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What are the Consequences of a Cell Phone Violation in California?

As the usage of cell phones has increased over time, people can be seen using them almost everywhere. Unfortunately, this even includes behind the wheel of a car. In the state of California, drivers have a legal obligation to operate their vehicles in a safe manner to ensure they are not endangering themselves or others on the road. By using a cell phone while driving, they are directly violating this obligation. It is because of this that it is considered a traffic violation. When a driver is found using a cell phone while driving, they can face penalties as a result. If you have received a cell phone violation in California, it can be beneficial to contact an experienced Tehama County traffic violation lawyer for assistance.

What is Considered a Cell Phone Violation?

Drivers who use a cell phone behind the wheel of their car are not paying attention to the road ahead. This can cause very dangerous accidents on the road, putting themselves and others in harm’s way. It is because of this that it is important to leave phones untouched while driving and give the road your undivided attention. The following are common examples of cell phone violations:

  • Talking on a handheld mobile phone
  • Writing, sending, reading, or receiving any data. This can include text messages, emails, or using social media.
  • Searching through the internet
  • Watching or taking any pictures or videos
  • Playing games

What are the Penalties for a Cell Phone Violation?

When a person is pulled over by law enforcement for using a cell phone while driving, they can receive a ticket. These tickets can subject the individual to certain fines that vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the violation. For example, a driver can be charged with a base fine of $20, but after assessments, the driver will likely have to pay around $150. For a subsequent offense within 36 months, a driver can expect to face a $50 base fine (but around $250 after assessments).

You should also note that each time you’re found guilty of a cell phone violation after a first offense, you will also get one negligent operator point against your license. As you accumulate these points, you can expect insurance premiums to rise, and, if you accumulate enough, you may even face a driver’s license suspension. For this reason, if you’re charged with a cell phone violation, you should strongly consider retaining competent legal representation who can fight your charges from the start. Cohen Criminal Law is here.