No More Withhold of Adjudication for the CDL Driver Says Florida DHSMV

Any person holding a CDL commercial driver’s license in Florida should be particularly careful after receiving any moving violation or criminal traffic infraction. For a CDL driver, the DHSMV is taking the position that the court cannot withhold adjudication.

This change means that more CDL drivers will be hiring attorneys to help them fight for a dismissal of the citation so that they can avoid a conviction.

In a memo dated January 8, 2014, from Maureen Johnson, Chief of the Division of Motor Services, the Florida DHSMV informs the clerk of courts that effective January 11, 2014, if an Adjudication Withhold on a Commercial Driver License (CDL) driver comes in for 318.14(9) F.S. school election option or 318.14(11) for judge ordered adjudication withheld it will be sent back to the Clerk of Court through TCATS as an error.

The DHSMV is taking the position that Florida Statute 318.14(9) and 318.14(11) does not allow for the withhold of adjudication for a CDL driver. The department is also taking the position that withhold adjudication for a CDL driver is a violation of the Federal Regulation 49 C.F.R. Part 384.226 and 49 C.F.R. Part 383.5.

Furthermore, the DHSMV argues that Florida Statute 322.01(11) adopts the 49 C.F.R. Part 383.5 definition of conviction into the Florida Statutes with regard to commercial driver licensed individuals in Florida.

The Florida statute reads:

(11)(a) “Conviction” means a conviction of an offense relating to the operation of motor vehicles on highways which is a violation of this chapter or any such law of this state or any other state, including an admission or determination of a noncriminal traffic infraction pursuant to s. 318.14, or a judicial disposition of an offense committed under any federal law substantially conforming to the aforesaid state statutory provisions.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, the definition of “conviction” provided in 49 D.F.R. part 383.5 applies to offenses committed in a commercial motor vehicle or by a person holding a commercial driver’s license.

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