In my New York speeding and traffic ticket defense practice not a week goes by that some hapless commercial trucker has mishandled his ticket at the advice of his “company” or some other third party to his extreme detriment. Many times he has been told to just “pay the fine” or his company does for him, which then triggered him to be uninsurable because of the
conviction on his record, and the company that urged him to just “pay the ticket” then fires him. Other times the trucker has given the ticket to his company believing that they are going to “take care” of it and the company promptly ignores it. This happens a lot when the violations are not moving violations but equipment violations beyond the responsibility or control of the driver. When a ticket is ignored New York State suspends the operator’s license of the commercial operator if the trucker holds a NY CDL license and, when the trucker is from a different state suspends the NYS driving privileges and notifies that state of the unanswered ticket and that state then suspends the trucker’s CDL operator’s license.
This can all be avoided if the trucker realizes that it is YOU as the driver on the hook for the ticket, NOT the company. Consequently, YOU the trucker must personally take charge of any and all traffic tickets you accrue anywhere in the United States.
As a trucker you must view your operator’s license as the very core of your existence. Your CDL is your lifeblood. It is the sole document that keeps your income stream flowing and puts food on your table. ALWAYS protect it and NEVER cede defense of your ticket to anyone except a qualified traffic ticket defense lawyer in the state where you received the ticket.
Your dispatcher does not care about you and your CDL. Your company does not care about you and your CDL. The state that you received the ticket in does not care about you and your CDL, and they really don’t care if the violation you accrued was because of an equipment violation beyond your control. The only one that cares about any of this is YOU!
The law is very simple. When you operate a motor vehicle on a public roadway not only are you responsible to obey the rules of the road you are also responsible to ensure that the vehicle is registered and insured, and in safe, legal working order. Any convictions that accrue attach to YOUR DRIVING RECORD, NOT that of the company. The SOLE EXCEPTION is when the company is charged with the infraction or crime and is named as the defendant, not you.
If YOU are named as the defendant YOU are liable for the charges and YOU must answer to the court, NOT your company. While contractually or by virtue of an employment agreement the company is liable to you for their mistakes, this is NOT A DEFENSE, enforceable, or a legal excuse to get the tickets dismissed. The way you handle such tickets is responding before the court when you are named as the defendant, and dealing with the company through employment channels.
Bottom line – ALWAYS handle your own traffic tickets when you are named as the defendant. Our law firm defends many truckers charged in NY with speeding and non-moving serious equipment and Transportation Law violations. Before you do anything else contact us when you receive a traffic ticket.