Traffic Ticket Lawyer FAQ: What should I know about getting a ticket for using a cell phone while driving?
In many states, there are rules that discourage, or even prohibit, the use of talking on the phone while driving. This is because in doing so, the driver can become distracted and be at a greater risk for an accident. Each year, there are hundreds of thousands of tickets issued to people who are using electronic devices while driving. The penalties are strict and can last for several years after the incident. If you’ve received a ticket because you were using a phone while driving, it may be a good idea to ask a traffic ticket lawyer about whether or not they can help you.
Using a Phone While Driving
Each state regulates the use of electronics, including cell phones, while driving differently. For example, some state laws pertain only to newer drivers or commercial drivers while other states have laws that affect everyone. Likewise, some laws target handheld devices and others pertain to handheld and handsfree. Due to the frequent changes in these laws, it is a good idea to educate yourself about the local laws that may affect you most. If you did not know about the laws relevant to using a phone while driving, and you were ticketed, please call a traffic ticket lawyer today.
Various laws in the United States regulate the use of mobile phones and other electronics by motorists. Different states take different approaches. Some laws affect only novice drivers or commercial drivers, while some laws affect all drivers. Some laws target handheld devices only, while other laws affect both handheld and hands-free devices.
What is important to understand is that using any electronic device while driving can be interpreted in an incredibly broadly. For example, in some states, such as New York, even holding an electronic device, but not using it, is enough to presume that you are using it. This could result in a ticket and it will be up to you to prove that you were not using it. As a traffic ticket lawyer might explain to you, these tickets are considerably difficult to beat. Some examples of activities that may be prohibited include:
- Speaking into the device
- Swiping on your screen
- Taking photos
- Reading or writing
- Using social media
- Changing the song or podcast
- Or any other use
When Cell Phone Use May Be Permissible
Some activities may be permissible. Again, it cannot be stressed enough that these can change; thus, you should stay up to date with frequent legislation.
- Conversing using a hands-free device that allows you to keep both hands on the wheel at all times
- Making emergency calls
- Being authorized by the state to be an emergency responder
When You’ve Received a Traffic Ticket for Using a Cell Phone While Driving
If you have been ticketed for using a phone while driving, you might think to pay it off as soon as possible. If you do this, you are admitting your guilt. A traffic ticket lawyer can provide you with a legal strategy that may result in a reduction of the charge or a dismissal. The benefit in this is that the penalties and long term consequences could be reduced; those include:
- A fine that will increase with multiple offenses
- Ticket fee surcharges
- Driver violation points on your license
- Mandatory driver responsibility assessment fees and/or classes
- License suspension or revocation
- Insurance premium increase