CDL Violations And DUIs | What Every Commercial Driver Should Know

Every truck driver knows that a ticket or a DUI charge can destroy one’s career and life. When your livelihood depends on your commercial driver’s license (CDL), then there’s a lot at stake. This can happen before or during your time as a truck driver. So, what can you do? What might happen to your career, and can you get it back? By choosing W. Shane Jennings as your CDL license violation lawyer, you may potentially save your professional future.

Previous DUI Charges And Their Effect

We’ve all had to make some life changes at some point or another. We’re less likely to be the same person we were five or ten years ago. So, what if you made a mistake when you were young? Well, there are a few things to consider at that point. First, you must complete your probationary period. This includes clearing any money you owe for the charge. If enough time has passed, then you can obtain your standard license. Once all of this has cleared, you can begin the process of getting a CDL. However, it’s up to your potential employers to look past your previous record. 

Violations To Watch Out For 

A CDL license can get suspended much more easily than a standard license. Due to the responsibilities that CDL drivers have, it doesn’t matter in which state you get pulled over. No matter if it was with your standard license or CDL, any event can result in violations. If you do get in trouble, contact your employer as soon as possible and no later than 30 days after the event. 

Anyone with a CDL should watch out for common violations. Although they are easily avoidable, they may affect your ability to have a commercial driver’s license if they occur. 

The following count as serious traffic violations:

  • Speeding (15 MPH or more over the legal speed limit)
  • Reckless driving 
  • Improper or careless lane changes 
  • Following too closely 
  • Accidents that result in a fatality 

If one of these does happen, you can lose your CDL for at least 60 days if two serious violations have occurred within a three-year period. If you have committed three serious traffic violations within three years, then you could lose your license for a minimum of 120 days. To regain your CDL after these violations, you must pay a reissue fee and proof of financial responsibility insurance certificate. 

Major CDL Offenses 

If a major offense happens, you may lose your CDL for one to three years, depending on if you have hazardous materials with you. A second major offense can result in losing your CDL for life. Major violations can count even if you weren’t driving a CDL required vehicle. That’s right; even having a major violation in your personal vehicle can affect your commercial driver career. Major offenses include the following: 

  • Driving a commercial moving vehicle (CMV) under the influence of a controlled substance
  • Driving with a blood alcohol limit of 0.04% in your CMV
  • Refusing to take tests for blood alcohol when asked 
  • Operating a CMV with a disqualified, suspended, or revoked CDL 
  • Leaving the scene of an accident that involved your CMV
  • Using a commercial vehicle to commit any felony

You can retrieve your CDL if you get a DUI for the first time. You’ll need to take and pass the CDL knowledge test and driving tests as well as gaining a hazardous materials endorsement. You might present a letter to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that also shows you passed their background check. Then it just comes down to paying the requalification fee. 

Federal CDL Suspension 

Since most CDL drivers have to cross state lines, a suspension can fall under federal law. This means that your CDL can get suspended from anywhere from 60 days to life. This can happen for violations or convictions like DUI.

Shane Jennings CDL Defense 

We know the importance of the people who use CDL’s for their job. If anything has happened to you as a CDL driver and your license is on the line, give us a call. Losing your income can be devastating, and we want to help get you back on track. We work with your case to provide the best possible outcome. Attorney W. Shane Jennings understands the ins and outs of New Mexico CDL laws. Don’t wait to call us. Start the process as soon as an offense has occurred so that we can start your case. Find out how we can help your case and put you back to work and on the road! 

A lawyer meeting with a client to discuss the details of criminal defense

What to Expect After a Criminal Charge: The Immediacy of Defense

The presumption of innocence is an axiom within United States law. Although it’s not cited explicitly within our Constitution, the presumption of innocence is foundational to the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments and for our nation’s legal system at large. This means those who are charged with crimes, from class C misdemeanors to federal felonies, are all presumed innocent.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal offense, your world may feel as if it’s been flipped upside down. But it’s crucial to understand that you’re not alone. Attorney W. Shane Jennings provides criminal defense services to individuals in the Southern New Mexico region. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Don’t Go It Alone, Team Up With a Criminal Defense Lawyer

As a criminal defense office, we have dealt with cases ranging from DWI charges to aggravated assault and everything in between. We understand that the clock starts ticking as soon as you receive your criminal charge. As such, we’ve outlined what you might expect from the criminal defense journey. Remember, everyone is innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can get to work on your defense. Our goal is to secure dismissals, acquittals, lesser charges, or deferred sentences. 

Part 1: You’re Arrested and Charged with a Criminal Offense

This is where it all begins. Typically, a police officer will arrest an individual after he/she is witnessed committing a crime. Police officers may also arrest individuals if they have probable cause that the individual committed a crime or if the officer is under authority of a valid arrest warrant. Upon completing the booking process, the arrested individual will be placed in custody. 

Your first appearance in court will be during the arraignment. If, upon your arrest, you receive a notice of arraignment, then you should contact the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings immediately. This way, we will be able to discuss the state’s laws as well as what you should expect from the entire process. We’ll delve a bit deeper into this process in the next step.

Bail may also be set, which the arrested individual must pay in order to be released while awaiting trial. This is not something you can simply pay to get out of; you still need to appear in court on the designated date. Bail release is built around the arrested individual’s promise to appear at every court proceeding. Bail may be granted as soon as the booking is complete or it may be granted later on during a bail hearing.  

Part 2: You Contact Our Law Office

Building a legal defense is crucial, no matter the severity of your criminal charges. This process should be initiated as quickly as possible. If your loved one has been arrested and charged with a criminal offense, you can get the ball rolling by contacting our law office as soon as possible. If you’re out on bail and you’re reading this article, then give us a call as well. Upon contacting our law office, you’ll go through an initial consultation during which we’ll go over the details pertaining to your case. If you believe our services will be beneficial to you, we will begin work on building your defense. No matter the severity of your charges, we will work diligently to find a possible solution. 

More often than not, criminal defense lawyers strive to have the entire case dismissed. If this is achieved, you won’t face a conviction. Although the case is dismissed, it will still remain on your criminal record. In order to counteract this, you’ll have to have your case expunged or sealed. If your case is not dismissed, then your criminal defense lawyer will attempt to obtain a plea, lesser charges, or a deferred sentence. This is why working with a criminal defense lawyer is crucial, especially when it comes to serious criminal charges. Since we know the intricacies of criminal law, we’re able to find solutions to the issues at hand. Simply put, we’ll take care of the hard work.

Part 3: The Trial and Sentencing

Your trial will be the event in which your presumed innocence is put into question. As a defendant, the judge and jury of your peers will find you either guilty or not guilty of the criminal charge or charges you’re facing. Here is where all our hard work will come into play. As your criminal defense attorney, W. Shane Jennings will build a defense that will cast doubt within the judge and/or jury regarding the evidence and charges presented against you, the defendant. The final decision, however, is in the hands of the judge or jury. 

As far as sentencing goes, the court will determine an appropriate punishment for the defendant. There are many details that determine a sentence. Everything from the nature and severity of the crime to the defendant’s degree of remorse will be taken into consideration. 

Contact the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings, Today

If you or a loved one are facing a criminal charge, don’t let another second pass by. Contact the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings today so we can get started on building your defense. We understand the immediacy of the situation at hand and we’re here to guide the way. If you have any questions about what to expect from the legal process, then reach out to us. We’re ready to help.  

A young woman sitting next to her car after a car accident

Recovering From A Car Accident: Steps To Expect

Car accidents are an unfortunate part of modern transportation. Over 16,000 car crashes are estimated to occur every single day in the United States alone. Being involved in an accident can be terrifying, especially if you’re unsure of the next steps you should take after the fact. 

If you’re unsure what you should do if you are ever in an accident, use this blog as a guide. From the immediate aftermath of the crash to finding medical assistance after the fact, we’ll discuss the basic steps you should take, as well as some tips for making the process smoother and less stressful. 

What To Do Right After Your Accident 

As soon as you get into an accident, you’ll want to analyze your surroundings, your health, and the health of your passengers. Most accidents aren’t serious accidents, so if your accident is not too drastic, try to get to the side of the road or another safe location. 

Call For Assistance 

Once you’ve assessed the situation and gotten to safety, you’ll next want to call for assistance. Alert the police to the situation, and be sure to give them relevant information like location and the extent of injuries. 

If there are serious injuries, be sure to alert the authorities so they can send paramedics to your location. They may ask you to describe the injuries sustained by you or your passengers and provide medical advice to use until the paramedics arrive. 

Get All Relevant Information 

You’ll want to get any relevant information from the other person or people involved in the accident. Information that you’ll want to acquire at the crash scene includes: 

  • The accident’s location/address
  • Police officer’s name and badge number
  • Insurance companies/policy numbers
  • Vehicle information (make, year, color, etc.)
  • Driver contact info
  • Witness names

With this information, you’ll be better equipped to file a claim or address any questions or concerns about the car accident itself. 

If it is safe to do so, you will also want to take as many pictures of the accident as you can. This provides concrete evidence of what occurred. Try to capture the orientation of each vehicle involved, as well as capturing identifying landmarks like buildings or street signs. Finally, gather witnesses that saw the accident and can corroborate your story and support the police report of the incident. 

Order Roadside Assistance If Necessary

If your car is unable to move or if it would be unsafe to drive away from the crash, then you’ll need to call in for roadside assistance. They will be able to tow your vehicle for you, so you’re able to get it to a safer location, be it your home or a car shop. 

File A Claim

Once you are safe and sound, you’ll want to file a claim with your insurance agency. Take detailed pictures and notes of the wreck, including any police information that is pertinent to your claim. You can begin filing your claim at the scene of the crash in fact, or wait until shortly after the crash if that is more comfortable. 

Get Medical Treatment If Necessary 

Even if you don’t need any serious medical attention, you may have some aches and pains after your car accident. You don’t have to suffer through those aches and pains, though. By using a doctor or chiropractor, you can begin to heal and recover from the pain of your accident. 

Some chiropractic clinics to consider in Las Cruces include: 

Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may be eligible to have your medical expenses covered by the opposing party’s insurance coverage. If you aren’t sure about your eligibility, your insurance company or lawyer may be able to provide more information. 

Contact An Attorney 

If you’ve been hit by a commercial vehicle, you may be in for a legal battle. No insurance company wants to shell out money for an accident, but commercial insurance companies can be the most difficult to deal with. 

To combat the difficulty of working with a commercial company, hire an attorney that is ready to fight for you in these types of accidents and cases. The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings knows that you want the justice you deserve we want to help you get it.  

Choose The Law Office of Shane Jennings For Your Accident!

If you or someone you know has been in an accident with a commercial vehicle, our office can provide the legal representation. Give us a call today to discuss your case!

a man putting a few dollar bills into his blazer pocket

A Look At The Worst Cases of Fraud & Embezzlement 

When people think of fraud and embezzlement, they often imagine a grandiose scheme to siphon millions of dollars from a massive corporation. In reality, this is very rarely ever the case. In fact, nearly 70% of all fraud and embezzlement charges in the U.S occurred in a small or mid-sized business. In total, it is estimated that businesses lose over $50 billion per year from the practice, which can severely affect smaller businesses. In this article, however, we’ll take a look at some of those rare, grandiose cases of fraud and embezzlement. 

Allen Stanford

One of the largest Ponzi schemes was a result of a man named Allen Stanford and his company, Stanford Financial Group of Companies. He allegedly ran a massive investment scheme that scammed people out of $8 billion. Although he denied any wrongdoing, he was found guilty on myriad charges and was handed a 110-year prison sentence. 

Day-Lee Farms

The Day-Lee Farms embezzlement scandal represents the largest amount embezzled by a single employee in the U.S. Yasuyoshi Kato, an executive at the Japanese meat processing plant, reportedly embezzled more than $60 million from the company over a number of years. He actually did well hiding it from the company, but the IRS eventually got wind of his lavish lifestyle and busted him. He received a 5-year jail sentence and pay $3 million in fines. 

Bernie Madoff 

If the name Bernie Madoff sounds familiar, it may be because he ran the largest embezzlement operation in history. Very basically, Madoff would use the money he earned from new investors to pay the returns of old investors, without actually raising funds in any significant way. In operation, he was a secretive man who closely guarded his financial records, but it’s now clear why. Even in the 90s, people were suspicious of his practices, noting that his supposed trading strategy didn’t add up to the returns he was delivering to investors. Bernie eventually was handed a 150-year prison sentence and was ordered to pay $170 billion in restitution. 

Shane Jennings Knows Embezzlement Law

If you’ve been accused of fraud and/or embezzlement, or believe an employee of yours is committing that crime, call The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings. We can wor with you to get the results you deserve. Contact us today to discuss your case.

Close-up Of Person Hand Filling Criminal Background Check Application Form

Expungement: When & How To Clean Your Record

Life for most of us is just a series of mistakes. From messing up on tests to getting in trouble with the law, life has no shortage of situations for us to mess up in. Unfortunately, trouble with the law can keep people from certain opportunities, like getting a new job or moving into a new apartment. Luckily, the law allows for those mistakes to be erased under the right circumstances through a process known as expungement.

In our latest Law Office of W. Shane Jennings blog, we discuss the basics of expungement and chart a possible path for you to clean up your record with our firm!

What Is Expungement?

Expungement is the process of “sealing” the legal record of an arrest, conviction, indictment, acquittal, discharge, or dismissal by order of the court. In effect, this process will effectively erase the arrest or conviction in most cases from the general public. That means that you likely won’t have to mention that conviction or arrest when applying for something that asks for it.

A common misconception about expungement is that it will completely erase the blight off your record as if it never happened. This is not quite true. While you won’t have to say it happened, certain government agencies will still be able to see the record. In addition, the expunged conviction may still be considered as proof of prior conviction if a crime is committed afterward.

An expungement is a great tool for people to move on from their mistakes and capitalize on opportunities. However, as you can probably guess, expungement doesn’t work for all situations and crimes.

Expungement In New Mexico

Expungement in New Mexico has undergone a huge change in 2020. Effective January 1st, 2020, the Criminal Record Expungement Act drastically broadened the expungement powers of the New Mexico court system. Prior to this act, New Mexico had a very narrow expungement allowance, usually for juvenile issues or for victims of human trafficking that commit a crime (which are still part of New Mexico law).

The change in New Mexico’s expungement law is most driven by the idea giving people a chance to move on from arrests and convictions will give them the best chance at rehabilitation, as well as keep the public safe. With this act, New Mexico has one of the broadest expungement powers in the country.

Under this new act, most non-conviction and conviction records are eligible to be expunged given a set period without any additional charges or convictions. The period for non-convictions is one year, while convictions need periods of two to ten years before being eligible for expungement.

Eligibility does not equate to a guaranteed expungement. The judge presiding over your case will take into account several factors before making a final decision. Some of those factors include:

  • Your age, employment history, and criminal history
  • Any reasons to deny raised by the district attorney
  • Specific benefits/consequences of denying expungement
  • Gravity and circumstances of the original conviction

In these cases, having an expert lawyer with plenty of experience can give you the leg up needed to secure the expungement.

Expungement Of Conviction Records

Conviction records, unlike non-conviction records, have more detailed and stringent requirements. Under the new act, the date after the completion of a person’s sentence will start the mandatory waiting period which varies based on the crime. For violations of municipal ordinances, the waiting period is two years. Felonies will need a waiting period of 4 to 10 years, depending on the crime.

The law doesn’t allow the most serious municipal violations and felonies to be expunged, including but not limited to:

  • Crimes involving a child
  • Great bodily harm/death
  • Embezzlement
  • DUI/DWI

Even if your conviction is eligible, though, that does not guarantee that the court will agree to expunge.

If you aren’t sure if your conviction qualifies, be sure to contact our office if you aren’t sure about your specific case.

Expungement Of Non-Conviction Records

Non-conviction records are a little more forgiving, mainly by having a much shorter waiting period. The waiting period for non-conviction records is just one-year, in which there may be no new charges.

Cases in which this section of the act apply are:

  • Nolle prosequis
  • Pre-prosecution referral to diversion
  • Acquittal
  • Conditional discharge (minus deferred imposition of sentence)
  • Other discharge

Just like with conviction records, though, there are some special circumstances in written into the law. If you aren’t sure about your specific case, feel free to contact our office and get more information.

Choose The Law Office Of W. Shane Jennings!

Interested in scrubbing your record in court? Due to New Mexico’s new stance on expungement, many more citizens will be eligible for expungement.

If you would like to get started or want more information on the new act, simply give us a call or visit our office today!

two cars damaged after an accident

Help! I Got In A Car Accident with an Uninsured Driver

Every driver should drive as defensively as possible. This would be realistic in a utopia where no one gets aggravated when someone takes a second too long to start moving after the light turns green. Humans, sadly, are fallible. Perhaps you were running late and you had to drive a bit faster than usual to get to work on time. Or maybe you decided to keep checking your phone for that important email. Next thing you know, you’re in a fender bender, rollover, or anything else in between. Or let’s say you drove to work and remained completely aware of your surroundings, driving at or below the speed limit and signaling whenever you changed lanes.

Accidents Happen, Even to the Safest of Drivers

Even if you drive as safely as possible, you won’t be able to stop another individual from hitting you. Let’s say this happens and you notice your vehicle’s entire rear bumper breaks and falls off; your left rear tire is bent inwards; your headlights are decimated. Simply put, you won’t be able to drive your car any time soon. You’re dazed and a bit frazzled but you’re able to call the cops.

While you wait, you get out of your vehicle and walk over to the person who hit you and attempt to exchange information. The person who hit you is a young man in his early 20s. He has a short, unkempt beard. His hair is tied up in a messy bun, and he’s lighting up a cigarette. You think that at this present moment, you could go for a cigarette as well, but you decide to remain calm and mature.

You ask the young man for his name and insurance information. Up to this point, the situation hadn’t really sunk in yet. Sure, you experienced some shock but, being a realist, you were able to push that away and get to work, so to speak. But when the young man says he doesn’t have insurance, the damaged world you were holding up so valiantly crumbles.

For a few brief moments (which feel like an eternity in your mind) you’re unsure about how to proceed. Then the police sirens bring you back to the present moment. You look at the young man, who is now staring out the passenger window as he exhales the smoke from his cigarette, and your heart sinks a bit deeper as the words “lost cause” repeat over and over in your mind.

Remember, You’re Not Alone!

You walk back towards your half-destroyed car. A police officer comes up and asks you for your information. You provide it but you’re still in a daze. Then, you have a moment of clarity. You recall a blog you read a few weeks ago that remarked the exact situation you find yourself in now. In fact, it all feels a bit eerie. The blog described the exact accident you find yourself in, almost to a T. You take this as a sign and you call the car accident lawyer from said blog. As you explain your situation, your attorney provides a bit of guidance and you schedule a meeting to go over your car accident.

The Legal Ramifications of Driving Uninsured in New Mexico

You see, driving without insurance is illegal in the state of New Mexico (under the NMS 66-5-205 Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act, which states that “all drivers must have a means to guarantee their financial responsibility in case of accidents”). Even though this Act exists as a means to ensure that every single driver in the streets of New Mexico can be held financially responsible for accidents, many drivers still drive uninsured. Violating the Act is categorized as a misdemeanor and can lead to a $300 fine or up to 90 days of jail time in addition to suspension of the vehicle’s registration.

Where to Go Next

Let’s return to the above scenario. Once the police officers speak to the other driver, and they find out he doesn’t have insurance, the officers will immediately confiscate the driver’s license plates. The other driver will be on his own legal quandary now but that doesn’t mean you should be all alone. The other driver should be held responsible for the accident he caused. It is up to your car accident lawyer to guide this unfortunate situation as positively as possible.

Choose W. Shane Jennings as Your Car Accident Lawyer

Attorney W. Shane Jennings has worked with his fair share of car accidents cases, especially those in which one driver (or both!) was uninsured. The road ahead will be arduous but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. With the help of a reputable car accident lawyer, you’ll be back in the driver’s seat in no time.

Give us a call or save our office’s phone number in your phone book today. You never know when you’ll need to call a lawyer; make sure you’re prepared for when the unexpected happens.

letters spelling out the word illegal

A Guide Through the Changing Landscape of New Mexico’s Marijuana Law

As the landscape of our nation’s marijuana law changes, it’s easy to feel confused and uncertain about the future. Let us focus our sights on New Mexico, a recent member of the medical marijuana group (which is currently made up of 32 states and Washington D.C.). New Mexico and 32 other states have removed criminal penalties for the medical use of marijuana. Furthermore, on April 12, 2018, an ordinance was signed by the mayor of Albuquerque, which decriminalized simple possession of marijuana under city law. The city’s penalty was reduced to a $25 civil fine. But what if you get charged with possession in any other city in New Mexico? If you’re unsure about what path to take, W. Shane Jennings can help.

Medical Marijuana May Be Legal in New Mexico But…

Just because medical marijuana is legal in the state of New Mexico doesn’t mean all possession of marijuana is decriminalized. This all boils down to using marijuana for “nonmedical” purposes. Possessing one ounce or less of marijuana, for instance, can be punishable by fines of up to $100 as well as up to 15 days in jail. Second offenses or convictions of possessing more than one ounce can potentially result in a fine of up to $1,000 and jail time for up to one year. These charges can be terrifying to many people, especially those who weren’t aware of the legal ramifications of marijuana possession. While we wait for the state government to approve more sweeping marijuana possession reform, it’s necessary to seek help for the most pertinent and present matters at hand.

A Drug Crimes Attorney Can Help

Drug possession charges can appear very cut and dry on the surface but you shouldn’t give up and subject yourself to the fines. Instead, team up with a reputable drug crimes attorney who can build a strong defense and remove or lower your charges.

Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, after all, so it’s up to you and your lawyer to figure out a way to establish your innocence. W. Shane Jennings is known for his meticulous, detail-oriented nature. He will leave no stone unturned on the path towards establishing your innocence. While the state of New Mexico and the entire nation waits for nationwide marijuana decriminalization, it’s necessary to be persistent and headstrong.

If you’re facing drug charges, contact the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings. We’re ready to get to work on your case!

a wrecked Honda CR-V after a car accident

When to Call a Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents are, undoubtedly, incredibly stressful. Even if it’s a simple fender bender, your car accident will still result in a handful of events you’d rather avoid. Gathering information from the other party can be uncomfortable, for starters. Then the police arrive and you have to detail the events that led to the car accident. If only time travel existed, you could’ve gone back a few seconds in order to avoid the accident entirely! Sadly, there is no time travel in our reality. We have to deal with the outcomes but that doesn’t mean you have to do it on your own.

If your car accident is more complicated than a fender bender, give W. Shane Jennings a call. Continue reading to find out if your particular situation would benefit from legal assistance.

If You Sustained Injuries

If you sustained any injuries from your car accident, you’ll more-than-likely have to contact your insurance agency. As you may very well know, insurance agencies have their very own team of lawyers who will start working on your claim as soon as it’s submitted. You don’t want to end up with less compensation than you deserve, so it’s in your best interest to hire a car accident lawyer in order to even things out. Insurance agencies can actually deny your claim so it’s best to be safe and hire an experienced lawyer who will work tirelessly in order to yield the best results. Personal injuries can be crippling. With the help of a car accident lawyer, you won’t have to worry about recovering.

If You Are At Fault

Even if the car accident was clearly your fault, it’s imperative that you don’t say anything (to the police or to the other party) that may implicate you. Even saying “sorry” can lead you down a difficult and arduous path. You can, however, call a car accident lawyer.

Your lawyer will be on your side and he will build a case that will benefit you. Even if it seems like there’s no way out, W. Shane Jennings will devote his time and attention to your case. He is incredibly meticulous and has found the smallest details that turn entire cases around. Even if you feel as if you’re completely alone, know that W. Shane Jennings is here to help.

If You Are Unsure About What to Do Next

Car accidents are difficult situations. If you’re unsure about what may lie ahead, contact a personal injury lawyer. If you have a potential case on your hands, your lawyer will let you know. Don’t leave it up to chance, contact W. Shane Jennings today.

the scene of a severe car accident

The Four Steps to Keep In Mind After a Car Accident Takes Place

As much as we may wish to be the safest drivers possible, accidents can still happen. Perhaps a brief distraction leads to a fender bender or maybe a glare from the sun caused a miscalculation, resulting in a more severe accident. Regardless of the incident, it’s necessary to follow the right steps in order to avoid making a tricky situation more difficult than it has to be.

If you find yourself in a car accident in New Mexico, then the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings can help. Continue reading to learn more about what you should do in the event of a car accident.

First Step: Check Yourself and Your Passenger(s) For Injuries

Before you get out of your car, you must assess your own well-being. If you’re injured, call 911 if you’re able to. If you can’t physically call emergency services, ask someone nearby to do so. If you have any passengers in your vehicle, check their injuries as well. Although a million thoughts may be rushing through your head, you still need to make sure you’re safe. If you’ve suffered from an injury, you need to prioritize the arrival of emergency personnel.

Second Step: Move to a Safe Location and Call the Police

This step also requires several factors in order to fully understand the right decision to make. If your vehicle is causing a hazard and it can move and it is safe to do so, drive to a shoulder or somewhere away from the main road. If your car cannot move, turn off the engine, turn on the hazard lights and leave it where it is, then get yourself and your passengers to safety. Once you’re in a safe location, contact 911. This is necessary no matter the severity of the accident. Everything from fender benders to rollovers necessitates the intervention of the police. This is because the police officer will fill out an accident report as well as document the scene.

Third Step: Exchange Information With the Other Driver (or Drivers)

This is, understandably so, the most awkward and perhaps heated step of the entire process. Let’s say you rear-ended a vehicle on the freeway and you both pull over to the shoulder. Perhaps the driver you hit is irate and they start yelling at you for hitting their car. As difficult as it may sound, it’s necessary to remain calm and collected in these scenarios. Anything you say can be seen as an admission of guilt on your part. Saying “I’m sorry” or “it’s my fault” may feel like the natural reaction but it may lead to further issues. If possible, just exchange information with the other individual. This information includes the full name and contact information, insurance company and policy number, driver’s license and license plate number, the location of the accident, as well as the color, type, and model of the vehicle.

Fourth Step: Do Your Best To Document the Accident

Almost everyone has a camera on his or her smartphone. Use your camera to your advantage and document the scene of the accident. Make sure to also take pictures of the street (skidmarks) or of the weather or traffic. All of this will come in handy in the future and will more-than-likely facilitate your case. Car accidents are very stressful but they can become more stressful if the other party or the insurance company complicate the situation. This is where a car accident lawyer can help.

If you’re in need of legal assistance following a car accident, the Law Firm of W. Shane Jennings can help. Give us a call as soon as your accident takes place (preferably after the fourth step) so we can get to work on your case!  

two semi trucks on an open road as the sun sets in the background

How A Traffic Lawyer Can Keep Commercial Drivers on the Road

If you’re a commercial driver, you’re perfectly aware of how important your CDL is. Without it, you won’t be able to have a career as a commercial truck driver. The best way to maintain your CDL is by avoiding traffic violations. Failing to do so can cause your driving record and CDL to gain points which may result in higher insurance rates, fines, and even suspension. If you’re in the Southern New Mexico area and you’re facing issues relating to traffic violations, Attorney W. Shane Jennings can help. An experienced traffic lawyer can guide the way and help protect your CDL and your status as a commercial driver.

Briefly Outlining the Legal Ramifications for Commercial Traffic Violations

Although commercial drivers share the road with other drivers, the laws that govern CDL holders differ greatly from other traffic laws. Due to the massive weight of commercial motor vehicles, it’s understandable why the legal ramifications of CMV traffic violations are so much harsher than those for casual drivers. First, let’s look at moving violations for commercial drivers. These serious traffic violations can lead cause commercial drivers to lose their CDL for a certain period of time. Moving violations include, but are not limited to excessive speeding, reckless driving, erratic lane changes, and following vehicles too closely.

If you commit two moving violations within a three-year period, your CDL will be suspended for a minimum of 60 days. If you commit three moving violations within the same period, you will lose your CDL for at least 120 days.

A Skilled Traffic Lawyer Can Help

Committing a major offense, such as using your commercial motor vehicle to commit a felony or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will result in the loss of your CDL for one to three years. A conviction of a second major offense will cause you to lose your CDL for life. Losing your CDL for any amount of time, whether it be 60 days or three years, means you won’t be able to work and make a living.

If you find yourself in this predicament, it’s necessary to seek legal assistance from a skilled traffic lawyer. Attorney W. Shane Jennings is well aware of the intricacies of traffic law and CDL suspensions in the state. With his assistance, you’ll be on the correct path towards recovering your CDL.