New York prohibits texting while driving. Receiving a texting ticket is a serious traffic violation that can have major consequences on your life. In addition to serious fines, a texting ticket will result in points on your driver’s license. If you’ve been issued a texting ticket or use of cell phone ticket in Central New York, it’s important that you reach out to a skilled traffic ticket attorney.
Contact a Central New York Cell Phone or Texting Ticket Attorney
The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers are here to work for you. We’ve successfully handled a large number of texting traffic tickets throughout New York, including Syracuse, Central New York, and along the NYS Thruway. Our team of attorneys will advocate strongly for your rights and get you the best possible outcome. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.
New York’s Use of Cell Phone and Electronics Law
New York takes enforcement of cell phone tickets seriously. Police officers in New York are constantly looking for people to cite for cell phone and electronic device violations. Sections 1225-c and 1225-d of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) outlaw the use of cell phones and electronics while driving. Section 1225-c also addresses mobile telephones or cell phones and other voice communication, or talking on the phone.
Section 1225-d addresses using portable electronic devices, including using texting and data transmission on a cell phone. Other electronic devices include tablets, iPods, iPads, GPS devices, laptops, and more. It’s a violation of New York’s traffic law to hold a mobile phone to your ear or in immediate proximity to your ear. It’s also a violation of the law to maneuver to gain access to your mobile phone while driving.
What Does a Police Officer Need to Prove in Court for a Texting Ticket?
The burden is on the government and the police officer who issued the ticket to prove that you violated the law. They will need to prove that you were the driver of the vehicle, that there was a cell phone or electronic device in your hand at the time, and your vehicle must be in motion.
If you were operating a commercial vehicle, the state doesn’t need to prove that your vehicle was in motion. If you are using a device at a stoplight or when stopped in a traffic jam, you can still be convicted. The police officer will need to prove that you were using a cell phone at the time. Using a cell phone or electronic device includes:
- Looking at, taking, or sending images
- Playing games
- Writing, reading, sending, accessing, or retrieving messages
- Saving electronic data like e-mail, webpages, or text messages
Defenses to Cell Phone Traffic Violations
Traffic tickets aren’t impossible to fight. Many people assume it’s cheaper and easier to simply pay the fine and move on. On the contrary, working with an attorney to fight your ticket can help you from gaining points on your driver’s license and paying fines. There are several defenses a person can use when facing a ticket for cell phone use. The best defense strategy will depend on your unique situation.
Your attorney may contend that the prosecutor doesn’t have enough evidence to prove the infraction. If you were using a cell phone in an emergency, you could use the emergency as a defense. New York does allow drivers to use cell phones when driving for the sole purpose of communicating in an emergency with any of the following people:
- A hospital
- An emergency response operator
- A physician’s office or health clinic
- A fire department, district, or company
- An ambulance company or corps
- A police department
How Much Does a Cell Phone Traffic Ticket Cost in Central New York?
The fines imposed for traffic violations range from relatively small to multiple hundred dollars, depending on several factors. The location of the alleged violation, for one, as not all traffic courts in New York have the same procedures and policies. The circumstances of the particular alleged violation will be relevant to the fine. If the police officer observed the texting or talking, and the driver was using high speeds and/or swerving, the fine may be higher.
Finally, the traffic court will consider the driver’s existing driving record. Typically, the fine will be on the lower end when a driver has a clean driving record. Drivers who have a history of traffic tickets will face higher fines. Similarly, if the driver has previous cell phone or electronic device violations, they will probably face higher fines. If you’re convicted of the use of a cell phone or electronic device, you will face the following fines:
- First offense: $50-$200 fine
- Second offense (within 18 months): $50-$250 fine
- Third or subsequent offense (within 18 months): $50-$450 fine
Local authorities also impose a court surcharge. The driver may have to pay a driver responsibility assessment fee if the driver already has points on his or her license. The driver’s auto insurance premiums also can increase significantly upon a traffic ticket conviction.
Points On Your Driver’s License
If the driver is a new or probationary driver when convicted, he or she will be subject to a significant driver’s license suspension. In addition to fines, a driver will receive five points to his or her driver’s license, if convicted. If you already have points on your driver’s license, you may face a suspension of your driver’s license. The New York DMV can be difficult to navigate and an experienced attorney can help you fight to keep points off of your driving record.
Discuss Your Case With a Central New York Cell Phone Ticket Attorney
You could save hundreds of dollars and prevent points from being added to your driver’s license by hiring an experienced traffic ticket attorney. The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers have a solid reputation for successfully fighting a wide range of traffic tickets, including using a cell phone while driving. Contact us to discuss the circumstances of your traffic ticket with a texting while driving defense attorney today.
The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers handle Cell Phone Tickets throughout Central New York including Albany County, Broome County, Cortland County, Cayuga County, Erie County, Jefferson County, Madison County, Oneida County, Onondaga County, Orange County, Oswego County, Saratoga County, and Warren County.