If you get pulled over and are issued a ticket for using a cell phone while driving (also known as distracted driving), it is important that you understand what the charge means before deciding whether to pay the fine—paying this ticket can have the same effect as a guilty plea.
If you get a ticket for using a cellphone while driving, contact an experienced attorney to discuss your options and how these charges may affect you.
Under C.G.S. § 14-296aa, any use of a hand-held phone or electronic device while driving is an infraction. For a first offense, you face a $150 fine. For a second offense you face a $300 fine and for a third offense you face a $500 fine.
If you are under the age of 18 and are charged with use of a cellphone and you plead guilty (by paying the fine) or are convicted (after going to Court and losing at trial), the Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) will suspend your license for 30 days. For someone under the age of 18 who sustains a second violation, your license will be suspended for 90 days, and for a third violation it will be suspended for 6 months. Each time your license is suspended, the DMV will charge you a $175 license restoration fee.
Cell phone tickets can impact your life
Many people think it is easier to plead guilty or just pay the fine for their motor vehicle ticket through the mail. However, pleading guilty to this violation or simply paying the fine often leads to negative consequences.
If you pay the fine for and/or plead guilty to use of a cellphone while driving or distracted diving, the Centralized Infractions Bureau or Clerk’s office will send notice of your conviction to the DMV. This infraction will immediately appear on your driving record for at least three years.
Not only does this charge appear on your driving record, but it will also be made available to your insurance carrier. Having a moving violation on your driving record, including a conviction for use of a cellphone while driving, can result in a significant increase in your insurance rates. In certain situations, insurance carriers can drop you from their policy.
How an Attorney can help
Talk to an attorney to ensure you understand the potential effects of a cell phone conviction and how you can best resolve your motor vehicle charges. An experienced attorney who is familiar with courthouse practices, policies and possible outcomes can resolve your motor vehicle charges favorably and, in many cases, can help you get your charges dismissed.
When you get a motor vehicle ticket, including distracted driving, you can work with your attorney to figure out how you can ensure your driving record remains clean. In most cases, your attorney will be able to go to Court on your behalf and resolve your matter, so you do not have to miss work or school.
If you have been issued a ticket for use of a cellphone while driving or distracted driving, contact the attorneys at Koffsky & Felsen, LLC. Attorneys Audrey Felsen and Bruce Koffsky are highly experienced in handling motor vehicle violations and work closely with our clients to figure out the best way to approach your case. If you have been charged with any motor vehicle offense, including distracted driving, contact us at 203-327-1500.