A DUI conviction has always been bad news for those who posses a commercial driver license or CDL. The options that worked in the past often included some sort of deferred prosecution wherein a conviction was suspended. Dismissal by payment of court costs was a favorite of many DUI lawyers for the commercially licensed clients.
Unfortunately that option is no longer available! As of this month any CDL license holder who has a case “dismissed with costs” or “nol prossed upon payment of court costs” or the mere payment of court costs before the case goes away will now be considered a CONVICTION by the Department of Public Safety.
A conviction under 49 CFR 383.5 is now defined as, “an unvacated adjudication of guilt, or a determination that a person has violated or failed to comply with the law in a court of original jurisdiction or by an authorized administrative tribunal, an unvacated forfeiture of bail or collateral deposited to secure the person’s appearance in court, a plea of guilty or nolo contendere accepted by the court, the payment of a fine or court cost, or violation of a condition of release without bail, regardless of whether or not the penalty is rebated, suspended, or probated.”
That’s a lot of legal jargon with a simple fact buried within – If you are charged with DUI as a CDL driver, you no longer have the option of paying court costs and getting back to work. You’ll have to hire an experienced DUI lawyer to fight for your license!