Scared of the Mailman
You’re a Peterbilt driving, air-horn honking, Convoy listening Truck Driver. You worry about the clearance of that bridge ahead, but you don’t need to spend your hours on the road worrying about whether you’ll get that dreaded letter.
DPS sends CDL Suspension Notices by mail and they are every trucker’s nightmare because losing your license means losing your job. Losing your job means losing your way of life.
What to Do With the Letter?
When DPS sends their Notice of Intent to Suspend your CDL, that is their notification to you that unless you take some action, then they are going to suspend your license. It is very important for you to take that action because then you at least have a chance to be heard.
To be heard, the very first thing you want to do is request a hearing. This hearing may take place before an Administrative Law Judge, or it could be transferred to one of your local Justices of the Peace. Requesting this hearing isn’t the surefire way to save your license, but that will at least give you a fighting chance if the DPS has made a mistake.
Your attorney can go over your case with you and determine whether there is a factual, or procedural basis to contest the proposed suspension of your license.
How to Prevent Getting a Letter
The Texas Transportation Code provides a laundry list of violations for which your license could be suspended, but the most confusing is the provision that allows suspension for “two serious traffic violations…within a three-year period.”
These “serious traffic violations” amount to traffic tickets that you only worried about the price of the fine; such as following too closely, improper lane change, reckless driving, speeding. Since you probably got these tickets out-of-state, you didn’t think much of them and just sent in the fine.
The problem with sending in the fine is that it amounts to a Plea of Guilty and is a conviction on your record. When you receive such a ticket, you should consult with your attorney to see if there is any way to resolve that ticket without it resulting in that conviction so it doesn’t stick to your record.
Ultimately, the short answer to prevent getting the letter is to avoid getting any traffic citations, and if you do get traffic citations, fight them individually because fighting them at your suspension hearing might be too late.
Tex. Trans. Code—§ 522.003, 522.081
–Authored by Matthew L. Harris, Esq.,
Matthew Harris Law, PLLC – Civil Litigation Division
1001 Main Street, Suite 200, Lubbock, Texas, 79401-3309
Tel: (806) 702-4852 | Fax: (800) 985-9479