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Can a car accident attorney help reinstate your CDL?
January 25, 2022 at 5:00 AM
The exterior of a courthouse.

When you’re involved in an accident while driving your commercial vehicle, your best bet at protecting yourself is to have a skilled car accident attorney at your side and understand the violations you may be charged with to the fullest extent possible.

There are, however, a lot of different violations with penalties that impact your CDL in different ways. Some are more severe and may require more action on your part, while others may simply invoke a temporary, short-term suspension of your license.

That’s why in this blog post, we’re going to go over some of the ways different collision-related violations affect your CDL, how they’re categorized, and what steps you need to take to get your license reinstated.

How different vehicular crimes affect your CDL

The Texas Department of Public Safety lists traffic violations and associated penalties on its website. Your length of license suspension will depend on what you’ve been charged with, but suspension durations typically come in five increments of time.

  • 60-day suspension: The shortest amount of time your CDL can be revoked for. Two offenses of reckless driving, excessive speeding, and more can lead to this suspension.
  • 120-day suspension: Three counts of the types of offenses mentioned above may lead you to lose your license for 120 days, as well as a second offense of railroad-highway grade crossing violations.
  • At least one year: You’ll lose your CDL for a minimum of a year for alcohol-related convictions, hit-and-run incidents, and more.
  • Lifetime: You could lose your license permanently for a second offense of most charges that cost you your license for at least a year. Committing a felony while operating a commercial vehicle automatically revokes your license for life.

Accident-related charges generally fall into two main categories: “serious” and “major” violations.

Which violations are “serious” or “major?”

“Serious” violations are generally ones that will lead to a 60 to 120-day license suspension. Many of them aren’t accident-related themselves, though traffic violations that result in a fatality do appear in this category.

“Major” charges often come with longer suspension periods of at least a year. Actions like leaving the scene of an accident and negligent driving that causes a fatality are considered major violations. Some charges that aren’t directly related to accidents, like DWI, are also listed among major violations and often go hand-in-hand with more specifically accident-related charges.

Reinstating your CDL

Getting your license back after serious violations involves no action on your part. After the suspension period ends, your CDL is automatically reinstated and, assuming no other enforcement actions are in place against you, you’re all set to get back on the road.

If your license is revoked for life after a major violation, though, you’ll still have an opportunity to get it reinstated, but it’s best to work with a lawyer to do so. A skilled car accident attorney can help build a strong case to defend against your initial conviction.

Ideally, your charges will be reduced or dismissed in this scenario. Even if they aren’t, though, a lawyer can represent you through the process of appealing a conviction, requesting a hearing to reinstate your CDL, and apply