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Are you a CDL driver charged with a Major Offense or Serious Traffic Offense?

CDLAttorney Mike Sherman is a former Pennsylvania State Police Attorney who can make a difference in CDL cases.

When you are a CDL driver, any mistake you make on the road becomes becomes a serious problem. For a normal driver, a violation is usually straightforward – you pay a fine and attend some classes. For a CDL driver, a violation may end up in you getting suspended and losing your job.

If you have been charged with a Major Offense, you are looking at a minimum of 1 year of CDL disqualification. If you have a previous Major Offense, then you are looking at a LIFETIME DISQUALIFICATION.

Even a Serious Traffic Offense (STO), depending on your driving history, may result in a suspension of your CDL. Imagine having to tell your company that you can't drive for 2 months. Do you think they will sit around and wait for you or hire someone else?

That is why you need to take Major Traffic Offenses and STO's very seriously and get professional legal help. Attorney Mike Sherman has been helping truck drivers for years and has successfully helped many of them reduce their fines, reduce their charges, and keep them on road.

Here are some results from real cases of clients who chose Attorney Mike Sherman:

CDL DUI Breath Test Trial – All Charges Dropped

Our client held a commercial driver's license (CDL). He was a first offender with no criminal record. If he entered into the first offender program, he would suffer a disqualification of his CDL – it would be lost for one year. A CDL driver with a DUI will have a very difficult time getting employment in the future. We hired a forensic breath testing expert. The expert reviewed our client's medical history, the circumstances surrounding the case, and the breath test records. Our expert concluded that the breath test result was unreliable. After reviewing the report, the prosecution dropped all of the DUI charges.

Overweight Violation – Fines Reduced by 90%

A CDL driver was facing over $30,000.00 in fines for overweight violation. The fine was reduced from $30,000.00 to $3,000.00 and our client never had to attend court.

CDL Reckless Driving in a Construction Zone – Charged Reduced

A CDL driver was facing reckless driving for speeding in a construction zone which is a serious traffic offense. The CDL driver saved his job when the charge was reduced to a violation of Obedience to Traffic Control Signals.

CDL Accident Charges – Successfully Appealed 1 Year License Suspension

A CDL driver was charged with accidents involving damage to unattended property when he hit a guardrail when turning around. Another lawyer advised the CDL driver to pay the fine and forget about it. After he paid the fine, the CDL driver received notice that his CDL was being disqualified for 1 year. We filed an appeal. After restitution was paid for the damage, the charge was dropped.

Right now, the best thing you can do is call Attorney Sherman at (412) 471-5000 and take advantage of his free consultation. Remember, CDL drivers who can't afford to lose their license hire Mike Sherman.

*Please note: we only handle Pennsylvania CDL violations.

What is a disqualification?

A disqualification is the temporary or permanent withdrawal of a person's privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV).

How does a Commercial Driver become disqualified?

A disqualification can result from a single conviction for a MAJOR OFFENSE, an accumulation of SERIOUS TRAFFIC OFFENSES or for other specific violations, i.e. violations of railroad-highway grade crossings.

What is a major offense?

The following chart lists the violations that are defined as major offenses for CDL holders. Most of these violations will result in the disqualification of your commercial driving privilege regardless of the type of vehicle you are driving (CMV and non-CMV). The disqualification period that a major offense carries depends on the offense and the type of vehicle you are driving. Two major offenses result in a lifetime disqualification.


Federal Description PA Code Section Vehicle Type Length of Disqualification for First Offense
Driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance. 3731(i), 3802 CMV or Personal vehicle 1 Year – 3 Years with Hazmat
Refusing to submit to chemical testing. 1613, 1547 CMV or Personal vehicle 1 Year – 3 Years with Hazmat
Leaving the scene of an accident. 3743, 3745 CMV or Personal vehicle 1 Year – 3 Years with Hazmat
Using a vehicle to commit felony. Various Crimes Code Offenses CMV or Personal vehicle 1 Year – 3 Years with Hazmat
Using a vehicle in the commission of a felony Involving manufacturing, distributing or dispensing a controlled substance. 13a10, 13a14, 13a19, 13a30, 13a36 CMV or Personal vehicle Lifetime
Driving a CMV while the driver's CDL is revoked, suspended. cancelled or disqualified. 1606 (c) (1), 1543 (a) (b) CMV Only 1 Year – 3 Years with Hazmat
Causing a fatality through the negligent operation of a CMV. 3742, 3735, 2503, 2504 CMV Only 1 Year – 3 Years with Hazmat


What is a serious traffic offense (STO)?

The following chart lists the violations that are defined as serious traffic offenses. If you are convicted of any 2 of these serious traffic offenses within a 3 year period, you will be disqualified from driving a CMV for 60 days. If you are convicted of 3 or more serious traffic offenses within a 3 year period, you will be disqualified from driving a CMV for 120 days. Most of these violations must occur in a CMV to count as a STO. However, there are some exceptions as noted below.

Serious Traffic Offense

Federal Description PA Code Section Vehicle Type
Exceeding maximum speed limit 15 mph or more 3362, 3365(b) CMV Personal vehicle (only if the violation occurred in a work zone or school)
Hazardous Grades 3365(c) CMV
Driving recklessly, as defined by state or local law. 3736 CMV or Personal vehicle
Making improper or erratic traffic lane changes. 3304, 3305, 3306(a)(1), 3306(a)(2), 3306(a)(3), 3307, 3309(1), 3309(2), 3309(4) CMV
Following the vehicle ahead too closely. 3310 CMV
Duty of driver in construction and maintenance areas or on highway safety corridors. (This violation is an STO under PA law) 3326 CMV
Violating state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control arising in connection with a fatal accident. 3714(b), All other moving violations CMV or personal vehicle, CMV only
Driving a CMV without obtaining a CDL. driving a CMV without a valid CDL in the driver's possession, driving a CMV without the proper class and/or endorsements. 1606(a)(1), 1606(a)(2), 1606(a)(3), 1501(a) CMV
Texting while driving a CMV. 1621 CMV
Use of a hand-held mobile telephone while driving a CMV. 1622 CMV

If you are facing a serious charge, don't delay. Call former Pennsylvania State Police attorney Mike Sherman to set up your free consultation at (412) 471-5000.

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Mike Sherman Law is committed to answering your questions about DUI defense, homicide by vehicle while DUI, aggravated assault while DUI, homicide by vehicle, CDL defense, driving while on a DUI suspension, blood or breath tests refusals, and criminal defense law issues in Pittsburgh.

We offer a free consultation and we’ll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.