The difference between a Vermont CDL ticket and administrative hearing

Many equate a CDL ticket hearing in the State of Vermont to be the same as requesting an administrative hearing through the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles.  However, this common misconception can cause serious problems if one is facing a Vermont CDL ticket that may have a serious impact on a trucker keeping their CDL license.

What is a CDL ticket hearing?  A CDL ticket hearing is the initial procedure in which a trucker who is accused of a traffic infraction or a violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations.  This hearing, administered through the Vermont Judicial Bureau is where evidence can be presented to refute the allegation and is a trucker’s best opportunity to eliminate or minimize their exposure.  This hearing allows for witnesses to be called, for video evidence to be presented and for all parties to testify under oath as to the circumstances of the stop.  Although the rules of evidence or relaxed in these hearings, there are still certain requirements that must be met for evidence to be considered by the Vermont Assistant Judge who presides over the case.

What is a CDL Administrative Hearing?  A CDL administrative hearing is a process afforded by the Vermont DMV to confirm that the convictions on a trucker’s CDL license are in fact what they purport to be.  This hearing, which is customarily held over the telephone allows a trucker to present evidence to support that the conviction record is wrong, but does not allow a trucker to contest previous tickets that have already been adjudicated, either through the payment of the fine, or through the CDL ticket hearing as described above.  Although an administrative hearing can stay the execution of a CDL suspension, the chances of prevailing in these hearings is sufficiently less than during a CDL ticket hearing.

There are numerous avenues to challenge your Vermont CDL ticket.  However, knowing where your best opportunity is and how to leverage this in order to reach a favorable resolution can ensure that truckers are able to stay on the road even when their driving record is less than ideal.

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