What Felonies Prevent You from Getting a CDL in Illinois?

Obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL) can allow you to access a wide range of productive and potentially lucrative employment opportunities. However, the qualification requirements for a CDL are much more stringent than those for a personal driver’s license, and applicants are subject to background checks. While most traffic violations and misdemeanors, and even many felonies, do not disqualify you from getting a CDL, some felonies can create issues with your application. 

What Is the Purpose of a CDL?

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is a specialized license required for drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) such as tractor-trailers, buses, and trucks weighing over 26,000 pounds. The purpose of a CDL is to ensure that drivers of these large, heavy vehicles have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to operate them safely on public roads.

To obtain a CDL, you must pass a series of tests, including a written knowledge test and a driving skills test. These tests cover topics such as vehicle inspection, basic control, safe driving practices, and knowledge of the regulations governing commercial vehicles. By requiring a higher level of training and testing for commercial drivers, the CDL program aims to reduce the number of accidents involving large trucks and buses, which can cause catastrophic injuries and fatalities.

Having a CDL opens up a wide range of employment opportunities in the transportation and logistics industry, as well as in construction, waste management, and other sectors that rely on heavy vehicles for their operations.

Which Felonies Disqualify an Applicant from Obtaining a CDL in Illinois?

According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Illinois regulations, the following felonies require a CDL disqualification for a minimum of one year:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol (as defined by the relevant state law)
  • Driving under the influence of another drug or controlled substance
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater
  • Refusing to take an alcohol test as required by state implied consent laws 
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Employing a vehicle in the commission of a felony
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle after your license has been revoked, suspended, canceled, or disqualified due to a prior commercial motor vehicle violation
  • Causing the death of another person due to negligently driving a commercial motor vehicle

second conviction on any of the above felony charges carries a lifetime CDL disqualification, but you may qualify for reinstatement after 10 years. 

It’s also worth noting that the use of a CMV for the following means will carry a lifetime CDL disqualification without the possibility of reinstatement:

  • The commission of any felony involving the manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing of a controlled substance
  • The commission of any felony involving human trafficking

Contact Madelyn Daley & Associates Today

If you are facing felony charges that might put your CDL in jeopardy, you need the assistance of an aggressive and experienced criminal defense attorney. The legal team at Madelyn Daley & Associates has a thorough knowledge of Illinois criminal law, and we are ready to fight for your best interests and your liberty. 

Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.