than a driver of a passenger car because of the dangers involved. While behind the wheel of a truck or other commercial vehicle, you’re considered impaired at a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04, half the legal limit for other motorists over age 21.

Second, even if you are charged with DUI while driving a non-commercial vehicle, a DUI conviction can have significant consequences for your CDL. Your first DUI conviction will result in a one-year suspension of your CDL – again, even if you were driving your personal vehicle at the time. If you were hauling hazardous materials at the time of the offense, then the suspension increases to three years. At the end of the suspension, you may need to go through the CDL certification process all over again, in addition to completing DUI school or a substance abuse program and paying a reinstatement fee. And this is your one and only second chance: getting a second DUI conviction will permanently disqualify you from ever holding a CDL again.

This is, of course, in addition to the standard consequences for a DUI conviction that all motorists face, such as jail time, fines, probation, vehicle impoundment, and suspension of your regular driver’s license.

Even if you are ultimately able to get your CDL back, a drunk driving conviction stays on your record essentially permanently, which can severely curtail your future employment opportunities. It’s bad enough to lose your job; it’s far worse to be forced out of an entire career. That’s why you need serious legal representation right away if you’re facing CDL DUI charges.

How we can help CDL holders charged with DUI

When you’re charged with DUI, whether you have a CDL or not, you have 10 days to request a formal review to fight your license suspension. The formal review hearing is an opportunity to contest the suspension, get your driving privileges back, and get it taken off your driving record. It goes without saying that this is especially vital for commercial drivers. I have a strong track record in Formal Review hearings and know how to get positive outcomes in the administrative process.

Second, you need to fight the actual DUI charges against you. This may involve exposing contradictions in police testimony or showing that they did not follow the proper procedure when conducting field sobriety exercises or breath and blood tests. As a Forensic Lawyer-Scientist, I am trained in the science behind DUI tests and know how to expose inaccurate or debunked science that the prosecutors use.

Sometimes, it’s possible to win a Motion to Suppress and get some of the evidence against you thrown out – and if the prosecution doesn’t have enough evidence left to move charges forward, they may drop the charges. Otherwise, I’m prepared to take your case to a jury trial and fight for a Not Guilty verdict in court. In still other circumstances, it may be possible to get the charges reduced to a lesser offense that does not affect your CDL in the same way as a DUI.

Exercise your right to an attorney as soon as possible

The stakes are always high in DUI cases in Polk County, and they’re even higher for commercial drivers. If you’re facing DUI charges, then the sooner you get a lawyer on your side, the better. Your attorney needs to start investigating your case and countering the prosecution’s strategies right away. There are critical deadlines that have to be hit to preserve all your legal options, and the clock starts ticking the moment of your arrest.

What you can’t afford is to go it alone. If you’re a CDL holder facing DUI charges, talk to an experienced DUI defense attorney today. Reach out to me via the contact form or call 863-688-4606.

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