Cell phone tickets are some of the most common traffic tickets and fines that drivers deal with today, and because cellphone use has played a major role in quite a few serious car accidents ever since people began using cellphones regularly, a violation for talking on the phone or texting can be pretty serious.
Most states have laws against talking on the phone and texting on a mobile device while driving, although the specific details of these laws are likely to differ from state to state. In general, drivers may be charged with misdemeanor traffic offenses for talking on a cellphone and driving, or for reading, sending, or writing a text message.
That being said, getting slapped with a $50 fine just because a police officer saw you pull your phone out of your pocket can be really frustrating (and it can become really expensive, too, if it happens a lot). Here are a few ways that you can go about fighting traffic tickets related to cellphone use:
- There are a few exceptions to cellphones and driving, and most states recognize these exceptions as legitimate reasons for talking on the phone while operating a moving vehicle. In most cases, drivers are allowed to use cellphones if: they are making a call to 911 to report an emergency; they are driving on private property; or they are operating an emergency vehicle and are authorized to make and receive calls while driving.
- Many states have also included a bunch of slight variations regarding the use of smartphones, and these are often included in laws that prohibit reading or typing on a mobile phone. For example, some states expressly prohibit the use of digital maps on smartphones while driving, because this can be just as distracting as driving. However, if your state doesn’t have a law prohibiting this, it’s possible to get out of a traffic ticket by arguing that you were using another feature on your phone, like the map feature or the music player, and that you weren’t talking or texting.
- Another argument against cellphone traffic tickets is that your car was parked/standing while you were on the phone — this is an easy way to fight a traffic ticket, because drivers have to operating a moving vehicle to be breaking a cellphone driving law.
Now it’s your turn to share! If you’ve been pulled over for talking on your phone or texting, what defense did you use? Was it successful?