Reckless Driving With a CDL in New York

By: Adam H. Rosenblum Esq. | Last Updated:

Reckless Driving and CDL Drivers

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder needs to be especially careful if he or she received a reckless driving ticket in NY. You risk a lot more than getting points and fines when you drive recklessly because reckless driving in NY is one of the traffic violations that can cause a CDL holder to lose his license.

When an officer pulls you over for reckless driving, your livelihood may be on the line.

Reckless Driving Suspension for CDL Driver

As a CDL holder, you know better than anyone else that your ability to drive is directly linked to your ability to provide for your family. Consequently, if your license is suspended, you either need to find a new source of employment or do all you can to get your license back as soon as possible. Although your CDL will not be suspended for your first violation, New York will not be nearly as forgiving the second time around.

If you are convicted of VTL 1212 are subsequently convicted a second time within 3 years, your CDL will be suspended for 60 days. If it happens a third time within that 3 year time frame, your CDL will be suspended for 120 days.

Although you might think that a second conviction could never happen to you, it is important to remember that three years is a very large window of time and it has happened to the best of us. Before you find yourself in that situation, be sure to contact an experienced reckless driving attorney in NY to help you avoid a conviction for your first offense.

Penalties for Two or More Reckless Driving Convictions in NY

Besides losing your CDL for 60 days, if you are convicted of reckless driving twice within 18 months, you could face:

  • Up to a $525 fine
  • 90 days in jail
  • A huge increase in your car insurance premium
  • 5 additional points on your driving record

For a third offense, you could face:

  • Up to a $1,125 fine
  • 180 days in jail
  • A huge increase in your car insurance premium
  • 5 additional points on your driving record

Reckless Driving Defenses

In order to keep your CDL and to beat your reckless driving charge, it is crucial that you hire an experienced reckless driving attorney in NY who is familiar with all of the defenses that can help you.

There are at least two good defenses that you should be aware of:

  • First, a trained attorney—under the right circumstances—will argue that there were no additional “aggravating acts” outside the bounds of a run-of-the-mill traffic violation.
    • In other words, if all you legitimately were doing is speeding and no more (e.g. swerving erratically, tailgating, etc.) your attorney will likely be able to get the reckless driving charge dismissed entirely or greatly lowered.
    • Second, your attorney could argue that your actions were reasonable under the present circumstances. This involves providing direct evidence that you were not endangering anyone else on the road and/or you were driving reasonably given the circumstances you were in.

Although you might think that you have the wherewithal and ability to mount these general arguments in court for yourself, it is a much better move to hire a skilled reckless driving attorney who has the knowledge and experience to use them for your unique case.