Trucking Violations in Connecticut
Commercial trucks, whether big rigs or smaller vehicles, are strictly regulated in Connecticut, and sometimes out-of-state drivers are surprised by the consequences for what may seem a petty violation. However, for a commercial truck driver, any moving violation can be a serious problem, so it is a good idea to enlist a Fairfield County truck violation attorney to ensure that any issues are handled as quickly and appropriately as possible.
The most common trucking violations in Connecticut are weight violations, meaning that a truck is carrying too heavy a load. While this may not seem to be a particularly egregious offense, heavy trucks have a significant and serious impact on highway and bridge infrastructure, a large proportion of which is already in a state needing repair. Also, overweight trucks may not respond as quickly as those under the appropriate weight, so if evasive action is needed (for example, if a driver must react quickly to avoid a crash), they may not respond well.
Most weight violations are punished by a fine, the amount of which is calculated by the formula given in Connecticut’s statute. It can be very easy to simply give up and pay the fine, but doing that means that the moving violation will appear on your driving record going forward. Depending on the violation, this can pose a real problem for you - it may affect your ability to get a job in the future, or raise your insurance rate to a point where your employer may object. Contesting the ticket is generally a good idea because if you can get it reduced or dismissed, your driving record will benefit.
Civil and Criminal Charges
It is less common, but there are some types of trucking violations that can give rise to civil liability or even criminal charges, depending on the specific situation. A commercial truck driver can be held civilly liable for behavior such as speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or reckless driving, with potential consequences affecting both the driver’s license and also, potentially, their employment prospects. Connecticut honors a doctrine called respondeat superior (also called vicarious liability), which means that an employer can be held liable for the torts committed by their employees in the scope of employment. Torts are the civil equivalent of crimes; for example, if a trucker causes an accident while under the influence of alcohol, that is a tort.
In some cases, criminal charges may even be assessed if a truck driver’s conduct is malicious or reckless to an advanced degree. If, for example, a pedestrian is struck and injured or killed, and there is a possibility that it was done deliberately, it may give rise to assault or even manslaughter charges. In these types of situations, a truck may be treated as a weapon, and using a weapon to deliberately cause harm to another person can certainly give rise to criminal culpability.
Contact a Stamford Trucking Violation Lawyer
A long-distance trucker’s driving license is very important to them, and should not be compromised over one mistake, especially if it is administrative rather than civil or criminal. If you have been ticketed, contacting an experienced Fairfield County trucking violations attorney can help ensure that the issue is handled appropriately. The Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner is experienced in these types of matters, and we are happy to sit down and try to work with you to resolve yours. Call us today at 203-348-5846 for a free consultation.