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

Anyone found guilty of violating the new law prohibiting texting and driving will be assessed 3 points and a fine of up to $150. I recently had a chance to review the portable electronic device law and, overall, I am concerned about a floodgate of wrongly-issued tickets being handed out.

First off, keep in mind that, under VTL 1225-d, the mere holding of a device while driving gives rise to a presumption of use. Therefore, if a police officer sees you just holding or fidgeting with an electronic while you are behind the wheel, he can issue you a ticket and YOU will be responsible for proving that you were not using it (as opposed to the other way around).

Given this presumption of guilt, I envision many motorists who are holding an iPhone or Adroid being issued a ticket even though they may be legally using it to make or receive a telephone call. The word “use” in the new law intentionally omits talking or listening to phone calls (VTL 1225-c governs driving and using an electronic device as a phone, and authorizes using a “hands-free” mobile phone).

Therefore, I expect a rash of tickets being issued by officers who will not be bothered ascertaining what use the motorist was making for his or her device. In fact, I was just emailed yesterday by a motorist who was issued a VTL 1225-d ticket for texting. However, he merely pushed the speaker button on his cell phone to hear a call while it was legally sitting on his console.

Don’t be fooled by the lack of tickets being issued under the old texting and driving law. That law contained a major loophole (first identified by me in October 2009) which made it difficult to enforce. The new law fixes this issue and, in my opinion, will lead to rash of tickets.

GPS devices present an interesting question. While some newspapers have written that GPS devices are omitted from the new law, they DO come within the reach of VTL 1225-d as a “handheld device with mobile data access” or as a “portable computing device”. If it is built into your vehicle or affixed to the surface of your vehicle, however, it is not a “handheld” or “portable” device and exempt from this law.

Another issue is whether motorists can “check” their device while stopped at a red light. The new law prohibits using your electronic device while the car is “in motion”. I expect that most courts will interpret “in motion” to mean when the motorist is behind the wheel with the car in “Drive”. Therefore, stopping at a light is “in motion”. I highly recommend pulling over to a legal parking spot if you need to text or otherwise use an electronic device.

Finally, I expect motorist using legal mp3 devices to also be wrongly ticketed. Under VTL 12225-d(2)(a), the term “Portable electronic device” is defined as “any hand-held mobile telephone, as defined by subdivision one of section twelve hundred twenty-five-c of this article, personal digital assistant (PDA), handheld device with mobile data access, laptop computer, pager, broadband personal communication device, two-way messaging device, electronic game, or portable computing device.” It does NOT mention mp3 players and, therefore, does not prohibit their use (unless of course it also has computing, gaming or texting capacity like an iTouch device). Of course, don’t be surprised if zealous police officers write you up for using an mp3 especially while the law is still new and police officers have not been fully educated.

Below is the text for the revised law in New York prohibiting texting and driving.

§1225-d. Use of portable electronic devices.

1. Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person shall operate a motor vehicle while using any portable electronic device while such vehicle is in motion.

2. For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(a) “Portable electronic device” shall mean any hand-held mobile telephone, as defined by subdivision one of section twelve hundred twenty-five-c of this article, personal digital assistant (PDA), handheld device with mobile data access, laptop computer, pager, broadband personal communication device, two-way messaging device, electronic game, or portable computing device.

(b) “Using” shall mean holding a portable electronic device while viewing, taking or transmitting images, playing games, or composing, sending, reading, viewing, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or retrieving e-mail, text messages, or other electronic data.

3. Subdivision one of this section shall not apply to (a) the use of a portable electronic device for the sole purpose of communicating with any of the following regarding an emergency situation: an emergency response operator; a hospital; a physician’s office or health clinic; an ambulance company or corps; a fire department, district or company; or a police department, (b) any of the following persons while in the performance of their official duties: a police officer or peace officer; a member of a fire department, district or company; or the operator of an authorized emergency vehicle as defined in section one hundred one of this chapter.

4. A person who holds a portable electronic device in a conspicuous manner while operating a motor vehicle is presumed to be using such device. The presumption established by this subdivision is rebuttable by evidence tending to show that the operator was not using the device within the meaning of this section.

5. The provisions of this section shall not be construed as authorizing the seizure or forfeiture of a portable electronic device, unless otherwise provided by law.

6. A violation of this section shall be a traffic infraction and shall be punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred fifty dollars.

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380 Comments. Leave new

  • 1225-D(1) – The office said I “touched” my phone. I was actually on a call, using hands free bluetooth and my phone had GPS open on it. I did not touch my phone, the officer was adamant that I did. The office was very angry and told me he was rear ended last week by a New Jersey driver while in his patrol car, I also have NJ plates. I told him I was sorry he got hit but that was not me, I was paying attention to the road and following all laws. The officer did not care about anything I had to say, he just wanted to write a ticket. He then followed me for 10 minutes, I assume to see if I went to do anything with my phone. I have to plead not guilty, I don’t want the points. Thoughts?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      January 27, 2018 7:43 am

      Brandon,

      The only way to obtain a more favorable result is by pleading not guilty.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
    • Something similar happened to me too. An officer got hit by a car when he came out the vehicle and someone on the highway hit him because he was too close to the street. The officer said when he came to the car with my 3 year old I’m going to get your ass real good and I dear you to fight it because people like you don’t win in Nassau county against officers like me. My judge was horrible I kid you not he was mad at me for being late when I was there before anyone else was but I was in the bathroom. His words exactly ” You made me late for my special cookies. I only get this once a year.” At that time it was too late to ask for another judge. He looked at me once when I came in and once when he said guilty. But gave full eye contact to the officer the whole time. Then said I would have cursed you out too. I had been driving 10 years and never had as much as a parking ticket. Which is damn near impossible in the NYC. Its said that I have to say this but if your white you should have a greater chance in being found not guilty. I wish you the best of luck.

      Reply
  • I was pulled over in Albany County listening to a podcast and holding it to my ear because it was hard to hear. Podcasts aren’t specifically outlined in the law as written above. Would this be grounds to fight it?

    I should say, the podcast was on speaker, if that matters. I also showed the officer that it was a podcast.

    Reply
    • Brendan,

      If you were listening to the podcast on an “electronic device” then you violated VTL 1225d.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I have a SONY ICD PX333 digital voice recorder (MP3 recorder) and I just got a ticket in Queens and it seems that none of the officers including my friends know the definition contained in : “1225 d 2(a) “Portable electronic device” shall mean any hand-held mobile telephone, as defined by subdivision one of section twelve hundred twenty-five-c of this article, personal digital assistant (PDA), hand held device with mobile data access, laptop computer, pager, broadband personal communication device, two-way messaging device, electronic game, or portable computing device, or any other electronic device when used to input, write, send, receive, or read text for present or future communication.”

    Let’s just hope the officer identifies my recorder in court as the device he saw and was presented after I was pulled over.

    Reply
  • Hi Matthew,

    I received a 1225-d in Nassau County – I was turning off my iPod. It has no gaming, texting, communicating or internet capabilities. Can this be dropped or lowered?

    Reply
  • Hello,
    I got pulled over on the Verrazano Bridge and was told the officer saw me looking down at my phone then, upon seeing him, he claims I put the phone in phone cradle on my dash. In fact, the phone never left the cradle and while I may have looked at the GPS, I only did so while it was in the holder. He claims otherwise. Why I would take my phone out of the cradle which is in my line of sight to use it makes no sense to me. Sounds like I have no chance beating this though since its my word against his. I took the phone off the cradle while he was running my license and recorded the officer giving me the ticket which clearly shows that I have a phone cradle though I doubt that will change anyones mind. It seems like there is no way to dispute this charge without video proof at the time of the charge. Is there any way to successfully fight this?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      August 3, 2017 2:03 pm

      Ron,

      It would be very fought to successfully fight this ticket because, in NYC, they do not plea bargain.

      With that said, you have nothing to lose by fighting it.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I am a NJ driver who received my 2nd electronic device ticket in NY today this month. I am a BJ licensed driver and both times was stopped for picking up my phone and glancing at the GPS. I literally looked at the phone for a split second. Changing the radio would have taken more time. Neither time was I talking on the phone nor was I holding the phone in hand, but simply picked it up to glance it. Additionally I was cited for a dealer license plate frame which stated the frame obstructed my plate . This is not the case as nothing is covered and is clearly visible. Should I fight these tickets? I truly felt harassed and that the ticket for electronic device was a far stretch of the law. The plate obstruction simply false.

    Reply
  • Mr. Weiss,
    I received a 1225d ticket in Manhattan today. I have a NJ driver’s license. I see that you’ve mentioned previously that points for this offense do not transfer to NJ licenses, based on there being no equivalent law in NJ. Do you mind confirming that is still the case at this point in time (Aug 1, 2017)?

    Thanks so much for your help

    Reply
  • I received a 1225D ticket this morning in nassau county NY. I was driving with my phone in my hand, having just looked up my destination while parked in a near by parking lot, but the phone was on lock and not being operated while I was driving. I have not had a traffic violation in over 15 years, and explained to the officer that I was not operating my phone at the time. He said he understood and he recommended I fight it in court (Nassau County court in Hempstead) which I intend to do. What is the likelihood of success having this dismissed or dropped down in Nassau? Are there points assigned regardless of first time offense?

    Reply
  • I was pulled over yesterday and given a citation for 1225c2a. The officer claimed he had seen a mobile device near my head as I was driving by. As I was going through the intersection he was nowhere in sight but he has it listed it was caught on his body camera. I am NOT from NY and do NOT have a NY license plate (which I’m sure caught his attention). Since I’m not remaining in this state, and will never return for how bad my experience has been here, what do you recommend I do about this? How many points can they issue an out of state license? What is the fee?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      July 18, 2017 6:25 pm

      Marissa R,

      VTL 1225c2a is a 5-point ticket in NY and carries roughly a $200 fine. How it affects in you in your state of residence and how you should treat this ticket depend on where you live.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Jessica Delvalle
    August 8, 2016 11:47 am

    Hi Mr. Weiss,

    I recently got a ticket for an electronic device in NY. I was getting off the highway and stuck behind cars at a red light. I went to turn the gps off of my phone since I sort of knew where I was, when the cops came from my right side and pulled me over. Do I have any chance of getting this dismissed? 5 points is crazy! Or should I plead guilty and try a reduce points course?

    Reply
    • Jessica Delvalle,

      If this ticket was issued in NYC, the it will be hard to beat. Otherwise, you should plead not guilty and, on your court date, you likely can negotiate this down to a less serious charge. Regardless, if you have any other points on your record, then I recommend that you fight this electronic device ticket (even if issued in NYC).

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Matthew,

    Thanks for your help in gauging whether we have a chance to fight our ticket.

    Yesterday my husband received ticket violation 1225c 2a, “phone on L/H to mouth” in Brooklyn. Husband did not have phone in left hand or any where near his mouth, phone was charging and was in his right hand for GPS purposes. No calls or texts were being made. Does he have a chance?

    Thank you very much!

    Reply
    • SunJoo Kim,

      Your husband has a chance but winning any traffic ticket at the Brooklyn Traffic Violations Bureau is difficult. They do not plea bargain and often people lose there.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • In July 15th i was driving in East Syracuse NY, the officer pulled me over when he saw that i’m holding a cell phone in my hand. after i stopped he asked what is the reason for holding the cell phone, i told him that i was checking the time as my radio clock is wrong.
    so he issued a ticket (1225 d) , stating that i was holding a black portable device, i plead not guilt and mailed it to the court, do you think i need a lawyer? i have very clean records, no violation ever.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • OE,

      You can appear yourself if you have the time and right temperament. Your goal should be to explore whether the prosecutor will offer you a reduction to a less serious charge. Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • 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

    Reply
  • mathew hoffman
    July 19, 2016 1:15 pm

    Matt
    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!

    Reply
    • 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

      Reply
  • 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

    Reply
    • Valeriya,

      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

      Reply
  • 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?

    Reply
    • Lovy,

      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

      Reply
  • 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

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

    Reply
    • Lovy,

      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

      Reply
  • 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

    Reply
    • 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

      Reply
  • 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?

    Reply
    • Lili,

      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

      Reply
  • 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?

    Reply
    • Zachary,

      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

      Reply
  • 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?

    Reply
  • 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.

    Reply
    • 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

      Reply
  • 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

    Reply
    • Tom,

      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

      Reply
  • 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

    Reply
    • 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

      Reply
  • 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.

    Reply
    • Tony,

      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

      Reply
  • 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

    Reply
    • 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

      Reply
  • 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?

    Reply
    • Ario,

      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

      Reply
  • Matthew,

    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.

    Reply
    • Rick,

      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

      Reply
  • 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

    Reply
    • Christhian,

      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

      Reply
  • Rick,

    I just got a 1225D ticket while in Queens. I was using a hands free device that looks like a charger cable but is rigid. I did pull the phone towards me to check my Google maps…. Officer said that the mount needs to be dash or window mounted. Is that true? Also, I was not “holding” the phone, while it was in my hand when pulling it towards me if I let go of the phone the phone would remain in the same position.

    Reply
    • Eli M,

      If you are holding your phone (which you admittedly were), there is a presumption that you were illegally using it. This is difficult to overcome in any of the NYC traffic tickets including Queens. With that said, don’t let me discourage you from trying. Pleading not guilty is the only way to possible avoid points from this ticket.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • This morning I was stopped by a policeman who claims he saw me texting while I passed his car and issued me a ticket for 1225d. The thing is, I was not texting or using any mobile device. My phone and iPad were both in my purse at the time. He may have seen me change a car radio channel or lift my water bottle but there is no way he could have seen me texting – despite what he thinks he saw- as I was truly noticing my devices at the time. I tried to explain this but he didn’t car and still gave me the ticket. I already pled not guilty since I was in fact not guilty. But it will be my word against his. Will I even have a chance in court? I’m really upset that I might be found guilty of something that I absolutely was not doing and get points and a fine for no reason.

    Reply
  • I rent a car and i drive for uber now dec 18 night time a tlc officer pull me over. I have a bluetooth headset in my ear it was on but at the moment i have a passenger telling me directions and i wasn’t using it at all at that time. The officer ask me if i am listening to music i said no. I said i used it for the gps. Now uber cancels the sound of the uber app while u are online. After that the officer get my reg, driver license , and the fhv. Afterwards he left then after 10mins wait he said ok your good.. So then i left.. Now the day before 23rd i got a letter from tlc a summons with $250 minimum fine max of $350. Is there a way i can use ur service?

    Reply
    • Chris T,

      I’m sorry but we do not fight TLC tickets. However, there are some good TLC representatives who are at the court everyday. I recommend speaking to one of them on your court date. Get there a little early.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I received a ticket in NY for “improper use of an electronic device”. I just paid the ticket and did not appeal. My question is when completing my NJ car insurance questionnaire, it asks if any driver on the policy has received a moving traffic violation. is this ticket considered a MOVING TRAFFIC VIOLATION??? Thanks

    Reply
  • Hi,
    I received a 1225D ticket recently. At a stop light I picked up my cell phone to unwrap the power cord from my shifter (I have a manual transmission) after it fell and got caught. My phone was connected to my Bluetooth and I wasn’t using it. The officer didn’t ask for my registration and did not write the vehicle year or registration expiration date on the ticket. Would that missing information be enough to have the ticket dismissed? I’m guessing that I will probably have a hard time fighting the ticket otherwise?

    Reply
    • Erica,

      This missing information is not enough to have the ticket dismissed. Unlike a parking ticket, these types of mistakes do not render your ticket fatally defective.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I received a 1225-d ticket
    I live in New Jersey, if I plead guilty do points transfer?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Gaetano,

      No points will transfer onto your NJ license (based on current law). The conviction will be recorded in NJ and, if you get 3 such convictions (in NY, NJ or elsewhere), then you can be suspended in NJ.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hello Matt, i got a ticket today on the express way 495, i was changing track from my mp3 player, the officer gave me a vtl 1225d, when he approach he saw it was an mp3 player but still gave me the ticket, you think i can beat this ticket by pleading not guilty and hiring a lawyer?, please send me info of your services.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Juan Jurado,

      It is possible to beat this ticket but we cannot predict your chances or provide odds. The best answer that I can provide is that you can only beat this ticket if you plead not guilty and fight it at a hearing.

      With that said, beating a traffic ticket in the Staten Island Traffic Violations Bureau is REALLY, REALLY hard. it is the toughest traffic court in all of New York State.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Matthew,
    I received a 1225-d(1) in Queens last week and will have to go to the TVB to fight the ticket. The cop told me he wasn’t giving me a ticket for holding a cell phone, but for holding a PED. I told him I was playing music with blue tooth through the radio. In your opinion, it likely or unlikely that a lawyer can help get this ticket dismissed?

    Thanks,
    Evan

    Reply
    • Evan,

      Beating any traffic ticket in any of the Traffic Violations Bureau is hard. My law firm wins many cases but we also lose plenty as well. Therefore, the best answer that I can supply to your question is that hiring an experienced NY traffic ticket lawyer is most cases significantly enhances your chances for success but never guarantees. Do not hire any lawyer if you are going to be mad at him or her if you lose the case.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Matthew,

    I got a 1225d ticket to which I pleaded not guilty. I have a hearing coming up in NYC. I’m challenging it on the ground that I was never holding my phone — it remained in the cup holder the whole time, though I may have touched it while it was in there. Do you think I can successfully beat the ticket on this basis? Also, I have a lawyer friend who will represent me (not a traffic lawyer). Do I still need to appear or can he do the hearing without me? Thanks so much in advance.

    Reply
    • Robert,

      I doubt that you will win. When it is a motorist’s word versus that of a police officer, the police officer almost always is believed over the motorist. If you have a lawyer, then he or she can appear in your place.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi
    Thanks for your column. I also received a 1225d ticket in Brooklyn. The officer asked me why I was using my cellphone. I was not using the phone. I wear a Samsung gear watch (like the Apple watch) and the light comes on when I move my wrist. I believe the light from the watch is what the officer saw. I was not touching the watch,, looking at the watch. I had missed a turn and was literally scratching my head trying to figure out my next turn. My cellphone was in my bag which automatically connects to my car Bluetooth. I pulled my phone out of the bag to show the officer. He still gave me the ticket of course. Fortunately the law judge dismissed the charge since the officer testified I was talking on the phone and should have been a cellphone charge instead. Guess the Traffic Gods were shining down on me!! 🙂

    I now do not use the automatic light but could I still be charged with 1225d for wearing my watch?

    Reply
    • Kathie,

      Glad you beat your case. Congrats.

      Under VTL 1225d, it is not illegal to wear a Samsung Gear Watch. Of course, an overzealous police officer could still issue a ticket for it.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I received a 1180B ticket today on 890. The trooper told me he clocked the blue trailblazer a head of me at 73 and me at 72 im a 55. When he asked me if i was with the blue trailblazer and why I thought he pulled me over I told him I was not with the other vehicle and going with traffic. i looked down after seeing him behind me and a trooper up ahead when I noticed I was going close to the speed limit.
    When the trooper camer back to issue the ticket he played the “I’m cutting you a break” ploy by lowering the speed 10mph to a 62 in a 55. He joked and said no one will believe me that I wasn’t doing 100 in that car (…a v6 challenger) and gave me the 7 mph over ticket. He told me he highly recommends I send it in guilty and not to fight it. If I were to fight it he told me he would put the original speed on there and smiled as he showed he was giving a supporting deposition as well. My girlfriend read the S.D. after the trooper left and realized he stated I said I admitted to speeding at 74 mph and followed a BL trailblazer ( it was actually silver). I never said any of that. He lied on the S.D.
    Do you think I should still fight the ticket or listen to his threats and back off in fear of a higher fine and points. How is it fair that he can lie on the supporting deposition?
    Thank you in advance!
    -Gary

    Reply
  • Over the Columbus Day weekend, my girlfriend and I rented a car to drive to Niagara Falls and see the leaves change. I had my cell phone in my lap briefly while listening to the GPS, and I was stopped and ticketed for use of an electronic device. I had my right hand over it but at no time did it leave my lap.

    I am only temporarily here, have a Florida license, and a vehicle and insurance registered in Florida. Should I fight this ticket or just pay it? Would the points transfer to Florida?

    Reply
    • Brian,

      Points will only transfer to FL if FL assigns points for this type of offense. If not, then you can just plead guilty (assuming you have no other NY convictions and do not drive in NY regularly).

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Mr. Weiss,

    I just got a summons in Brooklyn, in violation of 1255d, hearing set at the Traffic Violation Bureau. Based on this comment thread, it sounds like the TVB won’t reduce the charges — that no matter what I’ll be guilty or not guilty of the original violation. The officer told me that this was a “holding an electronic device” ticket, but he specifically said “it’s NOT a cellphone ticket.” The narrative on the ticket states “Use of a portable electronic device while in motion.” He also mentioned that by law I’m required to have my phone in a special holder affixed to the dashboard. I had it on the center console, using the GPS app. At a red light I handed the phone to a backseat passenger who wanted to check the route. So I cannot deny that I did in fact hold the phone while the car was in “Drive.”

    My question concerns points on my license, specifically in regards to his comment that it’s not a cellphone ticket: will this be 3 points, or 5, or something else?

    Furthermore, I doubt I will get the ticket dismissed under the circumstances, so will pleading not guilty and showing up at the TVB help me at all? I’d rather not take off from work just to end up with the same penalties…

    Thanks for your help!

    -JN

    Reply
  • recently received ticket 1225d1
    manhattan – driving while holding cell phone
    I was speaking on blue tooth

    Officer told me that he did not give me a ticket for talking or texting, just for holding phone.
    I did not think ticket would carry points.

    Best approach?

    Reply
  • Has 1225-d changed recently? I found this: § 1225-d. Use of portable electronic devices.

    1. Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person shall operate a motor vehicle while using any portable electronic device while such vehicle is in motion; provided, however, that no person shall operate a commercial motor vehicle while using any portable electronic device on a public highway including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays. Provided further, however, that a person shall not be deemed to be operating a commercial motor vehicle while using a portable electronic device on a public highway when such vehicle is stopped at the side of, or off, a public highway in a location where such vehicle is not otherwise prohibited from stopping by law, rule, regulation or any lawful order or direction of a police officer.

    Does this mean that ONLY commercial drivers are the only ones subject to being ticketed for using their phones while vehicles are NOT in motion– like at stop signs or in traffic?

    Reply
    • B DiCocco,

      This is an interesting interpretation and one that seems to me meritorious. Because section (1) only prohibits drivers from using an electronic device while “in motion” and specifically states that drivers of commercial vehicles are also prohibited from using them “while temporarily stationary”, one can make a strong case that drivers of non-commercial vehicles may use electronic devices when temporarily stopped (ex. stopped at a red light or while stopped in traffic).

      Despite this logical statutory construction, many judges (especially the traffic judges in New York City) will still find a motorist guilty for “using” a device while temporarily stopped. I wrote a post entitled “When Does Stopped Mean Moving” a few years ago discussing this very issue.

      Bottom line: Keep your phone away while driving (even during stops) to avoid receiving such a ticket.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Good morning Mr. Matthew Weiss on September 8 2015. I was driving to go to school my phone was charging. I pick the phone for 5 seconds tp check out the time and the police officers pull me over. I told him that I was checking the time. He notice that the time on my car was wrong, then he ask me what happen to the time on my car I told him that yesterday my car was giving me problem during the labor day weekend I unplugged the battery n plug it back to fix it n that mess up the time so I never got the time to fix it. He gave me the ticket 1225 d for use of electronic portable device anyway. But on the ticket he had my plate number wrong. That happen in Manhattan can I still fix it. Also that ticket is different on the back the fine say $50 plus surcharge not $138 plus surcharge.

    Reply
    • James Naval,

      The wrong plate number does not render your ticket fatally defective, and it appears that you violated the law when you picked up the phone while driven for 5 seconds to check the screen. This constitutes “use” under New York law in my opinion. With that said, you may still want to try and fight this ticket because it carries 5 points.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hello. I wasn’t even holding the phone when the officer pulled me over today and he didn’t dispute that. It was charging on the seat between my legs and he said he pulled me over because he saw me “look down at my lap 7 times” in the 2/10 mile since I got on the highway, and he mentioned that he then saw me sip my coffee and put it back in the cup holder. I was wearing sunglasses and can’t imagine he could tell where I was looking..looking in the side mirrors looks like looking down. Looking for my coffee was looking down.
    Anyway, what I was doing (and what I told him I was doing) was trying to get the phone to respond to verbal commands (“hey Siri….”) and if he saw me look down it was because it wasn’t responding so I tried again and then gave up (because I wasn’t going to touch the phone). He insisted that qualified as trying to operate the device, said that I had admitted trying to operate the device, and went back to his car and wrote me a ticket.
    He ended up omitting our convo on the supporting deposition and put a note that I was “looking down at Orange cell phone in his lap attempting to operate it.”
    My cell phone is green! My MP3 player is orange, in the dash console, and hasn’t moved in days because he it plays through the USB and is controlled with the radio controls. He never saw my iPhone because it was on the floor by the time he pulled me over. Finally, my work cell was closed in a red leather case on the passenger seat. I never touched that either.
    So, I plan to plead not guilty and tell all of this. The trooper didn’t dispute that I was using verbal commands only…. Not even one button touch. However, I don’t expect he’ll admit this come trial.
    So it sounds like he’s saying that glancing at it for a fraction of a second and speaking commands (but not even holding it or touching it). makes me guilty of 1225D. It seems to me that the fact that I wasn’t even holding it makes this not possible. Your thoughts?

    Reply
  • Carla Mitchell
    September 6, 2015 1:20 am

    Hi ,
    I just received a ticket for 1225D and I was on my phone but it was on speaker and unfortunately I am realizing that this is not legal even though it was on speaker! My main concern is whether I plead guilty when I appear or do I plead not guilty!! I have never had any tickets in my life and am concerned about this because I hear it is 5 points now!! I guess basically I’m guilty but am worried with the trooper there and I plead not guilty that will look worse!! What are your suggestions on how to handle it when I do appear!! Thank you

    Reply
    • Carla Mitchell,

      If this ticket was issued outside New YorK City and Rochester, then you should plead not guilty. If you do, then you likely can get negotiate this down to a less serious charge.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I was driving in Queen’s and my phone rang while it was connected to Bluetooth but for some reason my car does not show who is calling on the screen. I’m a doctor and was on call . I picked up to see who is calling and kept it back. Told the officer the same. He gave me improper electronic device use 1225d. What should I do ? If I plead guilty will they have me date options to appear in court? I’m a doctor and will have to look at my schedule. Is there any chance to reduce points ?

    Reply
    • Shiv rc,

      You cannot negotiate this down to a less serious charge because they do not engage in plea bargaining in Queens (or any NYC traffic court). You can still fight it but the chances of winning are not great. With that said, you have nothing to lose by fighting this 5-point ticket.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Kelvin Almonte
    August 28, 2015 12:48 pm

    I recently got a this ticket I was pulled over after literally looking at my phone for half a second to check the time. I mailed my ticket in and pleaded guilty just so I can pay and wouldn’t have to go to court. After reading this I found out that it can take up to 5 point on my license. I got a letter back from the court clerk saying my plea was accepted with a court date of September 2nd and a fine of $195. Do you think I would be able to go to court on that date and make a deal so I won’t get so many points of my lincese?

    Reply

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