Can You Fight A Cell Phone Ticket in Orange County, NY?
So you’ve been pulled over for a cell phone violation, and you’re not sure if it’s even possible to fight the ticket. After all, you know that phone was in your hand when the officer pulled you over. What can you possibly do?
Even if you’re guilty of a cell phone violation, it’s usually wise to fight the ticket. A cell phone violation is worth 5 points on your license, and it only takes 11 to suspend it. You’ll also be fined, and your insurance rates could go up by a significant percentage, as much as 30%.
What type of ticket do you have?
There are two types of cell phone ticket in New York State.
The first is a 1225-C ticket. This means you were using your mobile phone while driving. If you must take calls while driving, be sure to use a hands-free Bluetooth device which does not require you to hold the phone in any way.
If you weren’t guilty of this ticket a cell phone bill can be your best friend. It can show you were not connected to a call during the time the officer alleges you were engaged in the call.
1225-D tickets are harder to fight. They are the tickets you receive for operating a vehicle while holding any electronic device in your hand. This includes the GPS! Texts don’t need to be involved in any way.
Keep in mind “operating” means while the engine is running. It doesn’t matter if you’re at a stoplight, parked, or pulled over. If you need to consult your GPS, it’s a good idea to park the car, put it in Park, and turn it all the way off. Once you do that you are clear to use your device. It might be a good time to get the playlist you want going too!
Remember this is any electronic device. It doesn’t even have to be a phone.
Fighting the Ticket
At this point your best bet is to hire an experienced traffic ticket attorney.
First, if you’re on your own you might not know when to plea bargain, or how. You might get lucky and get an offer that sounds good, or you might get a lousy offer. With a good traffic attorney by your side, you can be sure the discussion with the prosecutor will be as favorable to you as possible.
In many cases, a good traffic lawyer can talk either of these tickets down to some violation which does not put points on your record. This means you pay a fine but avoid the worst consequences of your ticket. For many, this represents a win-win situation.
A trial is a risk. An attorney can tell you when the risk is worth it. Sometimes there are enough problems or inconsistencies in the officer’s notes to make it a good risk.
Knowing the players helps too. If the case goes to trial and the officer doesn’t appear to argue his or her side of the case, the ticket gets dismissed. Some cops almost never show up. Some always do.
But you can’t plea bargain once the matter progresses to trial, so weighing the risks and benefits matters. And consulting with your attorney so you know how to plead your side of the case is paramount. If you try to go in on your own you could easily talk your way right into a guilty verdict.
Just because we can fight a cell phone ticket doesn’t mean you should do it again, of course! Once you have a favorable outcome let your brush with the legal system remind you to drive a little safer in the future!