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Timothy D. Smith
Timothy D. Smith, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  10 years practicing IP law and general litigation
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I am a CDL holder and may be convicted of possession of psilocybin

Customer Question

I am a CDL holder and may be convicted of possession of psilocybin mushrooms. The amount of the drug was very small. There was no commercial vehicle involved in the offense. I was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. My CDL is a XXXXX XXXXXcense but the charges are Federal (USFS Ranger issued the charges). Is my license in danger? Thanks in advance.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Timothy D. Smith replied 1 year ago.

I hope this message finds you well, present circumstances excluded. I have handled and processed issues relative to CDLs for a number of years, both in a defense capacity as well as general counsel for an agency that houses a State DMV. I appreciate the opportunity to assist with this matter.

 

The short answer to your question under Virginia law is, no, your license is not in danger. Virginia law, like the laws of most other states, mirrors federal law when it comes to CDL suspension. (49 CFR 383.51) As such, even in view of federal charges being levied against you, your license will not be in danger after conviction.

 

Here is a link to the Virginia DMV website as to what can cause suspensions of CDLs - https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/drivers/#cdl_disqual.asp?pf=y&pf=y.

 

Procedurally, even if convicted, the federal court will forward the conviction to your state. Since this is not a matter addressed under driver license law in Virginia, it will not have any effect on your license.

 

The conviction will, however, be uploaded onto your profile in the National Criminal Information Center database, and will be subject to view in background checks by potential employers, or even clients.

 

In summary, to answer your question - the answer is no, a conviction will not result in a suspended license or even probationary status relative to your license.

 

Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

 

Best wishes going forward.

 

 

Timothy D. Smith, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2140
Experience: 10 years practicing IP law and general litigation
Timothy D. Smith and other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the quick answer, that is good to hear. I had read the Federal disqualifications section and came away feeling fairly safe. The VA DMV website did have one line that included 'use of a vehicle in commission of a felony' , and that had me somewhat concerned. Am I correct, then, in my understanding that 'use of a vehicle...........felony' is a seperate charge altogether that must me levied before my license is in trouble?
Thank you.
Expert:  Timothy D. Smith replied 1 year ago.
That is correct. If you were running drugs for sale, you would have been charged for use of the vehicle...completely separate charge. You are good to go.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just found this:

http://www.dmv.state.va.us/webdoc/pdf/dmv39f.pdf

Looks like VA may suspend their residents' drivers license for any drug-related conviction. I would assume this includes CDL?
The DMV handbook and the commercial handbook seem to contradict one another.

Thanks
Expert:  Timothy D. Smith replied 1 year ago.

Well, you are correct in that the regular operator license is tied to the CDL. Neither the state CDL regulations or the Fed Motor Carrier regulations require this suspension under the circumstances. However, you are correct that if the regular license is suspended, the commercial will be as well. I apologize that I missed that as it was my understanding this component of Virginia law had been repealed recently.

 

That said, there are still two ways to avoid this issue. Virginia does recognize a couple of forms of diversion programs to prevent the effects of statutory imposition of penalties. The first is a deferred prosecution agreement. Essentially you request that the court defer prosecution on the drug crime and instead impose a set of standards that you must meet (like 1 year without any more brushes with the law and community service). If you meet the court imposed requirements, the charge is dismissed.

 

The second diversion possibility is called a SIS (Suspended Imposition of Sentence). In this case, you plead guilty but instead of imposing the statutory sentence, the court withholds their determination of penalty predicated on your completion of court imposed requirements, such as community service and a probationary period.

 

If you are a first time offender, both of these are very likely options for success. They need to be filed before the court in the form of a Motion for Deferred Prosecution, or in the Alternative, Motion for Suspended Imposition of Sentence. You first argue for deferred prosecution. In the motion you may want to suggest potential stipulations to fulfill. If the court is unwilling, you alternatively argue for the suspended imposition of sentence. Once again, suggesting potential penalties to agree upon.

 

Since your citation is relatively minor and since it can have an adverse effect on your ability to be gainfully employed, the court should be more than willing to listen to, contemplate and agree upon one of the two aforementioned alternative routes.

 

 

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Timothy D. Smith
Timothy D. Smith
Lawyer
2140 Satisfied Customers
10 years practicing IP law and general litigation