Vehicle Code 34506 VC (Failure to Comply with CHP Rules by a Commercial Vehicle)

Vehicle Code 34506 VC is the California statute that makes it a crime if a commercial driver fails to comply with the rules adopted by the Department of the California Highway Patrol (“CHP”).

Examples of illegal acts under this code section include:

  • Although Scott drives a commercial vehicle, he fails to follow the CHP's rules re: the number of consecutive hours he can drive.
  • Jose operates a truck that transports hazardous material, but he does not comply with CHP rules on the types of materials he can transport.
  • Despite operating a tour bus in the L.A. area, Kelly ignores certain CHP regulations on tour bus operations.

Luckily, there are several legal defenses that a person can raise if accused of a crime under Vehicle Code 34506. These include showing that an accused party:

Penalties

A violation of Vehicle Code 34506 is charged as a misdemeanor under California law (as opposed to a felony or an infraction). The crime is punishable by:

  • imprisonment in the county jail for up to six months; and/or,
  • a maximum fine of $1,000.

Our California criminal defense attorneys will highlight the following in this article:

truck driving california
Vehicle Code 34506 VC is the California statute that makes it a crime if a commercial driver fails to comply with the rules adopted by the Department of the California Highway Patrol (“CHP”).

1. The legal definition of failing to comply with CHP rules

Vehicle Code 34506 VC is the California statute that pertains to commercial drivers following the rules and regulations adopted by the Department of the California Highway Patrol.

In particular, VC 34506 makes it a crime for a commercial vehicle driver to fail to comply with CHP rules regarding the following:

  • hours of service,
  • hazardous material transportation,
  • school bus operations,
  • youth bus operations, and
  • tour bus operations.1

2. Legal defenses

A person accused under Vehicle Code 34506 can challenge the accusation by raising a legal defense. A good defense can often get a charge reduced or even dismissed.

Three common defenses to VC 34506 accusations are:

  1. no rule violation;
  2. no probable cause; and/or,
  3. necessity.

2.1. No rule violation

A person is only guilty under VC 34506 if he failed to comply with a CHP rule. Therefore, it is always a valid legal defense for an accused to show that he was in full compliance with the rule/regulation in question.

2.2. No probable cause

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that police must have probable cause before they can detain or arrest a suspect of a crime. If a person was stopped or arrested for violating VC 34506, and there was no probable cause, then it is likely that any charges could get reduced or dropped.

2.3. Necessity

Under a necessity defense, a defendant essentially tries to avoid guilt by showing that he had a sufficiently good reason to commit the crime. In the context of failing to comply with CHP rules, an accused could attempt to show that he committed the crime since he had no other choice (e.g., because of an emergency).

man behind bars
A violation of this law can result in a fine and/or jail time

3. Penalties, punishment, and sentencing

A violation of Vehicle Code 34506 is charged as a misdemeanor under California law.2 The crime is punishable by:

  • imprisonment in the county jail for up to six months; and/or,
  • a maximum fine of $1,000.3

Please note that in lieu of jail time a judge may order a defendant to misdemeanor probation. This is also called “summary” or “informal” probation.

4. Related Offenses

There are three crimes related to the failure to comply with the Department of the California Highway Patrol rules. These are:

  1. overweight vehicles – VC 35551;
  2. commercial license DUI – VC 23152(d); and,
  3. driving hour limits for bus/truck drivers – VC 21702.

4.1. Overweight vehicles – VC 35551

Per Vehicle Code 35551, it is a crime for a commercial vehicle driver in California to drive a vehicle that exceeds a specified weight.

In most cases, driving an overweight vehicle is a misdemeanor. The crime is punishable by:

  • up to six months in county jail; and/or
  • a maximum fine of $1,000.4

4.2. Commercial license DUI – VC 23152(d)

Vehicle Code 23152(d) is the California statute that makes it a crime for a person to drive a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) of .04% or higher.

Potential court-ordered penalties for VC 23152(d) violations include:

  • up to one year in county jail;
  • between $390 and $1,000 in fines; and/or
  • a three to 36-month court-ordered California DUI school.

4.3. Driving hour limits for bus/truck drivers – VC 21702

Vehicle Code 21702 VC is the California statute that limits driving hours for bus/truck drivers.

VC 21702 makes it a misdemeanor for bus and truck drivers to drive for too many consecutive hours and/or too many hours in one day.

A driver that violates the section receives a fine between $100 and $1,000.5

Were you accused of not complying with CHP rules while driving a commercial vehicle in California? Call us for help…

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Call us for help at (855) LAW-FIRM

If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime under Vehicle Code 34506 VC, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation. We can be reached 24/7 at 855-LawFirm.


Legal References:

  1. California Vehicle Code 34506 VC. This code section reads as follows: “

    It is a misdemeanor to fail to comply with any rule or regulation adopted by the Department of the California Highway Patrol pursuant to Section 34501, 34501.5, 34508, or 34513 regarding any of the following:

    (a) Hours of service of drivers.

    (b) Hazardous material transportation.

    (c) Schoolbus construction, design, color, equipment, maintenance, or operation.

    (d) Youth bus equipment, maintenance, or operation.

    (e) Tour bus equipment, maintenance, or operation.

    (f) Equipment, maintenance, or operation of any vehicle described in subdivision (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), or (g) of Section 34500.

    (g) Equipment, maintenance, or operation of any school pupil activity bus.”

  2. See same.

  3. California Penal Code 19 PC.

  4. See same.

  5. California Vehicle Code 21702 VC.

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