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Federal anti-masking rules make truck violations more serious

As a previous post discussed, many truck drivers in White Plains, New York, as well as those who are just passing through the area, may have lots of reasons to fight a traffic ticket. While a typical New Yorker may be able to simply pay a fine and move on with their lives, for a commercial driver, even one ticket can have serious professional and financial consequences that go well beyond the ticket itself.

Truck violations are made all the more serious by the fact that, under federal regulations, a state court is not allowed to mask a traffic violation from a commercial driver's motor vehicle record, even if the driver allegedly committed the violation in his or her personal vehicle.

What this means is that, technically, programs and incentives like pre-trial diversion, judgment withheld or allowing a driver to admit to an unrelated, and fictitious, non-moving violation are supposed to be off the table for commercial drivers.

This does not mean, however, that negotiation is not possible when it comes to traffic tickets issued to truckers. What it does mean is it may take some special skills, knowledge, and creativity to negotiate a resolution to traffic violations that satisfy the requirements of the federal regulation. For example, it could mean a truck driver admits to speeding, but not to the extent charged.

In some cases, though, the limits on what a prosecutor can and cannot do may mean that a truck driver has no choice but to take a traffic ticket to trial. Because the stakes are so high, the driver should strongly consider enlisting the help of an experienced legal advocate to help the driver present his or her case.

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