Should a CDL holder request court supervision for a traffic ticket?

CDL holders are often misinformed about their options after receiving a traffic ticket in Illinois. As a result, they often request court supervision or traffic school in hopes that the offense will stay off of their public driving record, only to find out later that it did not. While an attorney may be able to remedy this situation by reopening the case, it is better to handle these situations properly from the outset.

For many years, Illinois has provided a type of sentencing in traffic and criminal cases known as court supervision. Court supervision is not considered a conviction under Illinois law, and typically avoids the consequences a conviction may bring with it. 

In traffic cases, the advantage of receiving court supervision for the average driver is that it does not appear on the driver’s public record and, therefore, is not available to employers or insurance companies. Furthermore, it does not count towards a suspension or revocation of their driver’s license.

However, these advantages are not the same when the driver holds a Commercial Driver’s License. While a CDL holder may receive court supervision, the offense will still appear on their public driving record whether they were driving a commercial vehicle or their personal vehicle.

CDL’s are governed by federal law. Under federal law, supervision is equivalent to a conviction and may lead to a disqualification of CDL driving privileges. If a CDL holder receives two serious violations within a three year period while driving a commercial motor vehicle, they face a disqualification of their CDL driving privileges regardless of whether they receive court supervision or a conviction. There are many serious violations including speeding 15 or more over the limit, lane usage violations and cell phone offenses.

Because of the disadvantages of court supervision, the ticket must be challenged successfully at trial or reduced to a non-moving violation to protect a CDL holder’s record.

The traffic attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. represent truck drivers and trucking companies facing traffic violations in Illinois and parts of Wisconsin. From speeding tickets to overweight violations, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to provide the high-quality representation you deserve. Contact us today to discuss your case.