Home / Traffic Tickets / NY’s New Portable Electronic Device Law – VTL § 1225-d Analysis

NY’s New Portable Electronic Device Law – VTL § 1225-d Analysis

About the Author

Matthew Weiss

Matthew J. Weiss, Esq. graduated Hofstra Law School in 1984. He was Law Review and won the law school’s prestigious Procedure Award. Upon graduation, he became one of the first Hofstra Law School graduates to work at the New York State Court of Appeals (New York State’s highest court) working on various appellate matters.

Comments (305)

Mark - July 25, 2016 1:33 am

Hello, I was at a stop sign using my phone when I noticed a car was approaching from behind. As soon as I saw the car I put my phone away and started driving only to find myself getting pulled over and getting issued a citation. How well do you think I’ll do if I say that the car was parked? Thank you

    Matthew Weiss - July 25, 2016 10:48 pm


    From what you write, you were not “parked” so I don’t think this defense will get you very far.

    Matthew Weiss

mathew hoffman - July 19, 2016 1:15 pm

the back of the ticket for 1225d violation said a fine for $138. does that seem correct? how will one violation impact insurance premiums for a married couple who have not gotten any tickets in years?

Mat Too!

    Matthew Weiss - July 20, 2016 8:07 am

    Mathew Hoffman,

    That fine seems low. Also, it does not include the $80 NYS surcharge. Given your clean driving record, a conviction to this ticket alone (no other tickets or accidents within 36 months), will not impact your insurance. It does carry a lot of points (five).

    Matthew Weiss

Valeriya - July 1, 2016 3:35 am

Hello. Yesterday I was driving my car and police pulling me over. Officer said that I was holding the electron device in my hand but it’s not true because my phone was inside my sport sneakers and they were behind my seat snd I told him that phone inside my sneakers. He said that my eyes were looking down. I talk him that I was looking on my electron cigarette. It happened in New York but I have a driven license from New Jersey. Will they transfer points to New Jersey and what do you think maybe I need to see the judge in New York City? Thank you

    Matthew Weiss - July 1, 2016 9:53 am


    A NY conviction to an electronic device ticket will not transfer as points onto your NJ license (under current NJ law). However, the conviction will be reported to NJ and, if you get 3 such convictions (in NY and/or NJ), the your NJ license can be suspended.

    Further, NY will keep a record of your NY convictions and, if you get too many in NY, then NY can suspended you (and NJ will honor such a suspension). This ticket carries 5 points and you are only allowed 10 (at 11 you can be suspended in NY) so we recommend that you fight it.

    Matthew Weiss

Lovy - June 27, 2016 1:32 pm

Sorry, Mr. Weiss.

So let me just clarify some things regarding this new law so that I can make a realistic decision on how to plea. I have a clean driving history. No moving violations within the last 7+ years. I was at a complete stop at a light on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx (NYC). I had my phone in my hand for navigation reasons. If I can prove based on my phone records that no text messages were transmitted at the time of the traffic issuance ; could I potentially win this case? Or should I simply pay the fee and take the three points and follow up with a Defensive Driving Course?

    Matthew Weiss - June 27, 2016 5:10 pm


    A cellphone ticket or texting ticket carries 5 points, not 3. Further, your phone records could show that you were not transmitting a text message but they would not show whether you were “using” your device illegally. There are many ways to “use” a device that do not involve transmitting a text and which are illegal.

    The New York Driver Safety Class will remove up to 4 points from your record (so it’s a viable option).

    Matthew Weiss

Lovy - June 27, 2016 12:53 pm

It was issued in NYC (Bronx) to be exact. So I guess it’s a loss on my end plus my first violation and 3 points. This sucks snd the law is unfair . Thanks for the feedback

    Matthew Weiss - June 27, 2016 5:06 pm


    Our pleasure! The Bronx is very tough because they do not plea bargain there.

    Matthew Weiss

Lovy - June 27, 2016 11:20 am

I was issued a ticket for looking at my gps for directions to work related business. Is this a total loss on my end?

    Matthew Weiss - June 27, 2016 12:03 pm


    If this ticket was issued outside of New York City and Rochester, then you should plead not guilty. If you do, you likely can get this ticket reduced to a less serious charge as part of a plea bargain.

    Matthew Weiss

Jon Gould - June 23, 2016 10:30 pm

I’m out-of-state driver (MA) and received a 1225-D violation with the notation that i moved a cell phone from right hand to left hand. Viollation was given on Cross Island Pkwy. I am pleading not guilty and will file an Affadavit in Lieu of Appearance. I certainly wasn’t texting or using the phone or gps. I’m not even sure if I moved the phone from one hand to another. It’s possible that I was passing it to my wife but that’s all. I can produce Verizon records proving that there was no activity on the phone although the officer never stated that I was. The officer allegedly saw me move my cell phone from his SUV. On the other hand the ticket he issued listed my address as brooklyn, NY and not Brookline, MA

Will the Verizon records be helpful or am i strictly at the mercy of the court?

Thnak you

    Matthew Weiss - June 23, 2016 10:54 pm

    Jon Gould,

    If the officer appears in court (and they usually do), it will be your “word” against the officer’s. Guess who a DMV judge is going to believe?

    Matthew Weiss

Lili - June 9, 2016 10:25 am

Hello Matthew,

I recently got a ticket in the state of NJ for speeding. It was merely 10 above than the state requires at that area. And just yesterday I got a ticket by using my “use of electronic portable device while vehicle in motion”. I was not using my phone, I pulled over and I was going to put my GPS and the officer said to me that my car was in drive. I am a resident of NY. I don’t know how the state of NJ and NY transfer their points and stuff. I am really confused. Should I hire a lawyer?

    Matthew Weiss - June 10, 2016 11:58 pm


    Good news! A NJ conviction does NOT transfer as points onto your NY license. With that said, I still recommend that you fight your Electronic Device ticket because it carries 5 points (which is a lot).

    Matthew Weiss

Zachary - May 26, 2016 11:24 am

Mr. Weiss,

I recently went to trial for using a portable electronic devices or 1225d and was found guilty. I had an attorney during this but he says my appeal will cost thousands. I believe that grounds for reversal exist in the trial transcript but have no clue how to obtain them. Secondly if I want to appeal whom do I file my notice of appeal with (the ticket was in lake placid Essex county ny so it’s not the dmv’s vtb) and is there a form I have use or proper way to write it?

    Matthew Weiss - May 26, 2016 11:09 pm


    You should contact the clerk of the court to find out the name and contact info for the court reporter who transcribed your case. Then you can call him or her to purchase a copy. The clerk of the court can also likely help you with your other appellate questions too.

    Good luck!

    Matthew Weiss

Brandy - May 3, 2016 1:15 pm

Hello, I got my first ticket ever for operating mv while using portable electric device. The officer came up to my window and asked me why he pulled me over. Of course I had no idea to why he was pulling me over because i did not do anything wrong had my seat belt on and was not speeding. Then asked me again i was still clueless. Then he said that pink thing in your dash right there. Then it clicked to me I had put it on my dash for a secure place. I had stated ” I had it for my gps. ” While standing there he clearly seen it had my gps running on it. Then got my information and said he had to write me a ticket and when he gave me the ticket he put I stated that “I was trying to get to my gps.” Which is not what I said! How do I go about this?

    Matthew Weiss - May 3, 2016 5:35 pm


    Simple, you plead not guilty. This is the only way to possibly to obtain a more favorably result.

    Matthew Weiss

Davidson Bastien - April 15, 2016 6:07 pm

Good afternoon Mr. Weiss,
So I recently just received a ticket that jusy says “electronic device” in which I am infuriated about in queens. I was on the grand central around 4pm rush hour, literally in a stand still traffic, on my way home from work, when I picked up my hair brush which is black and square shaped and quite wide in width, to brush my beard, when I got pulled over. I asked the cop why was he pulling me over, and the officer told me that I was talking on the phone smh. I clearly was not on the phone at no point, I was listening to the Michael Kay show on the radio, he told me that he saw my phone on the right passenger seat, so he automatically assumed I was on the phone. My phone is a galacy note 4, which has a black glove on it. Also he was in the far right lane behind me. I was LITERALLY brushing my beard starting from the top right side of it near my ear. It is sad how he just said, since he saw the phone on the seat he presumed I was using it..which is not true. My weiss do I have any chance of beating this???? Your response is greatly appreciated,
Thank you.

    Matthew Weiss - April 16, 2016 8:39 am

    Davidson Bastien,

    You have a chance but it depends mostly on what the police officer says during your hearing. If he says that you were using the phone while operating a moving vehicle (not brushing your beard), then you will likely lose.

    Matthew Weiss

Tom - April 12, 2016 6:49 pm

You say there is no plea bargains in NYC, so the only option is a trial? Has the in motion issue been clarified,yet? if you are at a light is that considered in motion of the car is in drive? What if you put it into park at the light? What are the chances of winning in a trial? Seems to me if there is no bargains and a low chance of winning it makes sense to go to trial because you have a high chance of the same penalty

    Matthew Weiss - April 13, 2016 4:39 pm


    In NYC traffic court, the only options are to plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead not guilty, then the only outcomes are you win and get the case dismissed, or your lose and pay the fine and get the points. The “in motion” rule applies so the police must testify that he or or she observed you operating your motor vehicle while “in motion” and while using an electronic device. I would argue that stopped at a light is not “in motion”.

    In terms of your chances of winning, I cannot provide odds or percentages. These cases are hard to beat but there is no penalty imposed if you try.

    Good luck!

    Matthew Weiss

Tom Beebe - April 10, 2016 11:50 pm

Yellow Mr Weis. Today (4/10/16). I was on my way back from the Civil Service exam 6601. I was pulled over because I grabbed the gps from my girlfriends hand for a second to see the next direction. I’ve seen all the consequences for the violation, I have a DWAI. From 3 years ago and just recently got a parking ticket. If I plea not guilty do you believe with my past record the court would reduce this to a non point ticket I live in Orange County and with traffic it usually take me 2-3hours to get to some parts of Manhattan and I’m just debating whether or not to seek a reduction to avoid the horrendous drive

    Matthew Weiss - April 12, 2016 12:59 am

    Tom Beebe,

    If you received this ticket in New York City, then you cannot get it reduced as there is no plea bargaining at the Traffic Violations Bureau. Otherwise, you may be able to work out a deal and I recommend that you try.

    Matthew Weiss

tony - April 8, 2016 3:52 pm

Hi Matthew,

Thanks for helping us.

I recently got a ticket for using a cell phone near mills basin bridge(Belt parkway) area. . I have an Oregon license.For using cell phone we get 5 points in NYC. Could you please tell me how the points are going to reflect on my Oregon license any my insurance.

Thanks for your help.

    Matthew Weiss - April 9, 2016 12:16 am


    A conviction to a New York moving violation WILL transfer to your Oregon license. Three moving violation convictions (aka Driver Improvement Violations) and/or preventable accidents within an 18-month period will result in your Oregon license being restricted (no driving between 12 midnight and 5 am except for work). Four moving violations (and/or preventable accidents) within a 24-month period will result in your Oregon license being suspended. A New York conviction will count as one of those convictions (assuming Oregon will give you points for this offense had it occurred in Oregon which you need to check). If Oregon gives you points for this type of offense, then We recommend that you fight this ticket.

    Matthew Weiss

Steven Mcinnis - April 6, 2016 12:48 pm

hello Mr Weiss

I recently got a ticket for using a gps/electronic device in the Manhattan area. the device fell out of the holder, and while at a complete stop , I decided to re-attach the device.. an officer saw when I was really attaching the device and assumed I was using the device.. I told him I was just reading attaching the device , but he still issued me the ticket. Now I have a NJ license and I am aware that the points wouldn’t be transfered however this is my third conviction of this nature (first two was completely careless and that’s why I bought the device holder) now I fear that these convictions will be sent to NJ and they will suspend my license. ( I drive in NY alot) so I thinking about pleading not guilty and have a fighting chance. any suggestions?

thank you, and keep up this amazing feed, really helpful

    Matthew Weiss - April 6, 2016 11:21 pm

    Steven Mcinnis,

    In NY, there is a presumption of “use’ when you merely hold the electronic device while operating a motor vehicle. Regardless, I think you should retain an experienced NY traffic lawyer as a third conviction to this charge could result in the suspension of your NJ license.

    Matthew Weiss

Ario - April 3, 2016 9:16 pm

Hi Matthew,

I got a ticket for “improper use of handheld device” 1225D in Staten Island. I am from California, w/ CA license and plate. I use the navigation on my phone a lot. I was in a complete stop and in traffic on I278 and looked at my phone for a faster route. I use a mount for my phone on dash, but this time my phone wasn’t mounted. After I was done, seconds later traffic started moving, and an unmarked police cruiser in the lane to my left who was at least 3 cars ahead of me in traffic didn’t move until I caught up w/ him. He then switched to my lane, pulled me over and gave me a ticket. I’m not sure if he passed me when I was looking at my phone or not.

I have my phone record to prove I wasn’t making/receiving calls or sending/receiving text. I did tell the officer I use my phone (which is hardwired to the car stereo) for navigation.

I want to plead not guilty, and in addition to what I wrote here, I also wanted to question how the office could have seen me when he was in the next lane and ahead of me by at least 3 cars. I have tinted windows, and it was a cloudy day (I have pictures and the weather report for that hour). Do you think I have a case here?

    Matthew Weiss - April 3, 2016 11:40 pm


    You have a case but it will be VERY hard for you to win. The Staten Island Traffic Violations Bureau is the hardest court on motorists in New York State. Don’t let me discourage you from trying, however.

    Good luck!

    Matthew Weiss

Rick - March 24, 2016 1:50 pm


I received a ticket similar to some of the posts above. I was using my GPS and received a ticket for holding my cell phone in my hand.

I read online that this was a 5 point ticket. However, I live in NJ. You mentioned in an above post that points would not transfer for this ticket to my NJ license, but typically in NJ points do transfer across state lines.

Can you please confirm this is the case? I do not mind pleading guilty and paying fine as long as points won’t affect my license & insurance premiums.

    Matthew Weiss - March 25, 2016 10:30 am


    Points from this ticket will NOT transfer onto your NJ license because NJ currently does not assign points for the same offense. However, a NY conviction to this charge will be reported to NJ and, if you get 3 convictions of this type, then NJ will suspend you.

    Matthew Weiss

Cristhian - March 22, 2016 4:26 pm

hello Matthew. i ended up putting a tickets¿ 1225D1 in the ticket says Portable electronic device, which step I stop at a red light and use cell to see the time, the official came walking away but just told me not take the cell and I said but this is red light , I was driving a commercial vehicle, else I explain that when commercial vehicle driving should not take the cell, my question is how many points and how much is the fine for this ticket, which you recommend

    Matthew Weiss - March 24, 2016 3:42 pm


    A VTL 1225d ticket caries 5 points and roughly a $200 fine. I recommend that you plead not guilty and fight the ticket. This is the only way to possibly avoid points.

    Good luck!

    Matthew Weiss

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