Texting while driving laws regulate the use of cell phones and smartphones while driving. In particular, these laws aim to prohibit the use of texting features while driving. Use of other features such as GPS systems, maps, and music functions may still be allowed in a limited fashion, but using the phone for texting may be prohibited.
This is because many studies suggest that texting while driving creates a dangerous distraction for the driver even if only for a few moments. These small moments of distraction can often be enough to lead to a dangerous or even deadly car accident.
Are There Any Defenses to Texting While Driving?
Defenses to texting while driving can be similar to those for other accident violations, such as distracted driving. These defenses may include:
- Identification Issues: Some cases may involve an error in identification or other similar administrative errors.
- Lack of Probable Cause: The police need probable cause in order to continue with an investigation.
- Errors with Miranda Warnings: the outcome of a case can sometimes be affected if a person’s criminal rights were not read to them properly.
- Emergencies: Some instances of cell phone usage may be excusable if there is an emergency situation involved. However, this will of course depend on the facts of the case as well as the overall discretion of the judge
Various other criminal defenses may apply. These can depend on the facts of each situation as well as the state laws that are applicable to the defendant.
Penalties for texting while driving violations can involve criminal (and sometimes civil) fines, possible jail time for serious offenses, and negative effects on one’s driving record.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance with Texting and Driving Laws?
Texting while driving laws are relatively new and may be undergoing review in your state. You may wish to hire a criminal lawyer if you have any questions or concerns that involve a texting while driving incident. An attorney can inform you of your rights and can also provide you with legal representation in the event that you need to attend a court hearing.