Cell Phone Violations
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of New Jersey car accidents. While there are many things that can remove a driver’s attention from the road, cell phones are the most common. In an effort to crack down on cell phone use, New Jersey passed a strict law prohibiting drivers from using their cell phones while behind the wheel. If you have one or more cell phone violations in New Jersey, it is important that you consider challenging the tickets. At the Law Offices of Leon Matchin, we help drivers effectively challenge cell phone violations, saving them money and helping to keep them on the road.The Law on NJ Cell Phone Tickets
The New Jersey cell phone law is found in New Jersey Revised Statutes § 39:4-97.3. The law makes “the use of a wireless telephone or electronic communication device by an operator of a moving motor vehicle on a public road or highway” a citable offense. This makes it illegal to drive while talking, texting, scrolling social media, or playing games on a cell phone.
However, there are certain elements that must be met in order for a ticket to be valid. Most notably, the vehicle must be moving. So, if a police officer pulls up next to you at a red light, sees you are using your cell phone, and then pulls you over, that ticket should be dismissed.
Additionally, there are a few exceptions in which a driver can use a cell phone while driving, provided they keep one hand on the wheel.
- The driver has reason to fear for their safety,
- The driver believes that someone may commit a crime, either against the driver or someone else;
- The driver is calling 911 to report an emergency; or
- The driver is calling 911 to report someone they believe to be drunk driving.
However, to prove one of these exceptions, you may need to present your cell phone records or have the law enforcement agency you called provide a written statement indicating you were reporting a qualifying incident at the time you were cited.
There may be other defenses to a cell phone ticket. For example, if an officer claims you were texting while driving, you may be able to challenge the officer’s credibility by asking how they could see into your car.New Jersey Cell Phone Ticket Penalties
The punishments for driving while using a cell phone in New Jersey are harsh. A first-time offense carries a fine of at least $200 and as much as $400. If you are cited for a second violation, you will be fined between $400 and $600. And, if you get a third cell phone ticket, it results in a fine of between $600 and $800. Additionally, a third violation can also carry a license suspension of up to 90 days and three points being added to your driver’s license. If this puts you over your 12-point limit, the NJ MVC will suspend your license.
In addition to the punishments handed down by the court, your insurance company may also increase your insurance premiums once they learn you received a cell phone ticket.Contact the Law Offices of Leon Matchin for Help Challenging a NJ Cell Phone Ticket
If you have one or more open cell phone violations, reach out to the Law Offices of Leon Matchin before you pay them. Paying a traffic ticket is the equivalent of pleading guilty, and you may have a defense to the violation. Attorney Matchin is veteran New Jersey traffic lawyer who has defended countless clients, helping them save thousands of dollars and, more importantly, keep their drivers licenses. He commands an impressive knowledge of the various exceptions to the New Jersey cell phone law, and can help you determine if you have a defense. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, reach out to the Law Offices of Leon Matchin at (732) 887-2479 today.