Protect Your Driving Privileges Fight Your Ticket With Bigger & Harman Today


The base fine for a cell phone violation in California is $20, but after adding all the state and county administrative surcharges and fees, it becomes around $140-150. Subsequent cellphone violations bear a base fine of $50, which turns into a total of about $250-260.

CDL Holder Cell Phone Ticket

CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 23123.5, Driving Offenses, provides that any wireless communication device that, “…is specifically designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation…” can be used while driving if:

  • The device is embedded in the vehicle’s communication system
  • The device is mounted close enough for the driver to use without the driver having to maneuver to reach the device or release the seatbelt to operate it
  • The device must be mounted so that it does not block the driver’s view of the road
  • The device can be operated with a single tap or swipe

The wording in this traffic code is such that some allowances can be made, or exceptions found. A driver should have a traffic ticket attorney examine the circumstances surrounding the CDL holder cell phone ticket.

If convicted, a CDL holder and fleet face punishment from the FMCSA. The driver could be fined $2,750, the fleet whose policies allow or encourages a driver to use a cell phone while driving could be fined as much as $11,000 (but normally the fines are left to the state and remain between $200 and $300). Both would receive a maximum penalty of ten severity points, which would then be multiplied by a time-weight of one, two, or three. When there was a similar violation within the past six months, it would be three. Six months to a year would equal two, but after one year without violations, the severity points would remain at face value.

Possible CDL Holder Cell Phone Ticket Defenses

Rather than pay the fine and allow the FMCSA to determine your financial and career possibilities, the wise driver will let a traffic lawyer review the specifics of their CDL holder cell phone ticket for these potential discrepancies:

  • Do exceptions exist?
  • Were you making an emergency call?
  • Does one of your CDL endorsements qualify you as an emergency services driver?
  • Were you using your cell phone within the prescribed limits of the traffic code?
  • Were you using an earbud in one ear only?
  • Can a witness and/or your cell phone bill verify that you were not using your phone?

All an attorney would need is enough evidence to raise a “reasonable doubt” that you were using your cell phone as intended, or you were not using it at all. Discuss your specific situation with a traffic law professional.

Traffic Ticket Attorneys Who Handle a CDL Holder Cell Phone Ticket in Riverside, CA

Call Bigger & Harman to receive a FREE initial consultation about your situation, (661) 349-9300. There is nothing cut and dry about traffic law in general nor a CDL holder cell phone ticket specifically. Allow us to explore your circumstances without fee or obligation.

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

We handle alleged traffic violations and DMV Hearings in Riverside, CA. Therefore, send us an email with a brief description and a scanned copy of your citation to


The 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf

CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 23123.5, Driving Offenses

Share To: