Texting and Driving Laws and What You Should Do After You’ve Been Cited In recent years, more and more states have been adopting laws that prohibit drivers from texting and driving. If you’ve been cited for this offense, it’s important that you learn all that you can in order to make an informed decision that will save you from a lot of trouble.
Texting While Driving Laws As the name implies, texting while driving laws are meant to prohibit texting and driving. While these laws vary from state to state, many states also prohibit writing, sending, and reading similar types of messages, such as emails, instant messages, or similar forms of communication while driving. According to California law, there is a statewide ban on hand-held cell phone use. This includes texting and driving. Novice drivers, or drivers under the age of 18, are completely prohibited from all cell phone use. School bus drivers are also completely prohibited from cell phone use while driving.
Punishment The punishment for texting and driving can vary depending on the situation. In California, you could face a fine of $25 for your first offense and $50 for subsequent offenses. However, if texting and driving lead to your involvement in an auto accident, the police may also be able to cite you for reckless driving, a misdemeanor offense that could cause you to face up to 90 days imprisonment as well as a $145 to $1000 fine. In addition, the other driver(s) who were involved in the accident could seek compensatory damage awards for any injuries they may have suffered. If you have been cited for texting while driving previously, the court may also add additional punitive damages onto the amount of money you may owe.
What You Should Do If you have been cited for texting while driving, whether or not it’s your first offense, you need to know how to proceed in order to have the best chance of being able to defend your rights. First, it’s imperative that you remain calm. Be polite and respectful to any and all police officers present. Mouthing off or resisting arrest is a quick way to make a bad situation worse and could lead to additional charges. You should try to remember the badge numbers of the police officers who are citing you as well as the patrol numbers on their cars as that information may help later. Do not give permission to the police officers to search your person or your vehicle. You would do well to remember that you can, and should, remain silent. You have a constitutional right not to answer any questions, and anything you say and do can be used against you in a court of law. Police may try to convince or coerce you into answering but choosing to remain silent will almost always be beneficial for your case. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t answer any questions or talk about the incident in any way until after you have contacted an experienced San Diego defense lawyer and they have arrived on the scene. A skilled defense lawyer will not only be able to help you answer questions without incriminating yourself unintentionally, they will also ensure that your legal rights are protected. A skilled defense lawyer will also be able to evaluate all of the evidence in order to help your case and, in some cases, may be able to lower the fines that you owe or even get your case dismissed.
The Law Office of Bradley Corbett If you are in need of an experienced San Diego defense lawyer that will make sure you are protected, look no further than The Law Office of Bradley Corbett. Bradley Corbett is a successful criminal defense lawyer who knows the law and has handled all types of criminal defense cases. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case. Nighttime and weekend contacts are welcome.
Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.