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What Are the Penalties for Driving a Semi Truck Without a CDL?

What Are the Penalties For Driving a Semi-truck Without a CDL?

If you drive a semi-truck, you probably think that you have to have a commercial driver’s license. in most cases, that is the case. But in some cases, you only have to have a commercial driver’s license if you’re carrying a certain size or weight. If you find out that the semi-truck you’re driving does fall under the requirement to have a CDL, then you can start looking into the penalties that might be associated with driving such a vehicle without the appropriate license.


One of the major penalties for driving without a CDL when one is required comes in the form of fines. Usually, these fines are quite hefty. Not only can you be fined as the driver, but if the company you’re working for knowingly sent you on the road without a CDL, they can be fined, as well. Driving without a CDL is usually a very costly thing to do. The fines can range up into the thousands of dollars, and for employers, it can be $10,000 or more per employee that doesn’t have a CDL. Ouch!

License Suspension

Another penalty you could face for driving without a CDL is license suspension. You could face a suspension of a year up to ten years depending on the severity of the situation. In many cases, state law comes into play when determining how long your suspension will be. Some states are far stricter when it comes to CDL violations than others. However, you can expect about a year’s suspension at a minimum for most states and situations.

Job Loss

Driving without a CDL is against most company’s policies. It’s definitely against the law in cases where a CDL is required. If you’ve been deceptive at all with your employer and you drive without a CDL when your employer thinks you have one, you could face job loss. In fact, you could even face legal action if the situation is serious enough. While having your license suspended alone could result in job loss, your employer could choose to fire you regardless of the outcome, just to be safe.

Criminal Charges

If you’re driving without a CDL, especially if drugs or alcohol are involved in the incident you were ticketed for, you could face criminal charges. You can also face criminal charges if you were shown to be negligent (and driving without a CDL is typically seen as negligent) or if injury or death occurred. Another reason criminal charges might be filed against you would be if you left the scene of an accident.

Don’t Go It Alone

If you’re dealing with issues regarding your CDL license, don’t take it lightly. It’s important to seek legal advice to protect yourself. CDL cases are taken very seriously by the courts. Even if you’re being asked to do something illegal by your employer (such as drive without the appropriate licenses) it’s never worth it. You can fight for your rights. If you’ve already been caught driving without a CDL, there might still be time to defend yourself. Hiring an attorney doesn’t have to be intimidating, and it can save you a lot of time, money, and hassle. We’re here to help you find the best attorney for the job.

At Ticket Void, we’ve worked for years with drivers just like you. We help pair you with a qualified attorney in your area who is vetted and capable of helping you with your specific case. By entering just a few pieces of information about your case, we can find and email you the information of an attorney near you who is best suited to help you with your case. The initial consultation is free, so what do you have to lose? Get started today, and exercise your right to fight.


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