Attorney Representing
Upstate New York Drivers

Hand-held phone violations are a big deal

| Dec 1, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

When driving, it’s critical that you pay attention to the road and your surroundings at all times. Neglecting to do so puts you and other drivers at risk of an accident, serious injury and even death.

In 2011, the state of New York revised the law governing the use of hand-held cellphones while driving. If you’re caught violating the law, you will receive a ticket for distracted driving. And if that’s not bad enough, five points will be added to your driving record.

The impact can be far-reaching

It’s not the worst crime you can commit, but it definitely has the potential to affect your life on many fronts. For example:

  • Too many points on your license can lead to a suspension or revocation
  • The more points you have on your license, the greater chance there is that your insurance company will increase your premium

So, if you lose your license, you may find it challenging to commute to and from work, school and anywhere else you need to visit.

What can you do about it?

The best thing you can do is make sure you never drive with a phone in your hand. If you need to take a call, use a hands free system or pull to safety.

Keep in mind that the law covers every type of hand-held phone use imaginable:

  • Talking
  • Texting
  • Playing music
  • Dialing
  • Taking photos
  • Browsing the internet
  • Email

You get the point. There’s no gray area. If an officer sees you using your phone while driving, they’ll pull you to the side of the road and more than likely issue a ticket.

Can you defend yourself?

Not only can you defend yourself, it’s imperative that you settle on a defense strategy that allows you to avoid the most serious penalties associated with this traffic violation. For example, you may be able to argue that you were facing an emergency. An example of this is calling 911 to report an aggressive driver.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your traffic violation, take steps to better understand your legal rights and how to protect them.