No Valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

no commercial drivers license

If you drive a commercial vehicle without the appropriate commercial driver’s license (CDL), you can be charged for “no valid” driver’s license under Florida Statute 322.03. This charge requires prosecutors to prove you were not appropriately licensed when you drove a commercial vehicle on a Florida highway. For a license to be valid, it must have a class endorsement, not be revoked, suspended, canceled or expired. Consequences for this violation vary depending on your license status and prior conviction history.

Florida Penalties for No Valid Commercial License

It’s important to understand that driving without a commercial license is very different than driving with a suspended or revoked commercial license. These are two very different situations that come with varying penalties if convicted. Those charged with driving without a valid CDL didn’t necessarily have to know they were operating a commercial vehicle illegally.

Proving a Charge of No Valid CDL

Florida courts only require proof you didn’t have valid CDL and that you were driving a commercial vehicle for you to be convicted of this offense. It is not necessary for the prosecution to show that you knew you were driving a commercial vehicle without the appropriate license.

The prosecution may introduce your certified driving record from the DMV as evidence that you lack a CDL; however, this document alone does not definitively prove the absence of a valid commercial driver’s license.

No Valid CDL is a Serious Traffic Offense

Driving without a valid CDL is a serious traffic offense that results in a criminal charge. A conviction could negatively impact future applications for employment, higher insurance premiums, and even difficulty getting into some colleges or securing a job in the commercial driving business. Uber and lyft heavily scrutinize driving records as well.

While the first violation of this charge doesn’t prevent you from getting a CDL in the future, subsequent convictions do impact licensing privileges.

  • A second offense of this nature in less than three years will disqualify you from obtaining a CDL for 60 days.
  • A third offense within three years will cause you to lose your CDL for 120 days. Additionally, you may receive a first-degree misdemeanor charge which can cost you up to $1,000 in fines and up to a year in jail.

Defenses for No Valid Commercial License

If charged with driving a commercial vehicle without a valid CDL, it’s crucial you hire a Florida attorney as soon as possible. It is important to start creating your defense against prosecution, and  Orlando criminal defense attorney is necessary to do this.

Some potential defenses against charges of no valid commercial driver’s license are:

  • You were stopped by law enforcement without cause
  • You were unlawfully detained after the stop
  • You do have a valid CDL
  • You were not driving on a public roadway like a street or highway
  • Lack of evidence showing you didn’t have a license in your possession from another agency

Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you face a charge of no valid commercial driver’s license, don’t delay requesting experienced legal counsel. A knowledgeable defense lawyer can help you through the criminal process so that your rights are protected and best interests prioritized. Orlando criminal defense lawyers can help you avoid the worst penalties and fight to help you keep your CDL.

If you have been arrested for driving a commercial truck with no valid commercial license, contact The Umansky Law Firm right away. You deserve representation you can rely on to protect your career and future driving privileges. Led by criminal defense attorney William D. Umansky, our firm’s team of former prosecutors has over 100 years of combined experience that has led to many successful resolutions for our clients. Contact us today at (407) 228-3838 for a free case evaluation and take the next steps to protect your good name.