Wednesday, June 19, 2013

CDL Third Party Testing in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania CDL Testing Center
CDL Third Party Testing in Pennsylvania may be an option
for you to get your Commercial Drivers License.
If you have your CDL Permit in Pennsylvania, at some point you are going to have to take the CDL testing in order to receive your CDL License.

In Pennsylvania, when you decide to take the skills portion for your CDL License you have two options - schedule a test at a PENNDOT Licensing Center or go to a certified third party CDL testing site. What you decide can really depend on your situation.

If you have access to a truck and/or trailer, then perhaps going through PENNDOT is a good option. You have no testing fees to pay. Having access to a truck and trailer is also great since you can practice until you feel comfortable taking your test and have the added advantage of really knowing the equipment much better than jumping into a truck for the first time.

However, if you do not have access to a truck and trailer, then going to a Third Party CDL Testing Site may be the option for you. That is just what I did so I will give you an overview of the CDL Skill testing I performed.

Here in Pennyslvania, the CDL Skill Testing portion has three separate phases. The first phase is the CDL Pre-trip Inspection, followed by the CDL Skill Test, and finally the CDL Road Test.

A third-party CDL testing site will charge you for administering the tests. In this case, if you take all three tests the fee is $125. If you need to take only one or two of the test (perhaps you previously passed one or two of the tests) the fee is $50 per section. If you need to use the site's equipment, the fee was $250 - which also allows you to used the equipment to take the test until however many times you need to take the test. In another words, the equipment fee is a one time fee only at Kuhn Transportation.

The guys at Kuhn Transportation are real nice people who will make you feel comfortable from the time you speak to them until you pass your Pennsylvania CDL Test.

I took my test using a dump truck that pulled a lowboy trailer. Before the test starts, you will be given an overview of the testing, what is expected of you, any questions you might have, and some free time to get a feel of the truck and trailer and use it around the lot to get used to it.

Once the testing starts, you can no longer ask the instructor any questions about the test. You can ask him to clarify his instructions if you don't understand what he is asking you to do.

If you are looking for a great Third Party CDL Testing Site in Pennsylvania give Kuhn Transportation a call and talk to Matt or Clayton. Their phone number is (570) 325-5614. They are located in Jim Thorpe, PA.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

DUI in Pennsylvania What happens after your arrest

So, you have just been charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania. It can be a scary experience and you are not sure how to handle it. Well, I will gives you a heads up into the process of DUI and how it works here in the state of Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania, the legal definition of driving under the influence is a BAC of .08 or higher. It used to be .10 but due to some great lobbying from MADD and the threat of losing highway tax dollars from the federal government, Pennsylvania lowered the limit to .08. Soon it might be even a lower BAC at .04.

You had some drinks and got pulled over. Well, you could have also gone through a checkpoint. They used to call them roadblocks, but checkpoints sound more digestible and politically correct. You could have also been the target of "roving patrols". If you read that article, you may have noticed how the State Trooper Reznick admits, It’s very difficult not to be able to find some type of equipment violation even on a new car”. I guess that is protecting and serving in the 21st century.

Once you are arrested, you will be transported a state police barracks or the hospital for either a breathalyzer test or a blood test. The blood test is more accurate, although the breathalyzer is accurate if calibrated correctly. Guess what? They do calibrate them regularly. I will get back to that when I talk later of getting a lawyer.

When you are done "giving your sample" you will either be given a ride home or someone will be called to pick you up. Yip! It's damn embarrassing. Helpful Hint: Don't not try to play with the breathalyzer device. What I mean is don't try to blow out of the side or your mouth or act like you don't have enough breath. They will give you a couple of chances before they finally just charge you with a refusal. This can be even worse driving license wise than the DUI itself.

Calm down now. You won't receive the actual charges in the mail for another 7 to 21 days usually. So, you can go through your daily living with the prospect of going to jail and losing your license hanging over your head or just pretend it was a bad dream. You can also pray your blood test results get lost in the mail or got mixed up with another suspect who was under the legal limit.

That's another thing. Just because you are under the legal limit doesn't mean you can't be charged with DUI in Pennsylvania. This usually happens when you have an accident and may be under the legal limit of .08, yet the police officer believes the alcohol contributed to the accident. It's kind of rare since most of the time a jury will have a hard time convicting.

Here is another somewhat bizarre way of getting a DUI in Pennsylvania. If someone under the influence drives your car, with you in it, not only will they be charged with DUI but you will also be charged. Many people find themselves blindsided by this one, but it is the law.

Let's get back to your charges. After you have been charged you may wonder, "What is the next step?" Your next step can be get a lawyer or wait until you receive the official charges in the mail. If you go to the lawyer before you receive the charges it's kind of a waste of time since he won't be able to do anything until he can see the criminal complaint. Of course, he will still charge you for the pleasure of talking to him. So, just wait for the mailman.

It's the big day. You got your charges. Now you can go see the lawyer and get this squashed. Deep down you hope the lawyer really likes you and he plays golf with the officer who arrested you, the DA, and a few judges and they will squash the charges if you dress up like Santa for their kids. Probably not going to happen.

After reading the charges over, the lawyer says, "I might be able to get this reduced if the breathalyzer machine wasn't calibrated correctly" or "We might be able to dispute the blood test". Again, the chance of this being successful is really low.

After getting your lawyer, the next step will be a preliminary hearing. This takes place before a district magistrate who decides if there is enough evidence for the charges to move to court. The magistrate will just look at the results of the breathalyzer or blood and move it through. You have the right to contest and charges and have a hearing. Most lawyers will want you to waive it and go for the plea bargain or take it to trial.

When you received the charges in the mail, it will instruct you to have your finger prints recorded. You do this by visiting your sheriffs office or the local state police barracks. Yes! You will also pay for the privilege of recording your fingerprints for life into a state police data base. So, don't commit any crimes after this without gloves on. Just kidding! Go ahead and do some more. The charge for fingerprints is between $65 and $75. That was last time I had to do it and that was nearly 10 years ago.

Arraignment time. After the preliminary hearing, the next formal court proceeding will be arraignment. It's just where you or your lawyer will officially enter your plea of guilty or not guilty. Yeah! Enter not guilty. Entering guilty will result in getting to the fast lane of sentencing. We don't want to do that. Not guilty gets us to the next phase of  plea bargaining. BTW, if you have a lawyer you don't usually need to be present for arraignment. Your well paid lawyer will fill out some papers for you.

Plea bargaining. Here is where your lawyer comes in handy. This is where he acts like he has really done you some good because the DA has agreed to give you the minimum sentence if you plead guilty. Well, guess what? You could of got that yourself as long as you don't have mitigating circumstances (you assaulted the officer, pissed in the cop car, spit on the cop, etc.). If this is your first DUI and you have a pretty clean criminal record you will most likely qualify for ARD. ARD will allow you to also have the DUI charge expunged from your record, provided you meet the requirements of the program. If you don't have a lawyer (or don't want to pay from one) just contact the ARD coordinator in your county. You will then be given an appointment to sign some papers and most likely get accepted into the ARD program.

It's pretty simple and easy. Just follow instructions.