Using a cell phone while driving is a serious safety concern and a leading cause of accidents on CA roads. As such, CA lawmakers have taken steps to discourage this behavior by making it illegal to use a handheld cell phone while driving. However, disputing cell phone use tickets in court has become crucial economically for drivers in CA due to recent changes in the law. In this post, we'll explore why disputing cell phone use tickets in court is crucial economically and how a traffic attorney can help.
Consult a Traffic Attorney about Your Situation
If you receive a cell phone use ticket, it's essential to consult with a traffic attorney about your situation. An experienced traffic attorney can help you understand the charges, the potential consequences, and the best course of action to protect your rights and interests. They can also represent you in court and work to reduce or dismiss the charges against you.
They might also advise you to plead guilty and accept traffic violator’s school for your second cell phone use ticket to avoid the loss of your “good driver’s discount” of 20 percent and the added risk of 10 or 12 percent that could raise your annual premium nearly $700 for three years. Most traffic attorneys will not charge anywhere near $2100 to represent you in court. Many use a flat fee rather than charge by the hour or use a retainer.
AB-47 Has Made Cell Phone Use Tickets an Economic Nightmare
AB-47, Distracted Driving is an amendment to CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 12323.5, , which went into effect in July 2021. It has made cell phone use tickets an economic nightmare for drivers that choose to pay the fine.
The new law increased the base fine by $20, which after adding the ten penalties, assessments, and surcharges brings a first-time offender’s total fine to $162. A second paid fine or conviction will total around $285, plus the DMV will add a negligent operator treatment system (NOTS), which will trigger a premium increase for your auto insurance.
While this may not seem like a significant amount, it's the additional costs that can add up and the additional premium make it an economic nightmare.
Paying the Fine Should Be Your Last Resort
Paying the fine for a cell phone use ticket should be your last resort, as it can lead to additional costs and consequences. Although the fine is low, the auto insurance premium increase won't be. The average CA driver will pay nearly $700 more annually for three years, after losing their "good driver's discount" and the added risk. Additionally, paying the fine will result in a point on your driving record, which can lead to higher insurance premiums and potential license suspension.
However, be leery of online “agencies” that promise dismissal or your money back without going to court. These “Ticket Bustors” or “Ticket Samurai” often do not have a traffic attorney involved. They often used “canned” documents they submit to the traffic court, which frequently box their clients into a corner, particularly those with an earlier offense who are not eligible to attend TVS.
Dispute the Cell Phone Use Ticket in Court with a Traffic Attorney
Your best and often cheapest option is to consult a traffic attorney.
Disputing the cell phone use ticket in court with a traffic attorney is the best way to avoid the economic nightmare that comes with paying the fine. An experienced traffic attorney can review the evidence, build a strong case, and represent you in court. They can work to reduce or dismiss the charges against you, which can help you avoid costly fines, points on your driving record, and increased insurance premiums for three years.
Contact the Traffic Attorneys Bigger & Harman, APC, to Resolve Your Ticket in Porterville Courthouse in Tulare County, CA
Disputing cell phone use tickets in court has become crucial economically in CA due to recent changes in the law. AB-47 has made cell phone use tickets an economic nightmare for drivers, and paying the fine should be your last resort. Instead, it's best to dispute the ticket in court with the help of a traffic attorney. By disputing the ticket, you can avoid the economic hardships that come with paying the fine, increased insurance premiums, and protect your driving privileges.
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The Bankrate.com article, Average cost of car insurance in CA for 2023.