Commercial Drivers May Have New Traffic Option

Commercial drivers have a hard job to do. They’re integral to our economy, and yet they get little respect.

Virginia law even prohibits them from attending driving school to reduce or dismiss a traffic ticket. Virginia Code 46.2-505 says that judges cannot use driving school for any holder of a commercial driver’s license or any violation committed in a commercial vehicle.

But a new option might be available now. That option lies in a new Virginia Supreme Court opinion.

On January 13th, the Court decided Hernandez v. Commonwealth (pdf). The single issue was whether or not a judge has the inherent authority to defer the disposition of a case to a future time. The Court clearly ruled that judges can do that.

Hernandez affirms that judges have broad discretion in rendering and withholding judgments. This applies to traffic and misdemeanor cases, and even for commercial drivers.

With that said, judges do have two limits when it comes to commercial driver’s licenses:

1. A federal regulation prohibits the states from “masking” convictions of commercial drivers to prevent them from appearing on their driving records.

2. The Virginia Code, as mentioned above, prohibits judges from reducing or dismissing an offense after a commercial driver goes to driving school.

So what options are left? In my view, nothing prohibits a judge from ordering a commercial driver to perform community service or some other activity in order to have a charge reduced or dismissed.

There is no conviction until the judge enters a conviction (Hernandez makes that clear). Thus, nothing is being masked in violation of federal law. And the Code only prohibits driving school for CDL holders, not community service.

We’ll see how this argument works in court.

Photo by PhotoGraham

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

What's Next?

Get Free Answers

Andrew wrote the book on reckless driving. It’s the most-reviewed Virginia reckless driving resource on

Get Your Free Copy

Andrew wrote the book on DWI. It’s jam-packed full of answers for your case.

Get Your Free Copy

Our special report about driving on suspended explains six critical issues to possibly fight in your case.

Get Your Free Copy


We provide free consultations for cases in our area. If we can't help, we'll do our best to connect you with someone who can.


Contact Andrew & Fitz