Los Angeles Commercial DUI Defense

As a commercial driver, getting a DUI is detrimental to your employment and future. A commercial DUI charge is a criminal offense that will stay on your record, and you will lose your commercial license temporarily or even permanently.

After a DUI, you must move quickly in hiring a DUI defense lawyer because there are short time frames for you to file appeals to keep your license. You can face steeper legal consequences if you delay too long in calling a commercial DUI lawyer in Los Angeles. While you must move quickly to get legal representation, you cannot have just anyone represent you. It is vital to have someone with decades of experience.

Criminal defense is what we do. We have handled over 8,500 DUI and other criminal cases. Our criminal defense lawyers—all of them former prosecutors—take on the most challenging cases and secure the best results for our clients.

You need an attorney immediately if you are a commercial driver facing a felony or misdemeanor DUI. You must move quickly because the court will try to file charges and take other measures against you. Our firm can help reduce or drop charges before the prosecutor files them.

Recent case results

Chudnovsky Law’s track record speaks for itself; here are some recent cases in Los Angeles our firm has handled and gotten favorable results:

  • First DUI, LAX Airport Court. Result: Not guilty verdict in a court trial.
  • Second DUI while on probation for first, East LA Court. The client faced up to 12 months in jail. Result: No jail.
  • Felony DUI, Clara Shortridge Courthouse. Non-US citizens faced 16 mo jail and deportation. Result: Reduced to a misdemeanor, no jail, no immigration consequence.

While we have many other case results, these are just a few to show you we get the results for our clients to move on with their lives. To know more about beating a DUI, read our 20 Ways to Beat a DUI.

Protecting your livelihood in the face of commercial DUI charges

While a passenger vehicle driver will face the consequences, it is much worse for commercial drivers. You have more at stake than a passenger vehicle driver. The worst outcome is losing your license, which also means losing your job. You have undergone special training and gotten a commercial driver’s license to be a commercial driver. The document allows you to operate commercial vehicles across Los Angeles and elsewhere.

Without the license classification, you cannot operate a commercial vehicle. One DUI conviction in California is all it takes for you to face the potential loss of your livelihood. In Los Angeles, one DUI conviction can result in the state downgrading your license to a Class C. this license classification is a non-commercial license, so you cannot drive a commercial vehicle.

Other outcomes can include a license restriction. While a restriction does not mean the state takes away your ability to drive a commercial vehicle, that does not mean your employer will continue to keep you employed. They can and will revoke your job-related driving privileges. Even if you lose your privileges for a short period, it can still result in substantial losses for you and your family. Most trucking companies will not hire anyone with a DUI on their record for fear of liability issues. A DUI on your record means the end of your career.

When you hire our Los Angeles commercial DUI defense attorney, we can protect your livelihood and reputation.

Classifications of driver’s licenses in California

As a Los Angeles commercial truck driver, the state holds you to a higher standard than other motorists. To operate a commercial vehicle, you must have a Class A or B driver's license. If you have a Class C license, it must have a commercial endorsement for you to use commercial vehicles.

Each class breaks down as follows;

  • Class A: You can operate any vehicle over 10,000 pounds, including 18-wheelers and tanker trucks.
  • Class B: You can operate any vehicle of 10,000 pounds or less such as buses and small moving trucks.
  • Class C with the commercial endorsement: A standard driver’s license allows you to operate a two-axle or three-axle vehicle of 6,000 pounds or less. When there is a commercial endorsement, you can carry hazardous materials.

You need the proper classification before you get behind the wheel. The wrong license can mean you will face additional penalties with a DUI.

A commercial vehicle includes:

  • Double trailers
  • Tank-type trucks
  • School buses
  • Vehicles that carry ten or more people
  • Vehicles with a GVWR over 26,0001 pounds

Some vehicles that are often mistaken as commercial vehicles but are not are:

  • Farm vehicles
  • Taxis
  • Rideshares
  • Limos with less than ten people
  • Recreational vehicles like RVs and campers

When you have a commercial driver’s license, it doesn’t matter what vehicle you are in because the result will be the same. You will face possible license suspension and job loss. Do not allow a mistake to alter the rest of your life, whether on or off the clock. You must contact a Los Angeles commercial DUI defense attorney when you can. Charges will come fast, and so will a license suspension; your future depends on how quickly you contact Chudnovsky Law.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Chudnovsky Law

FMCSA DUI Regulations

Commercial drivers need a DUI defense lawyer in Los Angeles who understands what is at stake and will work to keep their life in order. You can get a DUI charge when you are not operating a commercial vehicle or in any official capacity. Per FMCSA code § 383.51, an employer aware of any driver disqualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle cannot allow the driver to operate their vehicle. A disqualifying offense is driving under the influence.

Truck drivers must refer to the following examples of ways you can face a disqualification from driving a CMV:

  • Driving any motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 percent
  • Driving any motor vehicle under the influence of drugs
  • Operating a commercial motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.04 percent

Examples of DUI penalties

You can face misdemeanor and felony charges, but there are also wobbler charges. A wobbler charge is when the offense falls into neither category, usually seen in cases with an injury. Aside from losing your ability to drive a commercial vehicle, there are other legal penalties you can face from a DUI conviction.

Potential penalties include:

  • Probation and community service
  • One year commercial driver’s license suspicion
  • Alcohol education classes
  • Victims Impact Panel seminar
  • Ignition interlock device installation on personal vehicles
  • Suspension for non-commercial vehicles

A DUI does affect not only your ability to drive a commercial vehicle but also a non-commercial vehicle. It will become challenging to find alternate employment when you cannot drive to interviews due to a DUI conviction. Even if you find alternate employment, it may not be enough to cover your expenses as trucking did.

Many drivers think that a one-year suspicion of a commercial driver’s license is no big deal but imagine going without work for an entire year. After the one year is over, you also risk not being able to go back to your previous employer or find a new employer. The examples we mentioned are for first-time offenses and much steeper for subsequent offenses.


Types of DUI cases

The Los Angeles commercial DUI attorneys from Chudnovsky Law have six decades of experience handling different DUI cases, including but not limited to:

  • Misdemeanor DUI
  • Second and subsequent DUIs
  • Felony DUI with injuries
  • Hit and run DUIs
  • DUI involving drugs
  • Foreign citizen DUI
  • Watson murder
  • Driving without a license
  • Vehicular manslaughter

Before the state or local police department files a charge against you, there will be an investigation. While some drunk drivers face arrest at the scene, others do not. If possible, contact our law office before a prosecutor officially charges you or police arrest you.

We can work with the following parties to reduce or prevent charges:

Your citizenship status does not hinder your ability to get proper legal counsel. A Los Angeles DUI conviction will affect your ability to obtain citizenship or a permanent residence application. For non-citizens, an arrest or charge can mean automatic visa revocation.

How the process works

Saving your license is of the utmost importance, and you need an attorney who can do that. Our law firm has a former District Attorney on staff, so we know the ins and outs of the court system. However, several steps to the process require you to stay on your toes. One wrong move can make your case more challenging.

You will have an automatic DMV driver’s license suspension ten days after the date of your arrest. That short time does not give you sufficient time to prepare. Before your case even gets to an arrest, you will need to hire a commercial DUI lawyer in Los Angeles who can work faster than the DMV.

The prosecutor working against you must focus their efforts on four key elements. They must prove that you are guilty of a DUI beyond a reasonable doubt.

The prosecutor will focus on these principles:

  • Driving impairment patterns
  • Field sobriety tests
  • Physical signs and symptoms
  • Chemical test results or refusal to take tests

Your defense will heavily rely on finding the fault in the prosecutor’s case and casting reasonable doubt. We will need to look at the case details, find which of the four factors is the weakest link, and build a winning strategy around it.

The following steps are how we help save your driver’s license from a DUI conviction:

  • Request an APS hearing within ten days
  • Meet with a DMV APS officer
  • Have your lawyer present for the meeting
  • Gather evidence from the APS hearing

The goal of the hearing is to avoid a driver’s license suspension from the DMV, but that does not end your legal troubles. You still have the criminal court case to contend with. You cannot afford to have just any commercial DUI defense attorney fighting for your life. The consequences of a DUI conviction for commercial drivers are steeper than for other drivers, and your future will depend on how well your Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer does.

While the immediate aftermath of a DUI arrest is blurry, you must jog your memory and write down some important information that can help build your defense like:

  • The events that transpired when law enforcement pulled you over
  • Information about the sobriety test
  • Whether the officer did a Breathalyzer test
  • Everything that occurred during the arrest
  • What was said and done during transport to the police station
  • Any mention of a chemical breath test
  • If you took a chemical breath test, how was it done

Not everyone will have the opportunity to write down their recollection of the incident immediately after since you may get stuck in the police station but as soon as you can, write everything down. All of this information will be useful for building your case. The slightest mistake the officer makes can help you. Their mistakes can violate your rights, and if we point it out to the court, a judge may throw out the entire case against you.

Learn how Chudnovsky Law can help you

Our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys handle felony and misdemeanor cases in Orange County, LA County, Airport courthouse, and Federal court, among others. We will request lab test results and other critical evidence for your case. Our attorneys know the laws and can build the best defense strategy. While you have the right to a public defender, that is not the best way to keep your commercial driver’s license. Do not use a public defender for an APS hearing or criminal court.

Some of the cases we are most known for handling are:

  • Domestic violence
  • Federal crimes
  • Theft
  • Violent crimes
  • White collar crimes
  • Drug crimes
  • Sex crimes
  • DUI
  • And more

You cannot leave your livelihood in the hands of an inexperienced attorney. Trust the professionals at Chudnovsky Law. Call us at (213) 212-5002 or contact us right away for your free, confidential consultation.

“My felony DUI was reduced to dry reckless. I got in an accident and was arrested for a DUI. Unfortunately there was substantial injury involved and I got charged with Felony DUI. I was really freaked out by the whole thing and what the consequences could be. Tsion and her team really went above and beyond to calm me down and educate me on my options and how they would attack the charges. After some careful research, they identified some issues with the evidence and were able to able reduce the charge to a dry reckless and I kept my license. I can wholeheartedly recommend Chudnovsky Law. They are top notch!”




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