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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 February 2014.

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.

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