Penalties You Can Face for Texting and Driving

Although a traffic ticket can seem like a short-term problem, it could potentially lead to a wider array of problems down the line. Distracted driving can lead to pesky penalties or some pretty serious consequences for repeat offenders. The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) states that while driving, it is illegal to use a handheld mobile telephone to:

  • Engage in a phone call
  • Create or access text messages, e-mails, or web pages
  • View, take or transmit images
  • Play games

This means that a few seconds spent glancing at your cellphone could cost you a variety of penalties, each one incrementally growing in severity. 


Expect a fine between $50 and $200 for your first offense, between $50 and $250 for your second offense committed within 18 months, or a large $50 to $400 fine as a penalty for your third or subsequent offense within 18 months. Additionally, the surcharge for all violations can be up to $93.

Driver Violation Points

Texting and driving can also result in a heavy blow of five driver violation points, regardless of whether it’s your first offense or not. If you receive six or more points on your New York State driving record, you must pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment fee.

While you are generally allowed to accumulate up to ten points on your driving record within 18 months, your driver’s license may be suspended upon reaching 11 points. 

How to Check Your Points

Unsure of whether you’re in danger? Check your points via MyDMV, a free service provided by the New York DMV. You will only need the ID number and document number from your currently issued New York State driver’s license, learner’s permit, or non-driver ID.

Increase in Insurance Premiums

Car insurance companies have their own independent point systems and can drastically increase your premiums based on the points on your record, making it more difficult for you to meet your monthly car insurance costs. Contact your insurance company to ensure compliance. 

Penalties for Probationary and Junior Drivers

Following the first conviction of a texting and driving violation, junior and probationary drivers with a Class DJ driver’s license or Class MJ driver’s license will have a suspension of their driver’s license or permit for 120 days. 

Upon receiving a second conviction within six months of restoring the license or permit, probationary and junior drivers can expect a revocation of at least one year of a probationary license. Alternatively, the penalty can be a revocation of at least one year for a Class DJ or MJ driver’s license or learner’s permit.

Caught Texting and Driving? 

We can help!

We are a specialized team of lawyers with several years’ worth of experience. Our law firm is prepared to handle any texting and driving case that you bring to our office. The cases New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers handles include but are not limited to these counties:

Working with a traffic ticket attorney raises the chances of achieving the best possible outcome. Remember that having a driver’s license issued to you and operating a motor vehicle are both privileges; neither is a constitutional right.  

It is in your best interests to work with a skilled traffic ticket attorney to avoid incurring expensive fines, landing points on your record, watching your insurance premiums skyrocket, and having your license ultimately become suspended. 

Whether you’re in Syracuse, Buffalo, or anywhere in the Central New York area, contact The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers for a free consultation with a knowledgeable traffic ticket attorney today.

David Hammond, Esq. is a traffic offense lawyer and prosecutor that has over a decade of experience fighting for the rights of service members and their families. He served nine years and went on two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer. He then joined the Reserves and moved to Syracuse to be near his family. Not only does he defend the rights of Central New Yorkers, but he also has a veteran-focused practice. David represents servicemen and women before the military appellate courts and takes cases to fix service members’ military records. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact David by clicking here.