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When Can a Cell Phone Ticket be a Problem?

Driving: When You Really Shouldn't Use Your Cell Phone

Driving while on the cell phone has become a big problem in many states. It has caused numerous distracted driving accidents, injuries, and deaths. Driving while on the phone not only includes texting, surfing the web, or simply just checking the time. Many think that you can't get in trouble if the car is stopped, such as at a red light or when stuck in traffic. That isn't the case in Bakersfield and other areas of California unless you switch off the engine and put the car in park.

How to Avoid a Cell Phone Ticket

To avoid getting a cell phone ticket while driving around LA, you are required to get a mount for your cell phone and other devices. This mount is to be placed either on the windshield in the closest corner to the driver or on the dashboard in a place where it won't block the deployment of the airbag or the driver’s clear view of the road. The law is very clear, it forbids drivers from touching their phones while driving.

What to Do When You Get a Ticket

Just as any “fix-it” ticket, a cell phone infraction that does not cause an accident, you have the option of paying the fine or fighting the ticket. Since there are no Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points for a cell phone ticket, there is no benefit to attending traffic school. NOTS points are only assessed for moving violations, although technically it could be considered a moving violation, it is not in CA, yet. Simply ignoring a cell phone ticket will only lead to more problems, such as a bench warrant for your arrest for failure to appear and some insurance companies will hold it against you too.

Trial by Written Declaration

In many traffic cases, you should consider using the option known as “Trial by Written Declaration.” In this scenario, you will not need to go to trial, just provide the court with a written legal explanation of what happened. Email Bigger & Harman’s Law office (attorney@markbigger.com) a scanned copy of your ticket and your side of the events leading up to you getting ticketed. The judge needs to hear a legal defense that clears you of violating the law to rule that you should not pay the fine and Bigger & Harman can provide you a plausible legal explanation if you are indeed not guilty.

After your mail in your rebuttal, you will need to wait 30 to 90 days for a ruling. If the judge agrees with you the court clerk will return your money and it is all over. If, however, the judge finds you guilty, you may still go to court under the conditions of a Trial de Novo, which in Latin means, new trial. CVC 40902d declares, “If the defendant is dissatisfied with a decision of the court in a proceeding pursuant to this section, the defendant shall be granted a trial de novo.” The judge’s ruling on your written declaration is voided and you start with a new hearing before the court.

“Know Before You Go”

Cell phones are a large part of society today and one of the major ways people stay connected with each other. You can check in online, use a map, or simply make a call on these devices. If used at the wrong time they can also get you a ticket or cost you your job. Next time you decide to visit CA, make sure you have researched the driving laws and have the proper equipment to safely make it around town without getting in trouble.

Contact Bigger & Harman, APC

If you work for an employer who does not allow traffic violations of any kind on or off the job, you have several cell phone tickets in the past, or you need guidance with any traffic ticket in Tulare, Kern, Mono, and other South-central valley counties, call Bigger & Harman, 661-349-9300, for the advice and counsel you need, or email: attorney@markbigger.com to set up your confidential, FREE consultation, with no obligation.

En español, llame al 661-349-9755.