NY Cell Phone Texting And Driving Tickets Now Carry 5 Points!!

Starting June 1, 2013, cell phone violations and texting & driving violations now carry 5 points (up from 3).  A cell phone violation occurs when a driver uses a phone without a hands-free device.  A texting and driving violation occurs when a driver “uses” an electronic device while driving.  The terms “use”, “electronic device” and “while driving” are all construed liberally meaning that you cannot even hold your device while behind the wheel of a car that is not parked or else you’ll receive a cell phone ticket.

The new 5-point designation makes these two types of moving offenses the second most serious in the State.  Speeding 21+ MPH is the most serious carrying 6, 8 or 11 driver’s license points.  An NYC cell phone ticket and texting & driving ticket now carries the same number of points as a reckless driving misdemeanor as well as a passing school bus violation.  Motorists can be suspended for accumulating 11 or more points so this change is significant.  On the other hand, for those with clean records, a conviction to one cell phone ticket or texting while driving ticket will NOT result in your insurance increasing.

Gov. Cuomo is also proposing that drivers with probationary licenses and junior licenses be suspended for 60 days for just one texting & driving violation or cell phone ticket in NY.  Cuomo cited the startling fact that cell phone-related accidents in New York have jumped 143 between 2005 and 2011.  New York remains on the forefront of fighting this scourge.  Remarkably, many states do not even make this conduct illegal.

Update:  A conviction to a texting/cell phone violation during the probation period will result in your license being suspended for 120 days

Our office sees many texting & driving violations and cell phone tickets being issued especially in New York City, Nassau County and Suffolk County.  They are often issued at intersections where a motorist is stopped at a light as well as in toll plazas.  A police officer on foot can easily catch motorists committing these offenses.  Further, these charges are difficult to successfully defend especially in New York City.   For your own safety (and that of others), PLEASE, PLEASE put your iPhone or other devices away while driving.

Do you have other questions like how much is a cell phone ticket in NY? Contact us today and we can help provide you with more information and legal advice.

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349 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi! Came to NY to look for and buy a summer home. I arrived June 17, left AZ June 4 so I don’t have cooties 😉

    ANYWAY I was using my phone for GPS to meet the realtor at a house I’m under contract on. I realized that I’d selected the wrong address, restarted the GPS for the correct one, texted my realtor to let them know I’m delayed 15 minutes as I was going to the wrong place.

    As soon as I put the phone down, I got pulled over. I put my mask on, spoke with the officer, he said he pulled me over for using a mobile device while driving. I told him I was using my GPS and meeting my realtor at a house and showed him the screen. He took my DL and went back to his car. A LONG TIME passed and finally he comes back and says he’s issuing me a citation for using the phone while driving. The citation says I stated that I was using my GPS.

    Welcome to NY, right?

    I have nothing on my record except for a headlight out warning from earlier this year back in AZ (the irony of that is I had literally JUST BOUGHT the replacement headlight and the package was on my passenger seat! still got a written warning). For having an otherwise clean record, officers sure are quick to cite it seems.

    Anyway, I read somewhere that I can possibly have this reduced to 1110a Failure to Obey Traffic Control Device (which I presume is the sign advising that cell phone use is prohibited?).

    So now I ask:

    1a. Since AZ traffic law regarding mobile devices is in the ‘warning only’ phase until January 1 2021, if I am stuck with this 1225D would I only have to pay in NY? But nothing but a warning gets tacked onto my AZ license?

    1b. If in AZ it is recognized as warning only, which is where my drivers license and my vehicle registration is from, would a conviction under 1225D negatively affect my car insurance? It’s like I’m in limbo caught between 2 different ways of handling such a violation.

    2. What is the success rate of having this reduced to 1110a? Madison County, Town of Stockbridge.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      July 7, 2020 1:43 am

      Melissa,

      Because a mobile devices ticket is only a ‘warning’ phase, AZ will not assess points on your AZ license for this NY ticket. NY however will assess you 5 on your NY record.

      A NY conviction under 1225D could negatively affect your car insurance especially if you have other convictions.

      Our success rate in the Town of Stockbridge is extremely high. Call us tomorrow for a free consultation and will can look up the precise percentage.

      Thanks
      Matthew Weiss
      212-683-7373
      Attorney Advertising

      Reply
  • Adeyemi V Sofoluwe
    June 22, 2020 8:42 pm

    I have a Georgia’s license and got ticket for using cell phone. If I pay the fine, will be affect my driving record and in turn affect my insurance premium?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      June 23, 2020 11:29 am

      Adeyemi V Sofoluwe,

      Points from a New York conviction WILL transfer to your Georgia license. The Georgia DMV will assess the amount of points that would have been assessed if the violation occurred in Georgia. The one exception is if Georgia does not assign points for this type of violation. You’ll have to check with a Georgia traffic lawyer.

      Matthes Weiss

      Reply
      • Adeyemi V Sofoluwe
        June 24, 2020 12:37 am

        Thanks for the prompt response. In the state of Georgia, for a first time offender, 1 point will be accessed as well as $50 fine. Where do I stand with this?

        Reply
  • Hi Matt. I received a ticket for using a portable device while driving in Brooklyn last night. I was coming off the Jackie Robinson Parkway and trying to navigate the mess of streets to get to the Eastern Parkway. I was holding it in the palm of my hand pushed up against the wheel while its fingers were still curled around on the wheel, and my other hand was also on the wheel. The bracket holder for it was broken and I was in an unfamiliar area. I did buy a new mounting bracket for it today.

    I originally had the device on my dashboard but repeatedly missed several turns because the shorter streets and aggressive traffic flow prevented me from listening to the audio instructions from the device. Jamaica Avenue had no room to pull over and since this was after 7 pm, all the available legal parking and standing spots were already filled.

    I understand that New York City traffic court is very difficult to deal with, but in your expert opinion, do you feel that I have a valid case for fighting this ticket?

    Reply
    • Jack Fuller,

      You should plead not guilty as this is the only way to possibly obtain a more favorable outcome.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I’m from Pa where you can use your phone but not text when driving. I did not know there was a different law in NY. I was in stopped traffic on Varick St. heading to Holland Tunnel when a cop approached me and said to pull over for using an electronic device. When I was stopped in the traffic I checked an email.. any advice?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      July 19, 2019 11:29 am

      Frances,

      Ignorance of the law is not a valid defense. Because points from NY will NOT transfer to PA (based on the current law), you can just plead guilty and pay it. You’ll get 5 points on your NY privilege to drive but this won’t be an issue as long as you don’t get any more NY traffic tickets within the next 18 months.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Aleks Polyakov
    June 7, 2019 8:08 pm

    Dear Matthew, I was stopped because of not proper turn. An officer issued a ticked for this and gave me a ticket for improper use of cell phone. I did not talk over the phone. I hold it in my hand. It was in August 2017. Two months ago it was a court. My first ticket was discussed and dismissed because of details on the intersection. Police officer recognized it. The second ticket about cell phone we did not discuss at all. I had a paper from the court and see that I must pay $138 fee for improper cell phone use. I did sent my appeal application to the DMV appeals Board, Albany, NY. Immediately I got a letter from them that I must pay $50 transcript deposit. I refused. No any more letters from the and I see that my driver license suspended and now I have to say that I am guilty and pay $208 immediately! I did not have a choice. I did pay this amount, but I disagree. In the court no one did not ask me even one question about cell phone use. Does it goes now automatically about cell phone violation? If you get ticket – it means guilty – if you guilty go and pay. One more think I want to say: For different drivers it should be different rules how to use a cellphone in a car! It should be very depend of experience. For example: I am driving 50 years without any, even small, accident. Who is going to teach me how to drive? The cell phone use in a car should be very depend of driver’s experience. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      June 11, 2019 8:55 am

      Aleks Polyakov,

      All legal drivers are treated equally under the law. They are all expected to know and obey it.

      Sorry.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hello, I recently got pulled over for having my cell phone in hand. At the time I had my 7 month old daughter in the car and simply pressed play on her playlist that is hooked up via Bluetooth. I was NOT talking on my cell phone or texting. I tried explaining this to the officer and he issued me a ticket anyway. How should I go about fighting this?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      May 10, 2019 8:26 am

      Caitlin,

      Technically, you illegally “used” your device by pushing play while driving in motion. You can still fight it but it will be very hard to beat at trial.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I was holding the cell phone in my hand while actually talking to myself – I know it sounds weird, but I talk to myself sometimes. This was nearly 2 years ago and I’ll be going to Downtown Brooklyn courthouse today. Any chance the officer won’t be there? If the officer is not here does that mean automatically not guilty?

    Reply
    • Samuel,

      There is a “chance” that the officer will not appear but he/she is scheduled to be there for your case (and likely others). In NYC, you generally need two non-appearances by the officer for a dismissal (but depending on the judge and circumstances sometimes one is enough).

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I was driving had my phone in my hand. I knew it was illegal to be on the phone and drive but not to hold it in my hand. I have never gotten a ticket for phone before. This was the first time I held the phone while driving. Cop was not helpful at all. What do I do.

    Reply
  • Hello, I received a ticket for using a phone while driving, when in reality my girlfriend was holding her phone to help me navigate and I was neither touching or looking at a phone. (I assume the officer just saw a phone in a hand and assumed it was the driver) I tried to explain this to the officer but he seemed intent on issuing me the false ticket and being on his way. I’ve plead not-guilty but this seems tough to fight since it is mine and my girlfriend’s words against the police officers. Do you have any advice? It seems very unfair to get all of these points and fine when I did nothing wrong. Thank you!

    Reply
  • I have a cell phone ticket. Court date is coming up soon. I plead not guilty. I need help fighting this ticket. What are my chances not having my license suspended?

    Reply
    • Eva,

      Your chances depends on a variety of factors including (most importantly) in which court your case is pending.

      Feel free to call us at 212-683-7373 to discuss further.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Raymond Ippolito
    July 24, 2018 11:43 am

    I was pulled over for failure to obey. I was attempting to drive around a truck stopped in the intersection.. The officer told me that’s what I was pulled over for as well. Then when he comes back he has 2 tickets. 1 for failure to obey and the other for electronic device GPS. My cell GPS was on, but was NEVER in hand! It was on the seat next to me! Attached to blue tooth! No questions, no explanations just told me to go to court! I have every intention of pleading NOT GUILTY!

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      July 25, 2018 12:20 am

      Raymond Ippolito,

      Ouch! That sounds unfair.

      If you want to discuss how we can help, call us at 21-683-7373

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Soo I actually was using my phone for navigation, and a cop saw me I am assuming. Should I plead guilty or is there a way to go around it.

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      June 26, 2018 11:17 pm

      Adi,

      The only way to avoid or reduce points is by pleading not guilty. How you can fight this ticket varies with my issues including in which court your case is pending.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • TIMOTHY C CERISANO
    June 12, 2018 9:44 pm

    Hello, I was driving and got pulled over for looking down and moving my arm. The officer came back and gave me a ticket for using an electronic device while driving.

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      June 12, 2018 10:07 pm

      TIMOTHY C CERISANO,

      You should plead not guilty as this is the only way to possible obtain a more favorable outcome.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi,

    I got a OP MV PORT ELEC DEV ticket last summer. When the officer stopped me (in Brooklyn) he asked if I was using a GPS app in a way that made me think he wanted me to say it. I said yes and he said he would write me up for using an electronic device (3 points) instead of texting while driving (5 points). I thanked him and took the ticket and was generally cordial. But then when I entered the ticket online, it said “OP MV PORT ELEC DEV” and 5 points!

    My friend who has been to traffic court before thinks that the officer was hinting to me that if I plead not guilty, he would agree to the lesser violation but, for some reason, had to write me up for the higher violation (I’m guessing a quota).

    What do you think? I already plead not guilty. Should I say in court that I was using GPS in hopes of getting the lesser charge? Any hope in getting an attorney for a ticket like this?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      May 1, 2018 7:36 am

      David,

      Cell phone and electronic device tickets BOTH carry 5 points. The police officer was mistaken.

      Therefore, saying that you were “using GPS in hopes of getting the lesser charge” will not help. In fact, it would be counterproductive.

      Finally, yes, attorneys like us, fight such cases.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I was stop in red light and i have phone in dashboard to navigate
    Phone move and disconnect from the charger
    Pick up my phone and plugged in the charger police officer give me a ticket
    Even i ofer a police officer my phone to check
    He refused to check and i got a ticket
    Any advice

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      April 12, 2018 4:15 pm

      Sokol,

      Plead not guilty. This is the only way to possibly obtain a more favorable outcome.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply

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