NYC Cell Phone Ticket Attorney

Cell Phone Ticket Attorney in New York City

In our digitally-driven era, cell phones are indispensable, yet their use while driving can lead to severe consequences. Recognizing the dangers of distracted driving, New York State has stringent laws against cell phone use while driving. These infractions can result in fines, penalties, and points on your driving record. Consulting a specialized attorney is crucial if you're facing a cell phone ticket. A cell phone ticket affects your driving record and carries potential fines and points that can escalate insurance costs. James Medows Law specializes in handling such cases, ensuring robust defense strategies to maintain a clean driving record.

New York City's Laws on Cell Phone Usage While Driving

New York City law mandates using hands-free devices for phone conversations while driving. However, this law encompasses all electronic devices, not limited to cell phones but including laptops, tablets, GPS devices, and more. Two specific laws govern this area: VTL 1225(c) for Cell Phone use and VTL 1225(d) for Portable Electronic Devices use.

How are NYC Cell Phone Tickets Different?

The cell phone tickets that are given in any part of NYC lead to a major challenge for the drivers compared to any other areas in the state. The law requires the drivers to present their case to the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) in New York, which has stricter rules than any other traffic court. There is a higher chance of drivers being convicted of a cell phone ticket.
Here are the significant reasons why TVB has made cell phone tickets more challenging:

  • Drivers don't get an opportunity for a plea bargain to negotiate the charges. They must go to court to fight the ticket to get acquitted or dismissed.
  • In most traffic courts, there is a requirement for 'beyond a reasonable doubt proof to ensure the driver has violated the proof, but in NYC, the judge only requires 'convincing and clear evidence.'
  • The NYC judge also requires an admission of hearsay, which is a written or oral statement by an individual aside from the testifying witness. This means that if one officer repeats the claim regarding the driver that another officer has made, it is taken as hearsay. This is not admissible in many courts but is in TVB.

These factors make cell phone tickets in New York State rather challenging for the driver. Therefore, it is integral to consult an experienced cell phone ticket lawyer to help you with the case.

Understanding the Cell Phone Ticket Cost in New York State

There are multiple fines and penalties that add to the overall cell phone ticket cost in the city. Here are some major factors to consider:

  • Fines: The fine for a cell phone ticket for the first offense could be anywhere between $50 and $150. The second conviction within 18 months can be $50 to $200, and a third offense could be between $50 and $450.
  • Surcharges: Every cell phone ticket in the city has a surcharge of $88 or $93, aside from the fine, based on the areas where the driver received the ticket.
  • Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) Fee: Those drivers who have accumulated more than six points within 18 months due to traffic convictions must make an additional payment as a DRA fine that costs $300 plus. The driver has to pay an additional $75 for every point they gain after six.
  • Points: Aside from the fines and other penalties, the driver also gets five points added to their license for each violation.
  • Increase in Auto Insurance Premium: Most car insurance organizations monitor the driving records of the clients and increase the premium rates if they have been convicted of a traffic violation or cell phone tickets. Cell phone use convictions are among the highest point tickets that are not lightly taken by insurance companies. Even a single cell phone ticket can drastically increase the premium rate of your auto insurance.

Junior Drivers

There are stricter penalties for junior drivers for using their cell phones while driving. Drivers with a learner, Class MJ or Class DJ permit can face the following penalties:

  • Suspension of learner’s permit or license for 120 days for the first offence
  • Revocation of the license or permit for up to a year for a second conviction within six months of getting the license restored after the initial offense

Drivers with Probationary Licenses

Drivers with a probationary license face harsher consequences as compared to other drivers. Some consequences include:

  • Mandatory suspension of permit or driver's license for 120 days
  • Revocation of driver's license for up to a year for more cell phone use convictions in less than six months of the restoration of the license

Commercial Drivers (CDL)

Aside from being fined and penalized just as the non-commercial drivers, the CDL drivers have to undergo additional penalties based on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. These additional penalties include the following:

  • A civil penalty of up to $5,833
  • Disqualification from a commercial vehicle driving for 60 days for a second conviction received within three years of the initial conviction
  • Disqualification from a commercial vehicle driving for 120 days for a third or more convictions received within three years of the previous conviction

Whether you are a non-commercial driver, junior driver, driver on probation, or a CDL driver, it is essential to consult a lawyer if you receive a cell phone ticket in New York City. Since it has a major impact on your driving points and car insurance, you need someone who understands the laws and can help you minimize the consequence or successfully fight the ticket.

Exceptions to the Cell Phone Use Law in NYC

The NYC laws for cell phone tickets are strict, but there are certain exceptions where the usage of a cell phone while driving is allowed. The exceptions to the law include the following situations:

  • Talking on the cell phone that doesn’t include holding the cell phone to initiate, deactivate, or activate the function
  • CDL drivers not using the vehicle when using a phone or a portable electronic device when the vehicle is parked off or at the side of the public highway where these vehicles are not prohibited from being stopped by the law
  • Using the cell phone for the reason to communicate with the following for any emergency:
  • Corps or ambulance company
  • Emergency response operator
  • Fire company, district, or department
  • Health clinic, physician's office, or hospital
  • Police department
  • Using the cell phone by the following individuals to perform their official responsibilities:
  • Member of a fire company, district, or department
  • The operator of an emergency vehicle
  • A peace officer or police officer
  • Using the cell phone through a hands-free device

How to Plead Not Guilty to Cell Phone Ticket

All the instructions regarding entering a not-guilty plea are also highlighted in each cell phone ticket received in NYC. If you have received the cell phone ticket, you have two options:

You can enter the plea online by submitting the form on the official DMV website. You must enter the ticket number, which is mentioned in the top left-hand side of the cell phone ticket you received. You also have to mention the driver's license number. When you accurately enter the details, the ticket information will appear on the screen, and you have then enter the not-guilty plea as per the instructions mentioned.

You can enter the plea through the mail by checking the 'not guilty' box that is mentioned in the ticket. Complete the rest of the information required in the ticket, mention the date, and sign your name. You can mail the ticker to the address mentioned on the ticket. Be sure to photocopy or scan both sides of the ticket before you mail it so that you have the record.

Ways to Fight a Cell Phone Ticket in New York State

Multiple strategies can be utilized when you are planning to fight a cell phone ticket in New York. Here are some useful ways:

1. Take the Ticket to the Trial to Win

Each driver has an opportunity and the right to undergo a due process by taking the ticket to trial. However, it is important to note that it is risky to take the cell phone ticket to trial in New York because if you are convicted of the offense, it will appear on your record, and five points will be added to your license.
It is best to pursue this if you have clear evidence since the judge is likely to side with the officer in case of unclear facts and evidence. It is integral to have a professional lawyer by your side if you choose this option.

2. Making a Motion to Get the Ticket Dismissed

You have a good chance of getting the cell phone ticket dismissed if you have strong and valid reasons for this dismissal. For instance, erroneous or missing information on the ticket can be grounds for making the ticket invalid.
Only a lawyer who is well-versed in the technicalities can help you identify the errors and make sure your ticket really has a ground for dismissal.

3. Negotiating the Reduction of the Ticket

A skilled cell phone ticket lawyer can help you negotiate the cost of the ticket down. In such cases, you might have to pay some fine but could get fewer points on your record. A lower charge can also reduce the chances of your car premium getting affected, which could save you plenty of money in the long run and also save you from getting your license suspended.

Reasons to Hire Professional Legal Assistance for Cell Phone Ticket

Even though TVB in New York City can be extremely challenging, a skilled lawyer can still help you in beating the cell phone ticket charge. Experienced lawyers are well aware of the TVB locations and judges, as well as the laws regarding traffic violations. Their good rapport with the TVB and knowledge of the law and other factors can help win your case as it gives them an edge.

Traffic ticket lawyers understand the best way of presenting the facts without mentioning any information that would discredit the driver. Having a legal team with you saves you the time, effort, stress, and money that is normally associated with fighting the cell phone ticket on your own.

Consult an Experienced Cell Phone Ticket Lawyer in New York State

Getting convicted for using a cell phone while driving in NYC can result in severe consequences for the drivers. NYC laws related to cell phone use are harsher than in any other area in the state, which is why it is integral to consult an expert legal team to help you with the case.

Getting professional assistance from a cell phone ticket lawyer is an ideal way to ensure you successfully fight the charge or ensure that you receive less harsh charges. If you get charged with a cell phone ticket in New York City, your best bet is hiring a lawyer.

James Medows Law has a team of dedicated cell phone ticket lawyers with extensive experience dealing with cell phone ticket charges in New York City. Our expert lawyers can guide you in each step and create a suitable action plan with your best interest in mind and conduct the negotiations on your behalf.