NYC cell phone ticket

Defending your NYC cell phone violation ticket

New York State and NYC now has the toughest laws prohibiting cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle. Any NYC cell phone ticket conviction for using a cell phone or electronic device will accrue 5 points against your license. In addition, you will also suffer a large insurance surcharge premium increase, a court fine, and surcharges. If you are junior or probationary driver your driving privileges will also be suspended for a minimum of 60 days. 

With all of the problems a cell phone or texting ticket causes, it is important to know how to fight your NYC cell phone ticket.  With this new point increase, a NYC cell phone violation conviction is a very serious matter.  A conviction of operating a cell phone or electronic device in NYC is  on par with a conviction for reckless driving (a crime and 5 points), and the infraction of passing a stopped school bus (5 points).  

If you have been given a NYC cell phone ticket anywhere in the 5 boroughs don’t delay call us at once for a free no cost, no obligation phone consultation. 

Why NYC Cell Phone Tickets are so serious 

The tougher penalties were motivated by NYS DMV statistics which showed that From 2005 to 2011 there has been a 143% increase in cell phone-related crashes in New York State; In 2011 there were 25,165 fatal and personal injurycrashes  involving distracted driving in New York. Between 2011 and 2012 New York State experienced a 234% increase in the number of tickets issued for texting while driving.  

If you have been given a NYC cell phone ticket and are looking to avoid the problems and expenses related to a conviction don’t delay call us at once for a free no cost, no obligation phone consultation. 

The Statutes 

NYC has 2 statutes that prohibit the use of cell phones or mobile devices when operating a motor vehicle. Our office is conversant with both statutes to effectively fight your NYC cell phone ticket. One is contained in NY VTL § 1225-C, prohibition against using a cell phone to engage in a call, and NY VTL § 1225-D prohibition against using a cell phone to send or receive text messages. 

If you have been given a NYC cell phone ticket and do not want to represent yourself before the court and at trial don’t delay call usat once for a free no cost, no obligation phone consultation. 

The prohibited conduct: 

NY VTL § 1225C(2)(a) simply states that “no person shall operate a motor vehicle upon a  public  highway  while  using  a  mobile telephone to engage in a call while such vehicle is in motion.” So the elements that the state of New York must prove to find a person guilty of the charge are that the defendant:

  • Operated a motor vehicle on a public highway
  • While using a mobile telephone
  • To engage in a call while the vehicle is in motion

    How to defend your NYC cell phone ticket 

Clearly if you were given a ticket because you were using your cell phone in the parking lot of a strip mall the ticket is invalid. Likewise if you were using your phone while stationary at a traffic light or in a traffic jam the ticket would be invalid. However what does it mean to “use” a mobile telephone? What does it mean to be “engaged in a call?” Defense of a NYC cell phone ticket turns on understanding the various definitions and focusing on permissive conduct. 

NY  VTL § 1225C(1)(c) defines Use of a cell phone, which is defined as “holding  a mobile telephone to, or in the immediate proximity of the user’s ear.” Further, the law creates a rebuttable presumption that if the operation held a mobile phone to or in  the  immediate  proximity of his  or her ear, the operator is presumed to be engaged in a call, which can be  rebutted by evidence tending to show that the operator was not engaged in  a call. NY VTL § 1225C(2)(b)

Immediate  proximity of the ear is defined under NY VTL § 1225C(1)(g) as “that  distance  as  permits  the operator  of  a mobile telephone  to hear telecommunications transmitted over such mobile telephone, but shall  not require physical contact with  such operator’s ear.”

Further,  New York VTL § 1225C(1)(f) defines “engaged in a call” as mean  “talking into or listening on a hand-held mobile telephone, but  shall  not   include  holding  a  mobile telephone  to  activate,  deactivate  or  initiate   a  function  of such telephone.”

NY VTL § 1225C(1)(d) defines a hand held mobile phone as “a  mobile telephone with which a user engages in a call using at least one hand.” 

New York VTL § 1225C(1)(e) defines a hands free mobile phone as “a mobile telephone  that has  an  internal  feature  or  function,   or  that  is equipped with an attachment or addition, whether or not permanently  part of  such  mobile telephone,  by  which a user engages in a call without  the use of either hand, whether or not the use of either hand is  necessary   to  activate, deactivate or initiate a function of such telephone.”

What it all means

The best way to distill down the defenses to a NYC cell phone ticket is to utilize the definitions and exceptions to the statute to define what a New York operator can and cannot do on a cell phone to make a call while operating a vehicle on a NYC highway:

PermissibleImpermissible
A  New York operator can operate a cell phone on a NY highway while the  vehicle is not in motion stuck in traffic, at a traffic light, at a  stop sign, or otherwise not in motionHolding a  cell phone at or near your ear while engaged in a call when the vehicle  is in motion
Use  a cell phone to engage in a call while the vehicle is in motion so long  as you are not holding the cell phone in your handHolding the  cell phone while you are talking into or listening to it while the vehicle  is in motion
Hold  a cell phone while the vehicle is in motion for the limited purpose  of activating or deactivating a callHolding the  cell phone to dial a number or make a phone call while the vehicle is  in motion

Even if you believe that you are “guilty” it is still worth retaining our NYC cell phone ticket defense lawyers to defend your NYC cell phone violation charge. Our NYC cell phone ticket defense attorneys can appear anywhere in NYC to fight your NYC cell phone ticket. In addition our cell phone defense lawyers go to the NYC DMV TVB traffic violation court for you, so when you retain our NYC cell phone defense attorneys you never have to lose time from work to go to court or even come to our office we do everything for you.

Our NYC cell phone ticket defense lawyers put you in a nothing to lose, everything to gain position.  Call our law firm right now for a no cost, no obligation phone consultation.