In New Jersey, commercial driver's license (CDL) issues are governed by Chapter 39, section 3 of the state's statutes. These rules describe the types of violations CDL holders may commit and the punishments that can be levied against them. The state defines a commercial vehicle as any engaged in a business purpose, regardless of its size or weight. The state's traffic courts and the Motor Vehicle Commission manage violations.
Unlike some other states, New Jersey takes into account out-of-state tickets. A ticket received outside New Jersey can result in the points against a CDL license, fines against the driver or suspension of the license, according to the rules set forth in the state's statutes.
A CDL holder in New Jersey who speeds or fails to stop is subject to fines and revocation of the license. Regardless of whether a trailer is being towed, exceeding the speed limit results in the following fines:
CDL holders can also lose their licenses for 60 days for a first or second speeding offense or 120 days for a third or subsequent offense.
Failing to stop at a stop sign or light, or failing to yield or stop when requested to do so by the authorities, carries a fine of $200. For the first or second of any of these violations, you lose your license for 60 days and for the third or subsequent offense, 120 days.
New Jersey statutes establish several violations and punishments only applicable to business vehicles. The maximum weight for a commercial vehicle with tires 40 or fewer inches apart is 22,400 lbs. Overweight vehicles are charged $0.02 for each additional pound as well as $400 for the first offense, $700 for the second and $1,000 for the third or subsequent offense.
Violating grade or lane restrictions is punishable by a $200 fine. CDL holders are also subject to a 60-day license suspension for the first or second offense and 120-day license suspension for any subsequent violations of this type.
New Jersey DUI laws place a CDL in peril, regardless of whether the DUI is committed while you are driving a commercial vehicle. A first DUI causes a 1-year license suspension. If the DUI occurs when you are driving a commercial vehicle containing hazardous materials, your license will be suspended for 3 years. A second violation results in a permanent CDL revocation.
Charges against a CDL holder are only dismissible if the police fail to provide evidence of the violation. During a trial, an attorney defends you by trying to prove that the evidence shows the violation did not occur. Attending driver education courses does not impact the breadth or type of punishments imposed against you.
You can plead guilty or not guilty to the charges. After a guilty plea, you waive the right to appeal and must accept the terms of the court's punishment. A not guilty plea usually causes the case to go to trial; if you are found guilty, the jury decides your punishment. At the very least, a convicted offender will be penalized according to the statutory license suspensions and fines because these penalties cannot be waived.
If you have a CDL license and have been charged with a moving violation, DUI or other driving violations, seek legal advice. A lawyer will review the facts of your case and discuss the impact the violations could have on your commercial license.