Getting arrested for DUI does not mean you will be convicted. Police misconduct, defective breathalyzers and crime lab mistakes may be enough to get your charges lessened or dismissed. Visit our page on Colorado DUI Laws to learn more.
In Colorado, the possession of a fake commercial driver’s license, or use of another person’s commercial driver’s license is a petty offense under CRS 42-2-409. Unlawful possession of a commercial driver’s license can result in up to $300 in fines and/or up to 10 days in jail and permanent loss of the right to receive a commercial driver’s license in the future.
CRS 42-2-409 makes it a petty offense to use of another person’s commercial driver’s license in Colorado.
1. What is unlawful possession of a commercial driver’s license in Colorado?
Under CRS 42-2-409, the unlawful possession or use of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) involves obtaining a fake CDL, using another driver’s CDL, or allowing another person to use one’s own CDL.
In Colorado, a commercial driver’s license is required to operate a commercial vehicle over 26,001 pounds, a commercial vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers, or when transporting hazardous material. 1
A CDL is a valuable asset for people seeking jobs as commercial drivers. However, some drivers may not have the time or money to get a CDL, or they may have already lost their CDL because of some violation. They may be tempted to use a fraudulent CDL or use another driver’s CDL in order to work as a commercial driver.
The unlawful possession or use of a commercial driver’s license in Colorado includes:
A license falsely altered by means of erasure, obliteration, deletion, insertion of new information, or transposition of information, or any other means;
A fraudulently obtained CDL;
A paper, document, or other instrument that falsely appears to be an authentic CDL;
Display, or represent as being his or her own, a CDL lawfully issued to another person;
Failure to surrender a CDL that has been suspended, revoked, or canceled;
Permitting the unlawful use of a CDL by another person; or
Duplicating or in any way reproducing a CDL for the purpose of distribution, resale, or reuse.
2. What are the penalties for use of a fake commercial driver’s license?
The unlawful use or possession of a CDL is usually a petty offense in Colorado carrying up to $300 in fines and/or up to 10 days in jail. But it is a class 2 misdemeanor to photograph, photostat, duplicate, or in any way reproduce a commercial driver’s license or facsimile thereof for the purpose of distribution, resale, reuse, or manipulation of the data or images contained in the commercial driver’s license unless authorized by the department or otherwise authorized by law. Class 2 misdemeanors carry up to 120 days in jail and/or up to $750 in fines.
A conviction shall also result in the permanent loss of the right to receive a commercial driver’s license. This can impact an individual’s ability to find a job, and permanently restrict them from pursuing a commercial driving career. If a driver’s right to a CDL was permanently revoked, they may be able to request a hearing before the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
An individual charged with the unlawful possession or use of a CDL cannot plead guilty to a lesser offense if charged under this statute. The court can only accept a plea of guilty to another offense upon the good faith representation by the prosecutor that they cannot establish a prima facie case on the offense. You can find out more information on the differences between a felony and a misdemeanor here.
3. What are the defenses to the unlawful use of a commercial driver’s license?
There may be a number of possible defenses to charges of using a fake CDL. Your Colorado defense attorney will investigate your case and identify the available legal defenses for your case. Possible defenses include:
You did not know the CDL was fraudulent;
You were not in possession of the fraudulent CDL;
Evidence was obtained through unlawful search or seizure by the police;
Someone used your CDL without your knowledge; or
You were not aware your CDL was suspended.
4. Related Offenses
The unlawful use of a license is not limited to commercial drivers. Other related offenses include the unlawful use of a standard driver’s license, driving without a license, or driving on a suspended or revoked license.
4.1, C.R.S. 42-2-136 Unlawful Possession or Use of a License
Colorado statute CRS 42-2-136 applies similar restrictions on the unlawful use of a standard driver’s license. The possession or use of an altered or fraudulent license or use of another driver’s license is usually a class 2 misdemeanor carrying up to 120 days in jail and/or up to $750 in fines.
4.2, C.R.S. 42-2-309 Unlawful Acts with a False ID
It is also unlawful in Colorado to display or use a fraudulently obtained identification card. This includes allowing another person to use your valid ID. Use of a fake ID can be a class 2 misdemeanor or a petty offense depending on the facts of the case.
If you were charged for the unlawful use or possession of a commercial driver’s license, please contact us at Colorado Legal Defense Group. Our caring Colorado defense attorneys have many years of experience representing clients who have been charged with motor vehicle violations and criminal offenses. We are among the best Colorado criminal defense attorneys to call. Contact us today for a free consultation by phone or in-person or in our Denver law office.
C.R.S. 42-2-402(4)(a). Prior to March 1, 2022, this crime was always a misdemeanor carrying $500 to $1,000 for a first offense and $1,000 to $2,000 for a subsequent offense within five years. SB21-271.