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Should You Fight an Electronic Device Ticket in New York?

A man texting and driving

Due to their sheer size and weight, driving a motor vehicle carries with it an inherent risk; if you are involved in a collision, the risk of injury or even death is higher. That’s why there are so many laws intended to help prevent motor vehicle accidents from occurring in the first place. Under New York state law, it is illegal to engage with electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle. This includes not only text messaging on your cell phone, but also for using a tablet, computer, GPS device (hand-held), digital camera, or another portable electronic device.

The basic elements of a cell phone/device ticket are as follows:

  1. The person was the operator or driver of the vehicle;
  2. He or she had a cell phone or electronic device in their hand that they were using; and
  3. The vehicle was in motion (commercial vehicles don’t need to be in motion).

Cell Phone and Electronic Device Violations 

If you violate New York state law and are convicted of using an electronic device while operating a motor vehicle, you will receive five points on your license. If you only have a driver’s permit at the time or if you are a junior driver, the consequences will be more severe. If it is your first offense, it will likely result in a 120-day suspension. If it is your second conviction within six months after getting your license back, it will be revoked for at least one year. Additionally, for a first offense you will be fined between $50 and $200 and if it is your second offense within a year and a half of the first, you will be fined up to $250. A third offense can cost you a fine of up to $450. Additionally, each violation carries a surcharge of up to $93.

Every time you are convicted of using a cell phone or portable electronic device while driving, you will receive more points to your license. If you receive 11 points within an 18-month period of time, you may have your license suspended. 

NYC Traffic Tickets

Tickets that are issued within New York City require you to deal with the Traffic Violations Bureau, a part of the state Department of Motor Vehicles. It’s important to note that if you receive a cell phone or portable electronic device ticket in any of New York City’s five boroughs, you will face much stricter circumstances because:

  • Judges in the Traffic Violations Bureau only require clear and convincing evidence rather than that beyond a reasonable doubt;
  • Drivers charged with cell phone/texting tickets cannot negotiate a plea bargain – they must go to court; and
  • The Traffic Violations Bureau may allow the admission of hearsay (oral or written statements made by a person besides the testifying witness.

It’s important to note that cell phone and handheld electronic device laws apply to commercial vehicles as well. 

Fighting an Electronic Device Ticket

A conviction for using an electronic device while driving can end up costing you hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars, points on your license, and even a suspension or revocation, which can impact your ability to get to work and make money. Having the ticket dismissed can save you a lot of money. Just because you have received a cell phone or device ticket, it doesn’t mean that you are guilty You have the right to fight your ticket. While this can be difficult, a qualified New York traffic attorney can help. 

AutoTrafficTickets.com Helps Those in New York Who Have Been Issued a Traffic Ticket

If you have received a traffic ticket in New York, it can have very serious consequences on your ability to drive and subsequently on your ability to make money. That’s why it’s in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced New York traffic ticket attorney. A knowledgeable and experienced traffic ticket attorney understands the pertinent laws and can help you to establish the best argument to defend yourself. AutoTrafficTickets.com can help. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Electronic Device Ticket