A local man recently beat a ticket he received for using his map app while driving.
Steven Spriggs of Fresno was stuck in construction traffic in January 2012.
He used his iPhone 4 to try and find an alternate route. Unfortunately
for Mr. Spriggs, a motorcycle officer happened to pass by at that time.
The officer issued Mr. Spriggs a ticket.
He lost in traffic court while serving as his own lawyer; he later retained an attorney, and the case was reversed on appeal in
After having his ticket dismissed, Mr. Spriggs noted his opposition to
distracted driving, noting that his son suffered a broken leg when he
was struck by another driver who was talking on the phone.
Mr. Sprigg's case is an excellent reminder that it is always best to
hire a lawyer in a traffic ticket case. California currently has one law
(VC 23123) that prohibits
listening and talking on a cell phone while driving, and another law (VC 23123.5) that prohibits
texting while driving. Neither of these laws prohibit cell phone use overall or
prohibit using cell phones in an emergency situation. It was this argument
that ultimately prevailed.
California lawmakers may eventually take action on the distracted driving
laws and attempt to broaden them. Such a move may be successful, but would
almost inevitably face opposition from the powerful consumer cell phone
industry that the law would be an invasion of privacy.
An experienced attorney practicing in Bakersfield knows what legal and
factual arguments are persuasive before a given judge and what the latest
case law is. Even though cell phone use is not a point, many insurers
are now treating it negatively and raising rates. Don't just pay the
fine and get it over with; speak to a lawyer about any legal options you
may have. The consultation is free, so there is no risk.