Consequences for Texting and Driving
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How Is Texting and Driving Defined?
Texting and driving is often included in the traffic and criminal offenses of some state codes and statutes. It may be defined as the act of texting (sending or reading cell phone text messages) while operating a motor vehicle. It is often included under laws addressing smartphone use while driving, although it doesn’t necessarily have to involve a smart phone. Basically, texting on any phone while driving may be illegal in some jurisdictions.
What Are the Consequences for Texting and Driving?
Consequences for texting and driving may be similar or identical to the penalties for distracted driving offenses. Depending on the severity of the incident, consequences may include:
- Traffic citation
- Jail time (for some misdemeanor charges)
- Loss of license in some cases (especially in cases involving serious injuries or drunk driving)
Penalties such as fines and jail time may increase if certain factors are present such as:
- The incident is a repeat offense
- Another driver or passenger was seriously injured
- Drunk driving was involved
Do All States Have Texting and Driving Laws?
No- not all states have laws that cover texting and driving. Texting itself is relatively new, and many states are still in the process of reviewing these laws and other related subjects. Many states simply include the offense under "distracted driving" laws. A state law chart may be helpful in understanding the rules in your area. For further details and advice, a qualified lawyer may need to be contacted.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Texting and Driving Laws?
Texting and driving laws can sometimes be subject to much change as the technology continues to evolve. You may need to hire a lawyer if you need advice or if you’ve been involved in an incident where texting and driving was a factor. Your attorney can help determine your rights in the situation and can represent you if you need to make an appearance in court before a judge.
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Last Modified: 05-28-2015 10:24 AM PDT
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