False Logbook and Logbook-Related Violations

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There are four different logbook violations we commonly see:

1. No Logbook

This is exactly what it sounds like – A driver who is required to maintain a logbook but does not could be charged with a no logbook violation. See 49 CFR 395.8(a)(1).

2. No ELD – Electronic Logging Device

A “no ELD” violation is charged under the same statute as a no logbook violation, 49 CFR 395.8(a)(1). In summary, most drivers who are required to record their duty status under 395.8(a) must also use an electronic logging device. There are a few exceptions:

  • Drivers who operate under the short-haul exceptions are not required to use ELDs and may continue using timecards;
  • Drivers who use paper logs for not more than 8 days out of every 30-day period.
  • Drivers who conduct drive-away-tow-away operations, in which the vehicle being driven is part of the shipment being delivered.
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000.

Even if a driver has an ELD, he could still be charged with a violation if the ELD is malfunctioning in some way, or if the driver is unable to transmit data from the ELD to the investigating officer.

3. False Report of Driver Duty Status

A false report of driver duty status occurs when what is recorded in the ELD or logbook does not match what really happened. There are two ways this can happen:

First, a driver could intentionally falsify a logbook entry. This is usually done when a driver believes he has violated the hours of service rules, and the driver does not want the logbook to reflect the hours of service vhiolation.

Second, a false logbook entry could also be the result of an innocent error. As you might imagine, if the error was innocent, and the driver has documentation to support what should have actually been entered, and the accurate information does not violate any hours of service rules, the chances for a favorable outcome are much better than with an intentional false entry.

A false logbook entry is a violation of 49 CFR 395.8(e)(1).

4. No Record of Duty Status

This violation would come up if a driver is required to have a logbook, but does not, or if the driver actually does have a logbook (or an ELD –  electronic logging device), but has not recorded his or her duty status in that logbook. In other words, there is a period of time where there is no data available when there should be.

When there is no data, an investigating officer is unable to determine whether or not the driver is complying with the hours of service rules.

49 CRF 395.8 requires a driver operating a commercial motor vehicle to record the driver’s duty status.

What Are The Penalties For A Logbook Violation Conviction?

Logbook-related violations are criminal violations according to A.R.S. 28-5240, which states:

A. In addition to civil penalties imposed under this chapter, a motor carrier, shipper or manufacturer who operates or causes to be operated a commercial motor vehicle in violation of this chapter or who knowingly violates or knowingly fails to comply with any provision of this chapter or with any rule adopted pursuant to this chapter is guilty of:
1. A class 2 misdemeanor for a first offense.
2. A class 1 misdemeanor for a second offense.
3. A class 6 felony for any subsequent offense.

For the vast majority of cases we see, the driver is facing a first-time logbook violation. This means the driver is facing a class 2 misdemeanor, and the following possible consequences:

These are the consequences that are possible under the law:


  • Class 2 misdemeanor criminal conviction.
  • Fines up to $750 plus surcharges and court assessments that could nearly double the total fine
  • Up to 4 months in jail.
  • Up to 2 years probation

For the majority of people, if they are found guilty the consequences include:


  • Class 2 misdemeanor conviction.
  • Fines in the $300-$600 range
  • No jail, no probation.

There can also be some collateral consquences:


  • A conviction can impact a driver’s employment
  • Immigration issues
  • CSA points for the driver’s employer
  • Having to disclose a criminal conviction on job applications

Need Help With a Ticket?

Give us a call and let’s talk. We’re full of information, and we don’t charge you to discuss your case. We want every driver to get the best outcome possible in their case. Often, we can help achieve that outcome. Sometimes, a driver doesn’t need an attorney, and we’ll tell you that too.

How do you fight a logbook-related violation?

Usually, whether there was a logbook or not, or an ELD or not, or whether the entries were correct or not, is fairly straight-forward. Either there was an ELD/logbook, and it was correct, or it wasn’t.

Some possible arguments might include:

  • The ELD malfunctioned, or
  • The driver has receipts that back up what is stated in the log.

Absent a legal argument, we are left to present our clients in the best possible light and negotiate an improved outcome. A prosecutor may take into consideration things like:

  • A clean driving record
  • A history of community service
  • School or employment history
  • Other mitigating details

    Some prosecuting attorneys are willing to consider an arrangement wherein our client can plead to a reduced charge (perhaps with no CSA points) or a civil charge, or participate in diversion that results in the charge being dismissed. Generally speaking, prosecutors are not looking to cause a driver to lose their job. There are unfortunately exceptions to this (I’m looking at you Maricopa County).

    Frequently Asked Questions

    If you have questions about a logbook violation, we have answers. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

    How many points is a logbook violation?

    This is a two-part answer.

    Logbook violations are charged under the code of federal regulations (CFR), and not the Arizona Revised Statutes. Also, logbook violations aren’t technically moving violations. As a result, the Arizona department of Transporation (ADOT), does not assess any points to a driver’s license.

    However, there will be CSA points assessed (assuming there was an inspection that occurred at the same time the ticket was issued). Falsifying a logbook is 7 points. Failing to keep a logbook is 5 points. 

    When do CSA points go away?

    CSA points age, so as time passes, the points decrease. 

    A false logbook violation is 7 points. These points are subject to a time multiplier. For a violation that is less than 6 months old, the points are multiplied by 3. A 5-month-old false logbook violation would be 21 points.

    Violations that are more than 6 months old but less than 12 months old are multiplied by 2. A 9 month old false logbook violation would be 14 points.

    Violations that are more than 12 months old but less than 24 months old are multiplied by 1.

    For violations older than 24 months, the points are not counted.

    How long does a case take?

    Three to four months is usually a good estimate of time.

    Will I have to appear in court?

    If you hire an attorney, your attorney can often attend court without you. Some courts require that a defendant attend pretrial conferences, but this is the exception rather than the rule. We represent many clients from out-of-state who never return to Arizona or attend court in-person. If you decide to enter into a plea agreement, it is possible you will have to appear by phone once. If your case goes to trial, you will almost certainly need to attend the trial in person. You can discuss whether or not your presence is necessary with your attorney.

    What if I don’t live in Arizona?

    Most courts will let you appear by telephone for court appearances other than a trial. Some courts may require you to make this request in writing, others not. If you live out of state, call the court and ask them about their policies regarding telephonic appearances. If you have an attorney, your attorney can take care of this. If your case ends up going to trial, you will need to come back to Arizona for the trial. If your case is resolved without going to trial, you probably won’t need to physically return to Arizona.

    Will a conviction affect my job?

    It depends.

    I logbook-related violation is not going to impact your legal ability to drive. However, depending on the policies of your particular employer, it could impact your job.

    Will a criminal conviction affect my immigration status?

    Maybe. We always advise our clients to consult with an immigration attorney to get a definitive answer to this question. Keep in mind though that a logbook violation is not like assault, fraud, theft, burglary or any crime that involves a victim. Also, it does not involve alcohol, drugs or guns, all of which will create major problems for immigration. If the charge involved intentionally making a false entry, this would probably be worse than simply failing to maintain a log. This is because making a false entry on purpose implies some dishonest motive, wherease failing to keep a log could be just an oversight.

    In another post, we discuss potential immigration consequences with immigration attorney Jessica Cadavid.

    Can I set aside or expunge a conviction?

    To expunge something means to make it dissappear entirely. Arizona only permits expungement in very limited circumstances. This is not one of those circumstances. 

    Arizona does have a mechanism to set aside convictions however. If a conviction is set aside, it means that the judge undoes the conviciton and dismisses the charge

    The answer to “can you set aside a misdemeanor conviction” is “there is a good chance you can.” See our page about setting aside convictions for more details.

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