As of January 1, 2009, California’s Wireless Communications Device Law went into effect, banning drivers from writing, sending or reading text messages of holding wireless phones while operating a motor vehicle. According to amendments made to California’s Vehicle Code in 2017, the state also made it illegal to use an “electronic wireless communications device” while driving, including, but not limited to, “a broadband personal communication device, a handheld device or laptop computer with mobile data access, or a pager.”
California law is very specific regarding the use of cell phones and texting while driving. Section 23123 of the traffic code states clearly that:
(a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.
(b) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a base fine of twenty dollars ($20) for a first offense and fifty dollars ($50) for each subsequent offense.
(c) This section does not apply to a person using a wireless telephone for emergency purposes, including, but not limited to, an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services agency or entity.
(d) This section does not apply to an emergency services professional using a wireless telephone while operating an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in Section 165, in the course and scope of his or her duties.
(e) This section does not apply to a person driving a school bus or transit vehicle that is subject to Section 23125.
(f) This section does not apply to a person while driving a motor vehicle on private property.
If you have received a ticket for violating California Hands-Free Cell Telephone law, come to CheapTrafficAttorneys.com to get the best defense possible. At CheapTrafficAttorneys.com we are both knowledgeable and well-skilled at defending clients and either having charges dismissed or fines lessened.
Apart from defenses embedded in the code itself, such as driving a school bus or an emergency vehicle, or driving on private property, CheapTrafficAttorneys.com has other options for defending your rights.
California Vehicle Code, 23123(a) CVC applies to talking on cell telephone, defense of GPS/Maps or radio use is still available under this section. On the other hand, California Vehicle Code 23123.5(a) CVC is broader than the 213123a section and only requires that a Driver be “holding and operating” a wireless communication device while driving. Many cases are dismissed because the Officer does not testify to the “operating” a wireless communication device requirement, they only testify that the driver was “holding” the electronic device. Defense of GPS/Maps or radio use not available under this section.
It should be noted that under 23124 CVC the use of even a wireless, hands-free device is prohibited for any individual under the age of 18 years of age while driving. This section pertaining to minors is rarely ticketed in our experience. The officers nearly always ticket minors for the standard violations of 23123(a) or 23123.5 CVC.
It may confuse you if a police officer writes you a speeding ticket under 22350 CVC when you were traveling at or under the speed limit while operating your cell phone or wireless device in your hand. You should be aware, though, that California’s basic speed law not only makes it a violation to use a cell phone for speaking or texting while driving, it may also make you guilty of speeding, that is to say driving at an unsafe speed for prevailing road conditions. This is a hotly contested issue in Traffic Court and the jury is still out (so to speak) on whether an officer may lawfully write a speeding ticket to a driver when the facts pertain to an actual cell telephone/ mobile device hands-free violation.
The number of cell phone/texting while driving tickets being issued has increased markedly in recent years, not only in California, but throughout the country. While law enforcement agencies try hard to prevent the serious injuries and fatalities resulting from the exponentially increasing number of distractions individual drivers are confronted with on a daily basis, some innocent drivers are being caught up in the rush to punish bad driving behavior. If you have been ticketed for cell phone or texting while driving, the most productive step you can take to avoid being penalized is to consult with CheapTrafficAttorneys.com. We have spent years satisfying clients in Orange, South Los Angeles, and San Bernardino Counties and we look forward to the opportunity of helping you avoid the penalties that come with pleading guilty.
When you consult with CheapTrafficAttorneys.com you are at a distinct advantage because we have represented over 10,000 clients and saved them millions in fines and insurance costs. CheapTrafficAttorneys has the legal knowledge, skills, and credentials necessary to:
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CheapTrafficAttorneys can contest your cell phone/texting while driving ticket by representing you in every aspect of the case. With us taking charge, you will not have to use your valuable time to make a courtroom appearance.
In many cases, it may be possible to question the accuracy of the police officer’s perception of exactly what occurred before he or she issued your ticket. There are several grounds on which we may be able to prove that you were not committing the act of which you have been accused. The officer’s vision may have been at least partially obstructed by weather conditions, the presence of a sign or tree, or a large vehicle, making it more likely that he or she mistook an innocent action on your part for the offense.
It is also possible that your behavior was “legally justified” by the fact that you were in the midst of a medical emergency. If you were, for example, trying to staunch a passenger’s bleeding while speeding to the hospital, that might be justification for calling or texting for help. By the same token, you may have considered yourself or your passengers to be in external physical danger and so been trying to contact the police, an ambulance, or the fire department.
As you can probably imagine, it is not easy to convince the traffic court that a police officer may have been wrong, or that you may have been justified in this particular incident. For these reasons, having CheapTrafficAttorneys to guide you through the legal process is critical. Contacting our office by phone or by filling out one of the convenient forms on our website will make a positive outcome much more likely.