With the rise of technology, law enforcement across the country has been cracking down on texting while driving. In the state of New Jersey alone, approximately 25 percent of all auto accidents involve drivers who use a cell phone. Read on to discover what happens if you are caught texting while driving and how a seasoned New Jersey traffic ticket lawyer at The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C., can help you with your case.
What are the consequences of texting while driving in New Jersey?
Evidently, texting while driving is a form of distracted driving. And so, this constitutes a traffic violation in the state of New Jersey. Notably, all forms of handheld cell phone use are considered traffic violations, such as emailing while driving or making phone calls while driving. If you insist, you are allowed to use a hands-free device while driving (i.e., a device that uses talk-to-text technology or Bluetooth).
With that being said, if you are pulled over on suspicion of texting while driving, you may be facing the following consequences:
- First offense: a fine anywhere between $200 to $400.
- Second offense: a fine anywhere between $400 to $600.
- Third offense: a fine anywhere between $600 to $800 and a driver’s license suspension for 90 days.
And if you receive three or more texting while driving offenses, then you may receive three points to your driving record. And if you accumulate too many points within a certain period of time, then you may face additional penalties.
In addition, if your texting while driving offense occurred while you were operating a public transportation vehicle, then this will be considered a disorderly persons crime. And so, you may be facing a fine of up to $1,000 and jail time of up to six months.
How can I defend against my texting while driving ticket?
You will want to avoid fines, driver’s license suspension, and points on your driving record. So, if applicable to your situation, you may want to bring one of the following arguments forward:
- You were using a handheld device because you were in immediate danger and needed to make an emergency call.
- You were using a handheld device because you witnessed a crime and needed to make an emergency call.
- You were using a handheld device because you witnessed a drunk driver and needed to report an emergency.
- You were using a handheld device because you witnessed a car accident and needed to report an emergency.
With all things considered, if you believe that you were wrongfully accused of texting while driving or otherwise distracted driving, then you must reach out to one of the experienced New Jersey & Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers today. We look forward to working on your case.