Cell Phone And Texting Tickets
Cell phones are marvelous. They keep us instantly connected with the world including our friends and families. Unfortunately, they have a dark side when used while driving. The National Safety Council estimates that at least 27% of all crashes in 2013 (over 1.5 million crashes) involved drivers talking and texting on cell phones. As a result, it is no surprise that the use of a cell phone or electronic device while driving is a very serious traffic violation. In fact, New York recently increased the severity of the penalties and fines imposed for the use of cell phones and texting while driving. Cell phone and texting violations are now treated on par with reckless driving and passing a school bus while it is letting off children. Call the Shelton Law Firm when you need a cell phone defense lawyer.
New York's Vehicle and Traffic Law ("VTL") contains two sections that prohibit the use of cell phones while driving. Specifically, NY VTL 1225-c governs the use of mobile phones and NY VTL 1225-d governs the use of portable electronic devices for texting. Notably, portable electronic devices include not only cell phones but also other electronic devices including PDA's, laptops, and gaming devices.
NY VTL 1225-c
NY VTL 1225-c(2)(a) states that "no person shall operate a motor vehicle upon a public highway while using a mobile telephone to engage in a call while such vehicle is in motion." Many of the terms used in the statute are actually defined by the statute including:
- "Mobile telephone" shall mean the device used by subscribers and other users of wireless telephone service to access such service.
- "Wireless telephone service" shall mean two-way real time voice telecommunications service that is interconnected to a public switched telephone network and is provided by a commercial mobile radio service, as such term is defined by 47 C.F.R. S 20.3.
- "Using" shall mean (i) holding a mobile telephone to, or in the immediate proximity of, the user's ear; and (ii) with respect to a person operating a commercial motor vehicle, holding a mobile telephone to, or in the immediate proximity of, the user's ear, or dialing or answering a mobile telephone by pressing more than a single button, or reaching for a mobile telephone in a manner that requires such person to maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position, restrained by a seat belt that is installed in accordance with section 393.93 of title 49 of the code of federal regulations and adjusted in accordance with the vehicle manufacturer's instructions.
- "Hand-held mobile telephone" shall mean a mobile telephone with which a user engages in a call using at least one hand.
- "Hands-free mobile telephone" shall mean a mobile telephone that has an internal feature or function, or that is equipped with an attachment or addition, whether or not permanently part of such mobile telephone, by which a user engages in a call without the use of either hand, whether or not the use of either hand is necessary to activate, deactivate or initiate a function of such telephone. Provided, however, that for purposes of this section, a mobile telephone used by a person operating a commercial motor vehicle shall not be deemed a "hands-free mobile telephone" when such person dials or answers such mobile telephone by pressing more than a single button.
- "Engage in a call" shall mean talking into or listening on a hand-held mobile telephone, but shall not include holding a mobile telephone to activate, deactivate or initiate a function of such telephone.
- "Immediate proximity" shall mean that distance as permits the operator of a mobile telephone to hear telecommunications transmitted over such mobile telephone, but shall not require physical contact with such operator's ear.
NY VTL 1225-d
NY VTL 1225-d(1) states that "no person shall operate a motor vehicle while using any portable electronic device while such vehicle is in motion." The statute further defines many of the terms used in its prohibition against the use of mobile telephones including:
- "Portable electronic device" shall mean any hand-held mobile telephone, as defined by subdivision one of section twelve hundred twenty-five-c of this article, personal digital assistant (PDA), handheld device with mobile data access, laptop computer, pager, broadband personal communication device, two-way messaging device, electronic game, or portable computing device, or any other electronic device when used to input, write, send, receive, or read text for present or future communication.
- "Using" shall mean holding a portable electronic device while viewing, taking or transmitting images, playing games, or, for the purpose of present or future communication: performing a command or request to access a world wide web page, composing, sending, reading, viewing, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or retrieving e-mail, text messages, instant messages, or other electronic data.
Both VTL 1225-c and 1225-d contain additional provisions pertaining specifically to the operators of commercial motor vehicles who use a mobile phone or portable electronic device.
The penalties for cell phone or portable electronic device texting violations are significant. Each conviction accrues 5 points to your driving record. The DMV will suspend your drivers license for 31 days if you accrue 11 points in any 18 month period. Accrue between 7 and 10 points in any 18 month period and the DMV can require that you attend a driver improvement clinic. In addition to the points, your first conviction can cost you as much as $293 ($200 fine + $93 surcharge). The fine increases if you get additional cell phone or portable electronic convictions within 18 months of the first conviction.
Contact A Cell Phone or Texting Ticket Attorney
Consult with a cell phone defense attorney if you receive a ticket for violating VTL 1225-c or VTL 1225-d. Adequately defending yourself against a cell phone or electronic device texting ticket requires a thorough understanding of the governing statutes and what constitutes permissible and unpermissible behavior. With the right arguments, a qualified cell phone defense attorney can often get the ticket dismissed or reduced to a no point violation.
Contact the Shelton Law firm if you receive a cell phone or electronic device texting ticket. The Shelton Law Firm knows how to defend clients charged cell phone and texting tickets. With our money back guarantee you can relax and we will do all the work. We will go to court on your behalf and fight to reduce your points, reduce your fines and avoid increases in your insurance rate. With the Shelton Law Firm on your side, you have the peace of mind to know that your cell phone defense attorney will zealously defend your rights.