Trainee Needs Advice!! Caught A Violation Last Night

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Left Lane Bandit's Comment
member avatar

Okay so I'm driving through Benton Arkansas tonight on I-30 headed west (4 lanes). I go to pass a guy, and next thing you know I got DOT on me. Wasn't speeding, my logs checked out, everything was legit aside from the fact that I wasn't allowed in the left lane for any reason (this is what the dot officer said). I honestly had no idea I wasn't allowed in that lane and I honestly didn't see a single sign telling me to keep off the left lane, which I told the dot officer and his reply was "they're all over the place". I said okay. (I've already learned when I was younger how much of a mistake it is to argue with a cop, whether they're right or wrong). So I caught a "failure to obey traffic control device" which i saw could carry up to 3 points!!! I could care less about the fine, which is only $165. I'm really worried about the points because I just got my license back from suspension so I'm pretty sure i already have 5 points. (It was originally suspended for a poss w/ int to distribute charge that had nothing to do with a vehicle. In PA they suspend your License for anything that has to do with drugs.) The officer gave me a phone number to call n said maybe they'll work with me.. but it's a courthouse number, I'm pretty sure i already know what they're going to say.. (something along the lines of take a hike). I did however, enroll in a driver-lawyer program during orientation which garnishes my check every week in return for lawyer services just incase a situation like this should arise.

Anyway, could anyone give me some advice what to do? / What to do next? Should I call the court first and hit em with a sob story? Should I tell my company today?(Saturday) or wait until Monday? Or perhaps not mention it at all? (The cop did say that my company won't be notified but I'm sure it's a terrible idea to keep them In the dark)

I just need some guidance from someone who's been there n done that, I've worked too damn hard trying to get where I'm at now just to lose it all on a technicality like this... Please help

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Best advice, if there's more than 2 lanes on your side, stay out of the left lane. Even some 2 lane sections will have restrictions in place for construction, hills and even in city limits.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

It sounds like you passed the scales in Benton without being in the right-hand lane. If you ignore the big white signs that say trucks need to be in the right lane, you certainly can be stopped.

Ignorance ("I didn't see the signs") is never an excuse. You claimed your legal service deduction is "garnishment". That's a legal court order. You voluntarily signed up when you were hired. Your best bet is to get your money's worth and call your lawyer. They may be able to get the charge adjusted somehow.

From now on, if you see a white roadside sign, you had better read it. They mostly inform drivers of legal requirements coming up.

(Please refrain from for posting. Your replies will be suggest it instead of in one place.)

Vendingdude's Comment
member avatar

I made a California speeding ticket cease to exist by filing a Request for Discovery. I paid an advertising third party to take care of it and it worked. $99 fee, no ticket, no points. Maybe these sorts of things are available in other states.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I've never heard of what Vendingdude is referring to, but here is some information about that:

Getting Police Evidence to Fight Tickets ("Discovery")

By law you have to report convictions to your company but to be honest I'm not sure if you have to report the ticket right now or not. I wouldn't think so, but you might have to. If it isn't a law it might be a company policy to report citations where you're working. But whatever is required, make sure you report it to the right people.

Otherwise, all you can do is fight it. Contact the legal service and get the ball rolling. They'll do what they can to get it reduced. Negotiating to get tickets changed so that you pay a fine but don't receive any points on your license is what they'll always try to get for you. Often times it works because obviously it doesn't do the town/city/state any good financially to have points put on your license. You can't pay Government employees with points, though I'm sure they've tried. They're looking for cash. So if you pay a fine but keep the points off your license then everyone 'wins' you could say. So that's what they'll try to do.

ChickieMonster's Comment
member avatar

Not sure how you can go about fighting this but I can tell you this for certain.

There are absolutely signs all the way from Little Rock down to past Benton on I-30 saying trucks must use two right hand lanes. I know this area like the back of my hand as my company yard is in Little Rock on I-30.

And someone else had a good point. If there are ever 3 lanes or more, trucks are usually only allowed in the two right lanes. The exception to this being places where there are left exits. And when this is the case, there will be signs saying "end truck lane restrictions" or something to that effect

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

By law you have to report convictions to your company but to be honest I'm not sure if you have to report the ticket right now or not. I wouldn't think so, but you might have to. If it isn't a law it might be a company policy to report citations where you're working. But whatever is required, make sure you report it to the right people.

49 CFR 383.31 Conviction only - you also have to report it to your home licensing state - within 30 days for both employer/home DMV.

At any rate - if you are PAYING FOR TICKET DEFENSE - situations like this are WHY YOU ARE PAYING FOR TICKET DEFENSE. (as Errol pointed out - it is a payroll DEDUCTION, not a "garnishment").

FIGHT EVERY CITATION - ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE PAYING FOR TICKET DEFENSE SERVICE.

Interstates in many areas (especially urban ones) of 3 or more lanes may have left lane restrictions for trucks. For example - I-95 down by me, from Miami to West Palm is all 4-6 lanes - and is posted NO TRUCKS 3 OR MORE AXLES IN 2 LEFT LANES .

Taking a ride on I-30, using GOOGLE MAPS STREET VIEW (God I do love technology) - EVERY OVERPASS has a sign that says "TRUCKS USE 2 RIGHT LANES" - so if you were in the FAR LEFT LANE - you were popped. And it looks to be THREE LANE all the way through Benton "proper", down to two lanes after you go over the Saline River.

At any rate:

NO - you do NOT have to tell the company or your home state, until you are CONVICTED.

NO - do not "just pay the ticket" - let your ticket defense handle it. At best, they will get it thrown out (officer does a no-show), or reduced to a no-points offense/non-conviction.

If it's thrown out or non-convicted - you don't have to report. "Technically" - CDL holders can't do drivers school or get "adjudication withheld" on tickets - you beat it or eat it. For most jurisdictions - it's about the REVENUE - so many will charge you MORE for the ticket (and call it "court costs") in exchange for dropping it. So - $165, may turn out to be $265 - with no conviction or points. Your ticket defense service (that you PAY FOR) has local attorneys that are used to "wheeling and dealing" in local traffic courts - LET THEM HANDLE IT.

Rick

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Left Lane Bandit's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

By law you have to report convictions to your company but to be honest I'm not sure if you have to report the ticket right now or not. I wouldn't think so, but you might have to. If it isn't a law it might be a company policy to report citations where you're working. But whatever is required, make sure you report it to the right people.

double-quotes-end.png

49 CFR 383.31 Conviction only - you also have to report it to your home licensing state - within 30 days for both employer/home DMV.

At any rate - if you are PAYING FOR TICKET DEFENSE - situations like this are WHY YOU ARE PAYING FOR TICKET DEFENSE. (as Errol pointed out - it is a payroll DEDUCTION, not a "garnishment").

FIGHT EVERY CITATION - ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE PAYING FOR TICKET DEFENSE SERVICE.

Interstates in many areas (especially urban ones) of 3 or more lanes may have left lane restrictions for trucks. For example - I-95 down by me, from Miami to West Palm is all 4-6 lanes - and is posted NO TRUCKS 3 OR MORE AXLES IN 2 LEFT LANES .

Taking a ride on I-30, using GOOGLE MAPS STREET VIEW (God I do love technology) - EVERY OVERPASS has a sign that says "TRUCKS USE 2 RIGHT LANES" - so if you were in the FAR LEFT LANE - you were popped. And it looks to be THREE LANE all the way through Benton "proper", down to two lanes after you go over the Saline River.

At any rate:

NO - you do NOT have to tell the company or your home state, until you are CONVICTED.

NO - do not "just pay the ticket" - let your ticket defense handle it. At best, they will get it thrown out (officer does a no-show), or reduced to a no-points offense/non-conviction.

If it's thrown out or non-convicted - you don't have to report. "Technically" - CDL holders can't do drivers school or get "adjudication withheld" on tickets - you beat it or eat it. For most jurisdictions - it's about the REVENUE - so many will charge you MORE for the ticket (and call it "court costs") in exchange for dropping it. So - $165, may turn out to be $265 - with no conviction or points. Your ticket defense service (that you PAY FOR) has local attorneys that are used to "wheeling and dealing" in local traffic courts - LET THEM HANDLE IT.

Rick

Thanks Rick.. nice to have someone give some advice Instead of chewing me out for not seeing signs or using the word garnishment instead of deduction.. I appreciate it. Anyway, are you saying that I can utilize the lawyer services without notifying my company? And do u think that will be frowned upon? I honestly don't feel like I did anything wrong, I am a trainee after all, mistakes happen. I can't be the first trainee to do something like this. I just don't want to handle this situation the wrong way and catch heat for that.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Vendingdude's Comment
member avatar

Sorry I meant Trial by Written Declaration. I used a company that advertised on local billboards, but if you search this term many more pop up. You give the company all information about you, your license, the ticket, and a statement of why you think you're innocent. You also pay the fine to the court. You are fighting the ticket, even if you're guilty and you know you are. You are betting that that the court will throw it out because the officer doesn't show up, or to streamline paperwork, or as an act of mercy, it doesn't matter.

California courts are very busy. Many people pay the fine, take traffic school, etc. Some people want to fight it. This Trial by Written Declaration is a formal way of you showing up to plead your case without physically showing up. The judge goes through a stack of these Declarations and instantly assesses "not guilty, send him back his fine" or "eh, not buying the defense, keep his money", at which point you have the option of pushing one more step or giving up. The risk is that you lose the fine in addition to the fee you paid the company that took your statement, prepared the paperwork and sent it to you to submit to the court with your check. The company I used assured me they have a 90% success rate with the first shot, and a crap shoot with the second attempt.

I was part of the 90%. I had a speeding ticket (65 in a 55) on the 91 in Corona, CA and the fine was like $250 or something. I took a chance on being out $350 and still have a ticket or being out only $99 and no ticket. As it turned out, I should have waited for the formal citation to arrive in the mail before engaging the third party: the instructions on how to do this procedure were included in the letter. When I called the court they said the percentage of people fighting a ticket this way was very low, which was quite surprising.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Left Lane Bandit's Comment
member avatar

God I love this forum..

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