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Am I Going to Lose My CDL?

Posted by E. W. Childers | Sep 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

In Oklahoma if you have a Commercial Drivers License and plead guilty (even if the sentencing is deferred and even if you only have a fine) then you will lose your commercial drivers license in accordance with 47 O.S. ยง6-205.2:

B. The Department of Public Safety shall disqualify any person from operating a Class A, B or C commercial motor vehicle for a period of not less than one (1) year upon receiving a record of conviction of any of the following disqualifying offenses, when the conviction has become final:

1. Driving, operating or being in actual physical control of a Class A, B or C commercial motor vehicle while having a blood or breath alcohol concentration, as defined in Section 756 of this title, or as defined by the state in which the arrest occurred, of four-hundredths (0.04) or more;

2. Refusing to submit to a test for determination of alcohol concentration, as required by Section 751 of this title, or as required by the state in which the arrest occurred, while operating a Class A, B or C commercial motor vehicle, or if the person is the holder of a commercial driver license, committing the offense while operating any vehicle;

3. Driving or being in actual physical control of a Class A, B or C commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance or the combined influence of alcohol and any other intoxicating substance, or if the person is the holder of a commercial driver license, committing the offense while operating any vehicle. Provided, the Department shall not additionally disqualify, pursuant to this subsection, if the person's driving privilege has been disqualified in this state because of a test result or test refusal pursuant to paragraph 1 or 2 of this subsection as a result of the same violation arising from the same incident;

4. Knowingly leaving the scene of a collision which occurs while operating a Class A, B or C commercial motor vehicle, or if the person is the holder of a commercial driver license, committing the offense while operating any vehicle;

5. Any felony during the commission of which a Class A, B or C commercial motor vehicle is used, except a felony involving the manufacture, distribution or dispensation of a controlled dangerous substance, or if the person is the holder of a commercial driver license, committing the offense while operating any vehicle;

6. Operating a commercial motor vehicle while the commercial driving privilege is revoked, suspended, canceled, denied, or disqualified;

7. Manslaughter homicide, or negligent homicide occurring as a direct result of negligent operation of a commercial motor vehicle, or, if the person is the holder of a commercial driver license, committing the offense while operating any vehicle;

8. Fraud related to examination for or issuance of a commercial learner permit or a Class A, B or C driver license; or

9. Failure to submit to skills or knowledge reexamination, or both, for the purpose of issuance of a commercial learner permit or a Class A, B or C driver license within thirty (30) days of receipt of notification from the Department.

The period of time the CDL holder will lose their license depends on a complicated combination of factors that is too long for a blog post but ranges from a minimum of 60 days to many years.

If you are a CDL holder and your job is driving commercial vehicles entering any kind of plea to any of these offenses will probably result in you losing your job. Part of your counsel's job if you are accused of one of these offenses is to defend you such that you are not convicted or plead guilty to any of these defenses and possibly to attempt to negotiate creatively with the prosecutors if a more straight-forward defense is unlikely to be of any use.

Many, but not all, prosecutors will understand that pleading guilty to one of these offenses should not cost you and your family your livelihood and they will often, but not always, be amenable to some sort of negotiated settlement of your charges so that justice can be done without wrecking your life. Many times they will set forth conditions that you must meet in order to "earn" a different outcome than the one the police indicated when they wrote the reports. Be aware though that repeated offenses make any sort of mercy from the prosecutor much less likely.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Once charged with a potentially catastrophic offense for a CDL holder you must make it your mission to not be a repeat offender. Mercy does not always come; if it does you must never rely on it to come twice.

About the Author

E. W. Childers

I am a husband, father, Army veteran, and attorney here in Norman, Oklahoma. I've been practicing law throughout Central Oklahoma since 2006 shortly after I graduated from the OU College of Law. In my practice I have emphasized Family Law, Criminal Defense, and Personal Injury. I like to help peo...

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