Breaking California Vehicle Code 35551, also known as an “overweight citation”, can result in significant penalties and may even cost you your job. If you are a commercial driver and you received an overweight citation you should speak with a Los Angeles traffic ticket attorney right away. Let us help keep your record clean and your license safe. Fill out the form or call us at 1-800-655-7505.
The Definition of Vehicle Code 35551
California Vehicle Code 35551 states that the total gross weight in pounds that a vehicle can impose on the highway—depending on the number of axles on the vehicle and distance between furthest axles on the vehicle—is between 34,000 and 80,000 pounds.
Additionally, the code states that, “two consecutive sets of tandem axles may carry a gross weight of 34,000 pounds each if the overall distance between the first and last axles of the consecutive sets of tandem axles is 36 feet or more. The gross weight of each set of tandem axles shall not exceed 34,000 pounds and the gross weight of the two consecutive sets of tandem axles shall not exceed 68,000 pounds.” The distance between axles has to be measured to the nearest whole foot, and if a fraction is exactly six inches, the next larger whole foot is to be used.
Los Angeles Overweight Truck Fines
Aside from risking jail time, an overweight truck ticket will also cost you in hefty fines. Although it may seem excessive to be punished for carrying some extra weight on a truck that is designed to carry heavy loads, it’s important to remember that an overweight truck produces a great hazard on roads and highways. Extra strain on the vehicle can result in a blown out tire, which can lead to loss of control of the vehicle and can heave disastrous consequences for not only the truck driver but also for anyone else in the truck’s path. It goes without saying that this type of situation would have grave ramifications, and could cause multiple injuries and deaths, and even a greater disaster depending on what the truck is carrying. The State of California is keen to avoid such disasters, which is why fines for overweight trucks are not unusual.
In California, drivers who are caught driving with an overweight vehicle can be charged with an infraction or a misdemeanor. If the vehicle is overweight by under 4,500 lbs the driver is typically charged with an infraction and fined up to $250.
A driver who is convicted of an overweight vehicle misdemeanor can face up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1,000.
Contact A Los Angeles Traffic Attorney
As a commercial driver you do not want a ticket to affect your driving record and your ability to perform your job. There are legal options available to fight against an overweight commercial vehicle citation. For example, you might have been in the loading/unloading area when you received your ticket, which would exempt you from the citation since you had not completed loading/unloading your truck.
Getting the help of an experienced traffic ticket attorney can help ensuring that your ticket will not affect your driving record. We can work not only to keep your record clean but also to help you avoid paying large fines associated with an overweight truck ticket. We have extensive experience helping commercial drivers deal with these types of tickets, and we will use the best legal defense for your overweight vehicle citation.
If you need more information about overweight vehicle offenses or to discuss your case contact our office at 1-800-655-7505 for a free consultation or fill out the form.