Information on the crime of driving a commercial truck over 55 miles per hour is found at California Vehicle Code section 22406.1 (CVC 22406.1). The following is a brief discussion of the law, the penalties, and the common defenses associated with VC 22406. For further information, contact our criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation.
CVC 22406.1 Law
VC22406.1(a): A person who operates a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 15210, upon a highway at a speed exceeding a posted speed limit established under this code by 15 miles per hour or more, is guilty of a misdemeanor (VC 22406 Abbrev.).
Commercial Motor Vehicle: Per California Vehicle Code section 15210(b)(1), a commercial motor vehicle means “any vehicle, or combination of vehicles that requires a class A or class B license, or a class C license … (VC15210(b)(1) Abbrev.) A commercial motor vehicle includes a school bus (VC 15210(o), a double trailer, a passenger trailer designed to carry more than ten passengers (VC 15278(a)(2), a tank vehicle (VC 15278(4), and a vehicle carrying hazardous material (VC 15278(5).
CVC 22406.1(a) Penalties
Misdemeanor: The crime of driving a commercial vehicle 15 miles per hour over the speed limit is classified as a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is a classification of criminal offenses that are considered less severe than felony, but more severe than infractions.
Jail Sentence: A violation of VC 22406.1(a) can lead to a jail sentence of up to 180 days. Any incarceration for VC 22406.1 is served in a local county jail as opposed to a state prison.
Probation Sentence: A probation sentence is allowed and common in VC 22406.1(a) cases; however, a probation sentence is not guaranteed. Whether or not a defendant is offered a probation sentence in any VC22406.1 case depends largely on the facts of the case, the defendant’s criminal history, the terms of a negotiated plea between the defendant and the district attorney, and more.
Essentially a probation sentence is a period of supervision instead of incarceration. A probation sentence carries “conditions of probation” that must be fulfilled in order to remain on probation. Common probation conditions related to VC 22406.1(a) violations include, but are not limited to, the following: violate no law (misdemeanor or felony), pay a fine and fee, pay restitution to any victim (accident cases), do not drive without a valid license, and more.
Note: It is possible that a term of probation can be to serve a jail sentence; however, when a jail sentence is ordered as a term of probation then the defendant may usually serve that jail sentence alternatively on work release or house arrest.
License Suspension: A commercial driver who is convicted of driving a commercial truck 15 miles an hour over the posted speed limit may have his commercial truck driver’s license suspended. A license suspension depends on how many “points” the driver already has on his DMV record at the time of the alleged offense. A violation of VC 22406.1 adds 1.5 points on a driver’s DMV record.
Note: Traffic school is not available in VC 22406.1 cases because the offense is classified as a misdemeanor.
Other Penalties: In addition to the penalties listed above, if the defendant if found guilty of violating VC 22406.1, then he may also face the additional penalties: court fines and fees, loss of a professional license (doctor, dentist, lawyer, etc.), loss of military service options, insurance rate increases, loss of immigration status, civil lawsuits (for accident-related cases), violation of probation or parole is the defendant is already on probation or parole at the time of the alleged offense, and more.
CVC 22406.1 Defenses
Common defense to a alleged violation of VC 22406.1 include, but are not limited to, the following: statute of limitations (1 year), officer mistaken about driver’s speed, improper use of speed indication device (i.e., RADAR Gun, Lidar gun, etc.), inaccurate “pacing” by officers, non-calibration of speed indication device, obstruction of view by speed indication device (trees, other vehicles, etc.), necessity, and more.
Note: There is an exception to VC 22406.1 for emergencies where an officer directs the commercial driver to drive in excess of the posted speed limit for some reason (usually associated with another driver’s evading police situation).
For further information on Vehicle Code Section 22406.1, contact our criminal defense lawyers today for a free consult. Our criminal defense lawyers represent defendants charged with any felony or misdemeanor violation in San Bernardino and Riverside County, including the cities of Redlands, Fontana, Yucaipa, Victorville, Rancho Cucamonga, Rialto, Ontario, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Moreno Valley. We can even visit local jails for consults for a small fee (West Valley Detention Center, Adelanto Detention Center, Central Detention Center, and Robert Presley Jail). Call today!
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