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

California has strict laws regarding cell phone use while driving, and drivers must understand the differences between hands-free and handheld cell phone use. This blog post will delve into the specifics of California law, providing tangible and valuable tips to help you stay compliant and avoid any legal issues. We'll also discuss the potential consequences of violating these laws and how a skilled criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system.

A Brief Overview of California's Cell Phone Laws

Driving a handheld cell phone while operating a motor vehicle is illegal in California. This includes talking, texting, or using any other phone functions. The only exceptions to this rule are when making an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, a medical provider, or a fire department. On the other hand, hands-free cell phone use is permitted for drivers over 18, as long as they are using voice-activated or other hands-free features.

For drivers under 18, handheld and hands-free cell phone use is prohibited, except in emergencies. This is due to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recognizing that young drivers are at a higher risk for accidents due to their inexperience and the potential distractions posed by cell phone use.

Penalties for Violating Cell Phone Laws

Violating California's cell phone laws can result in fines and penalties, including:

  • First offense: $20 base fine
  • Subsequent violations: $50 base fine
  • Additional penalty assessments and fees, which can increase the total cost of the ticket to over $150
  • One point on your driving record if the violation results in a collision

It's important to note that these penalties apply regardless of whether the driver uses a handheld or hands-free cell phone. Furthermore, if a driver is involved in an accident while using a cell phone, they may also be held liable for any damages or injuries that occur as a result.

Defending Against Cell Phone Violations

If you've been cited for a cell phone violation, consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial. They can help you understand the nuances of the law and develop a strategy to fight the citation. Some potential defenses include:

  • Proving that you were using a hands-free device
  • Demonstrating that the cell phone use was for an emergency call
  • Arguing that the officer's observations were incorrect or that the evidence was insufficient to prove the violation

At Bigger & Harman, APC, our skilled attorneys have extensive experience handling cell phone violations and other traffic-related offenses. We can help you navigate the complexities of California law and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

Start Your Defense Today 

Understanding the differences between hands-free and handheld cell phone use in California is crucial for staying compliant with the law and avoiding potential penalties. By familiarizing yourself with the legal nuances and working with a skilled defense attorney, you can better protect yourself and your driving record.

If you need assistance with a cell phone violation or any other traffic-related offense, contact Bigger & Harman, APC, today. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to providing personalized, results-driven representation to clients throughout Bakersfield, CA, and the surrounding areas.

Contact Bigger & Harman, APC, today to schedule a FREE consultation!

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