Cell Phone Tickets in NY – How to Avoid 5 Points on Your License
Each day, drivers across the country are ticketed for violating various traffic laws. While some of these tickets may be relatively minor, others can have more severe consequences.
One such offense is using a cell phone while driving. A first-time violation can lead to a five-point penalty on your license, so it’s essential to understand the law and take steps to avoid getting ticketed. This blog post will provide an overview of New York’s Cell Phone Law, explain the consequences of a violation, and offer tips for avoiding a ticket.
What Is the Cost of a Cell Phone Ticket in New York?
In Suffolk County or Nassau County, New York, a cell phone ticket will set you back a pretty penny. The base fine for a cell phone ticket is from $50 to $150 for the first offense, between $50 and $200 for the second offense if it occurred within 18 months, and between $50 and $400 for a third.
Drivers found to be using their cell phones behind the wheel will have to pay an extra $88 or $93 surcharge, according to where the violation occurred. If you are caught using your cell phone in a school zone, the fine is increased to $250. And if you are caught using your cell phone while driving in a construction zone, the penalty is increased to $400.
In addition to the fine, your cell phone ticket will also come with a mandatory surcharge of $93 and a victim assistance fee of $25. If you cannot pay your cell phone ticket all at once, you can set up a payment plan with the court. However, keep in mind that the total amount you pay will be higher due to interest if you do this.
If you are caught using your cell phone while driving, you will be fined and incur points on your license. In addition, if you accumulate enough points, you will have to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) fee.
The DRA is a surcharge imposed on drivers who accumulate six or more points on their license within 18 months. The fee for six points is $100, and the fee for each additional point is $75. This payment is made to DMV and is separate from, and in addition to, the state penalties and fines associated with the ticket.
Did you know that you can also get points on your license? That’s right, five points, to be exact. And those points can really add up, putting your insurance rates through the roof.
Insurance companies periodically pull the driving records of their policyholders. If you have been caught using your cell phone while driving, it is likely that your insurance company will find out and could raise your rates as a result. According to Forbes, in New York, a single cell phone ticket can cause your insurance rate to increase up to 19%.
Types of Cell Phone Tickets
The following is a list of New York’s vehicle and traffic laws, including the two separate provisions regulating the use of portable electronic devices while driving:
- VTL 1225(c) Use of Mobile Telephone
- VTL 1225(d) Use of Portable Electronic Devices (includes texting while driving)
A VTL 1225(c) ticket is not the same as a VTL 1225(d) ticket. VTL 1225(c) (“c” is a cell phone ticket), while VTL 1225(d) is a digital device ticket (“d” for device), commonly known as a texting while driving ticket (although it includes more than texting).
A 1225(c) ticket is issued when an officer claims that the driver was engaged in a phone conversation when he/she saw him/her. It does not matter whether the driver was on a phone call for 1225(d) citations. 1225(d) citation can be issued to a motorist operating their cell phone for any reason, including text messaging or using an app.
Many people are unaware that a 1225(d) ticket can also be issued for items other than mobile phones. A portable GPS, iPad, MP3 player, camera, or other hand-held electronic device is also covered by the 1225(d) statute.
Tips for Fighting a Cell Phone Ticket on Your Own
There are several methods to dispute a cell phone ticket. The best approach is to hire a lawyer, but there are still a few options if you don’t want to go down the proper road.
Using a dashcam might help you prove that the police stopped your car at the time of the violation. This may be enough evidence to show that you did not commit a 1225-C or -D offense.
Another way is to prove that you were not using your phone when you were pulled over. This could be in the form of a passenger in the car who can attest that you were not on your phone, or perhaps you have cell phone records that show you were not on a call or using data at the time.
If you have this type of evidence, bring it to court with you when you fight your ticket.
If you were not the one driving your car at the time of the cell phone violation, you might be able to avoid points on your license by providing evidence that shows your vehicle was stopped at the time the violation occurred.
For example, if you can provide a photo of your car parked at a meter with the timestamp showing that it was parked at the time of the cell phone violation, this may be enough to show that you were not the one using your cell phone at the time. Similarly, if you can provide a photo of yourself at work or at home during the time of the cell phone violation, this may also help to prove that you were not driving your car at the time.
If you’ve been issued a cell phone ticket in Suffolk County or Nassau County NY, you may be feeling frustrated and unsure of what to do next. After all, paying the fine will only cost you money – and points on your license. But did you know that there are ways to fight cell phone tickets? And that an experienced lawyer can help you do it?
Here are just a few of the ways a cell phone ticket lawyer can help you avoid those costly points on your license:
- By challenging the officer’s version of events. In many cell phone ticket cases, the officer will testify that he or she saw you holding your phone to your ear or looking at it in your lap. But often, there is no other evidence to corroborate this claim. A skilled lawyer can poke holes in the officer’s testimony and cast doubt on what really happened.
- By raising constitutional challenges. In some cases, cell phone tickets have been thrown out because the officer violated the driver’s constitutional rights – for example, by pulling him over without probable cause.
Don’t just pay your cell phone ticket and hope for the best. Fight back with the help of a knowledgeable lawyer. With an experienced attorney on your side, you may be able to avoid those costly points on your license. If you’ve been issued a cell phone ticket, contact the Law Office of John Caffrey Law today. The Law Offices of John J. Caffrey have handled thousands of cases, and we know how to get results in a traffic court. We have helped countless drivers fight cell phone tickets and other traffic violations. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call us today for a free consultation.