Ticket For Improper Lane Usage In Illinois

Topic 10627 | Page 1

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Anttjuan R.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi, so basically I got a ticket in Illinois for improper lane usage but I also ran into a guard rail and tore it up. I landed into a grassy area before a bridge and my truck had to be towed out of there. I did not roll over but the front of it was messed up and was not drivable anymore. There were no injuries and no other vehicles were involved. Did the officer give me a break by just giving me a ticket for improper lane usage? By far, it is the only ticket I've ever gotten and this was in September (2015), exactly one year since I got my CDL. My company fired me upon learning of the incident. How serious will this look on my record? And if companies do a background check, will they know about how I ran into the rail guard too or will they just see the improper lane usage ticket that the officer gave me? In other words, do I have to tell them of the wreck?

I'm also debating whether I should try and hire a lawyer to help fight this ticket, but how successful can that actually be in court when it is obvious it was my fault? Can a good lawyer really persuade a judge I'm innocent? I have until November to think about it but if it's not going to be a major smudge on my record, I may just plead guilty, pay the ticket and get it over with. Plus don't they say that after about three years, it comes off my record as if it never happened? What would YOU do? As of right now, I'm just in the process of submitting applications everywhere hoping somebody will hire me.

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.

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.

Phil C.'s Comment
member avatar

I will try and help and I think other more knowledgeable than I will also help.

QUICK ANSWER Improper lane usage is defined by the state of Illinois as driving a vehicle in any way other than what is practically possible within a single lane of traffic and not moving out of that lane until the driver has determined that the move can be safely made without hampering the operation of other vehicles. This is considered a moving violation punishable by a fine.

It sounds like you want to plea not guilty and have a trial. I would just ask you to reflect on a few questions:

1. Have you read the actual statute that you are being charged with violating? 2. If yes, do you have a clear understanding of what the prosecutor will be required to prove to win his/her case? 3. Are you aware of any legal defenses to your case? 4. Have you thought about what witnesses to call on your behalf? 5. Have you thought about the relevant questions you will ask them, that will aid your defense? 6. Have you thought about the witnesses the State will call against you? 7. And if so, is it better for you to question them or just pass the witness and ask nothing?

I would also talk to the DA and see what plea bargain is available and maybe plea guilty to a lesser charge. I think you got off easy because it could have been careless or wreckless driving. However the termination for wrecking the truck, that's the stickler. You will need to show them as an employer and they will most likely check to see what you were fired for.

It never comes off your record with a CDL , and charges you are convicted of will remain forever. But most companies only check the last 3,5 or 7 years for your motor vehicle record.

So my advice would be to first talk to the DA and see what plea bargains may be available. Fully understand the charge levied against you. Then try and find a good friend at the company you worked for to provide as a reference and hopefully minimize the reason you were terminated.

Phil

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.

Motor Vehicle Record:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

Anttjuan R.'s Comment
member avatar

@ Phil C.: Thanks for the info. I also forgot to mention that I've also been given the option to request court supervision which says, "when you comply with all supervision conditions, you will avoid a conviction on your driving record." Does this mean companies won't see a conviction on my record when doing a background check? Seems a little too good to be true. Hopefully this is effective for CDL drivers too and not just regular drivers. If you have any info on how this supervision works, that will be helpful. I'm doing my research too but I can't seem to find solid answers in this regard. I'm 25 by the way if that helps with anything.

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.
Indy's Comment
member avatar

I would guess that the accident is a bigger problem for you than the ticket. Your former company has likely reported it on your DAC record. You can request a copy of your DAC report here. I think most companies check your DAC report as part of the background check.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Scott M's Comment
member avatar

Anttjuan- Get a lawyer- yesterday! You need professional legal help. You need to order the truck driving records that your company submitted. I'm not sure what they're called. You need to get the police report. I would spend alot of money to do what ever I can to clean this up, and if at all possible to keep it off of my MVR- motor vehicle record.

I'm also debating whether I should try and hire a lawyer to help fight this ticket, but how successful can that actually be in court when it is obvious it was my fault?

ANSWER- Lawyers are sharp- they've been fixing tickets for years. You need to ask a lawyer all your questions. This is critical to you career as a truck driver.

Can a good lawyer really persuade a judge I'm innocent?

ANSWER- A lawyer can not make a miracle out of thin air; But he can do a tremendous amount to clean this up. Especially if you have a clean record- no criminal or traffic/driving violations. And he can help even if you have had previous violations.

I have until November to think about it but if it's not going to be a major smudge on my record, I may just plead guilty, pay the ticket and get it over with. Plus don't they say that after about three years, it comes off my record as if it never happened? What would YOU do? As of right now, I'm just in the process of submitting applications everywhere hoping somebody will hire me.

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.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

Motor Vehicle Record:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

Anttjuan R.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you Jetguy- Scott M. I might do just that. But first I'd like to know if there is an additional or heavier penalty if I plead not guilty, and end up guilty in the end. Or would it be as if I had just plead guilty. Either way, it seems worth the fight but it'd be nice to know what I'm getting into.

Scott M's Comment
member avatar

Thank you Jetguy- Scott M. I might do just that. But first I'd like to know if there is an additional or heavier penalty if I plead not guilty, and end up guilty in the end. Or would it be as if I had just plead guilty. Either way, it seems worth the fight but it'd be nice to know what I'm getting into.

Anntjuan- I don't have the answer to your question. A good lawyer will have an answer, and if he doesn't, I'd find another one. What do you mean- "I might do just that"? Isn't trucking your future? Isn't it absolutely critical? If you can get this cleaned up- that is absolutely critical on getting a job. I wouldn't waste a second- Contact a lawyer.

Shiva's Comment
member avatar

Thank you Jetguy- Scott M. I might do just that. But first I'd like to know if there is an additional or heavier penalty if I plead not guilty, and end up guilty in the end. Or would it be as if I had just plead guilty. Either way, it seems worth the fight but it'd be nice to know what I'm getting into.

GET A LAWYER!

Nick's Comment
member avatar

Don't take this the wrong way, accidents happen and everyone makes mistakes. I would def do the supervision thing. I mean you are admitting its your fault, so unless you can afford a bunch of money on a lawyer which may or may not help that would be my choice. Good luck!

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.
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