Commercial Deferred Disposition
Author: Cynthia Owens
This letter regards our discussion regarding doing deferred dispositions on Equipment Violations on Commercial Drivers.
The main federal statute is Section 49 CFR 384.226 has been amended three times in its inception which was to prohibit states from lowering weight standards to establish a more equal minimum weight that drivers could carry loads interstate with the knowledge that there would not be various weight violations in the jurisdictions.
§ 384.226 Prohibition on masking convictions.The State must not mask, defer imposition of judgment, or allow an individual to enter into a diversion program that would prevent a CLP or CDL holder's convictionfor any violation, in any type of motor vehicle, of a State or local traffic control law (other than parking, vehicle weight, or vehicle defect violations) from appearing on the CDLIS driver record, whether the driverwas convicted for an offense committed in the State where the driver is licensed or another State.
[76 FR 26895, May 9, 2011]
This section that prohibited masking convictions was amended to make the exception in 2002 for parking violations. In 2009 was amended to have an exception for vehicle weight and in 2011 was amended for the exception of vehicle defect violation.
I have also attached the Federal Regulation which repeatedly make the exception for record keeping with the 3 exceptions and list the above CFR Section. Last amended in 2011 also. 26895 Federal Registry Vol 76, No. 89 May 9, 2011 Rules and Regulations.
Finally Texas needs to be in compliance with the Federal Regulations and we didn’t even have our own statute until in was mandated in 2003 and the Texas statute does not mirror the 2011 Federal Regulations. Even though Texas Statute has not been amended it is implied that both statutes should be read together and is pointed out in
It can be argued that Section 621.005 applies to the size or weight limits but also to how those size and weight limits are punished or given deferred dispositions as an option. My research is that Texas Statute Section 621.005 EFFECT OF INCREASED LIMITS BY THE UNITED STATE has a direct bearing of the other Texas Statutes where applicable and that there is a need to be read and construed together. Sec. 621.005. EFFECT OF INCREASED LIMITS BY UNITED STATES. If the United States prescribes or adopts vehicle size or weight limits greater than those prescribed by 23 U.S.C. Section 127 on March 18, 1975, for the national system of interstate and defense highways, the increased limits apply to the national system of interstate and defense highways in this state. Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.
Since this is true the Exception or language of ‘other than’ in the federal statute can be read to be incorporated into the Texas statutes.
Some of the Jurisdictions that do give deferred dispositions in overweight and equipment violations cases in the Municipal or Justice of the Peace, and Brazoria JP Courts, Galveston JP Courts, League City Municipal Court, City of Houston Municipal Courts, Baytown Municipal Court, Angelina County Court, Kimble County, Glasscock County, Wharton JP Courts Goliad County, Guadalupe County Court, Tom Green County, Kennedy County, Washington County, Lavaca JP Courts, Pasadena Municipal Court Sugar Land Municipal Court. These are from cases I have personally handled.
So we are requesting consideration for deferred disposition in this case.