Cell Phone Ticket in New York

Have a question about your cellphone ticket? Post a comment at the bottom of this page and we will get back to you as soon as we can. For a free consultation with our attorneys call us at 888-883-5529.

How to Fight a Cell Phone Ticket in New York

One of the most common questions we get is how to fight a New York cell phone ticket. This is a multi-faceted answer that depends on the circumstances of your case. There are two basic ways to handle a New York cell phone ticket: at trial, or via a plea bargain settlement. In general, if a cell phone ticket can be negotiated down to a 0-point parking ticket, we would advise our client to take it. Though a fine of up to $150 will be assessed, it is a small price to pay to prevent points from accruing on the person’s driving record.

How to Beat a Cell Phone Ticket in New York

There are a few ways you can beat a New York cell phone ticket: Taking the ticket to trial and being found “not guilty” by the judge via a motion to dismiss (if there are certain errors that make the ticket legally defective or insufficient, for example) If you schedule it for trial and the officer doesn’t show and the judge decides to dismiss the case for lack of prosecution.

ebookThe first way can be a real long shot because if the facts are in dispute and especially if it’s your word against the officer’s word, most of the time the judge will accept the officer’s word over yours (after all, you are a little biased, aren’t you?).

The second way can be very effective, but only under the right circumstances (after all, most tickets are accurately written or contain minor defects that don’t render the ticket invalid).

The third way is a long shot because even if the officer fails to show, the judge can, and most likely will, reschedule the trial. Contrary to popular belief, there is no rule, law, or policy that requires a judge to dismiss a ticket simply because the officer fails to show up for trial. A judge is free to reschedule the trial at will. These reasons serve to reinforce our general belief that if a reduction to a 0-point offense can be negotiated, that is the best option.

New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 1225-c and 1225-d

New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) contains two distinct laws related to use of portable electronic devices while driving:

  • VTL 1225-c Use of Mobile Telephone
  • VTL 1225-d Use of Portable Electronic Devices (includes texting while driving)

Remember, a VTL 1225(c) ticket is entirely different than a VTL 1225(d) ticket. 1225(c) is a cell phone ticket (“c” for cell) while 1225(d) is an electronic device ticket (“d” for device).

If you received a 1225(c) ticket, the officer is alleging that you were actually engaged in a call at the time he observed you. For 1225(d) tickets, it is irrelevant whether you were engaged in a call or not. If you were texting or using an app, you can be given a 1225(d) ticket.

What many people don’t realize is that a 1225(d) ticket can also be given for devices other than phones. A GPS, MP3 player, camera, or other hand-held electronic device also counts under the 1225(d) law.

New York State Resident With a Cell Phone Conviction in New York

If you hold a New York State driver’s license and were to be convicted of driving while using a cell phone or texting while driving, NY DMV will add 5 points to your driver’s license. As you already know, points on your license can lead to increased auto insurance and ultimately to a license suspension if you accrue 11 points within 18 months. What you may not know is that you can fight your cell phone ticket – and beat it, or get it reduced.

Out-Of-State Resident With a Cell Phone Conviction in New York

Even if you do not live in New York State, New York will create a driving record based on your name, date of birth, and mailing address and points for violations that you have been convicted of in New York will add up. If you get 11 points in New York State within 18 months, you will lose your right to drive in New York State regardless of whether you hold a New York license or a driver’s license from another state. Not only that, chances are a cell phone ticket conviction in New York will appear on your home state’s driver’s license. If your home state assesses points like New York does, points will accrue and you can be looking at an auto insurance hike and a license suspension if you accrue enough points. Click here for more information regarding out-of-state residents.

Traffic Violations Defense

For a free consultation about experienced and vigorous defense of your New York cell phone ticket or any other traffic violation, call 1-888-883-5529, or contact us to tell us about your case.
We can produce results. But don’t take our word for it. See our reviews from our past clients.
Note: New York increased the penalties for cell phone tickets to 5 points as of 6/2013.

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348 Comments

  • Brian Morc
    November 7, 2017

    Hi. Yesterday i received a ticket for improper use of a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle (1225D) in queens. The cell phone was in my hand. After the police officer was done writing the ticket, a different police officer came up to my window and noticed that i had a temporary inspection sticker (Because my car is new and was only registered 2 days prior, i had received a temporary inspection sticker that gives me 10 days to get the car inspected). The officer told me to peele the temp inspection sticker off, so i did and handed it to him. He then ripped the sticker a few times and “said have a nice day”. I then said “Why did you do that it wasn’t expired?” he said “Yes it is now go get it inspected. So obviously i can show proof that i was issued the temp inspection sticker 2 days prior but will this help my case in anyway? Im pretty sure thats not legal and he cant do that. any help would be great.

    • RLF Attorneys
      November 9, 2017

      Brian – this is an interesting situation you present – that I would like to discuss with you further. Please contact us for a free consultation at 888-883-5529.

  • John Kim
    October 26, 2017

    I recently received a violation of 1225-D(1) at East 128th street and 2nd ave. She was turning her phone because someone called.

    Whats the chances of getting out of the points?

    • RLF Attorneys
      November 1, 2017

      John – You are currently facing a 5 point ticket in NY. This jurisdiction is governed by the traffic violations bureau – a court system that does not allow for plea bargaining. Therefore, the only way to fight this ticket is by bringing this case to trial.

  • m
    October 23, 2017

    Hi i received a ticket on oct 8 and just learned that it was entered incorrectly into the system. Wrong last name and first name and I am from out of state. It was for 1225 C, using a cell phone. I had answered a call. I am from MI and have a MI license and it is still legal here to use a cell phone though I rarely do and only if coming from a possible emergency number.

    • RLF Attorneys
      October 23, 2017

      While not knowing the laws of a state is not an excuse for a traffic violation, the impmroperly entered information for your ticket may assist in contesting this 5 point ticket. In order to further advise you – we need additional details on the traffic stop, particularly the location of the incident.

      • m
        October 24, 2017

        Hi i received a ticket on oct 8 and just learned that it was entered incorrectly into the system. Wrong last name and first name and I am from out of state. It was for 1225 C, using a cell phone. I had answered a call. I am from MI and have a MI license and it is still legal here to use a cell phone though I rarely do and only if coming from a possible emergency number.
        m on October 23, 2017 at 2:25 pm

        Reply ↓
        While not knowing the laws of a state is not an excuse for a traffic violation, the impmroperly entered information for your ticket may assist in contesting this 5 point ticket. In order to further advise you – we need additional details on the traffic stop, particularly the location of the incident.
        RLF Attorneys on October 23, 2017 at 9:36 pm

        Thank you for your reply. The ticket was issued in Manhattan. Since receiving the ticket on Oct 8 I had tried to respond to it online but got a “ticket cannot be found” on the screen. I called the phone number that was on the “contact us” screen each week and was told it sometimes takes two weeks for the ticket to be manually entered. Finally today the woman helping me said the ticket was in the system but the first and last name were entered incorrectly. She said she could not correct any of the information because they are a third party service provider. She advised me to just enter the system with the incorrect names to respond to the ticket since today was the 15th and last day to respond. Any guidance will be greatly appreciated. Thank you

        • RLF Attorneys
          October 30, 2017

          In order to contest this ticket, you must attend the upcoming trial date that you should have received / will be receiving shortly. I do want to advise you that generally speaking, ‘clerical errors,’ will not lead to the dismissal of a ticket. Rather, the question becomes whether the officer is able to meet their burden of proof at trial.

  • Vanessa F.
    October 10, 2017

    Hi I receive a ticket in Bronx county it only says 1225 then it says 02a do you think is grounds for dismissal.

    • RLF Attorneys
      October 20, 2017

      Vanessa – While I would need to see the ticket before giving a more certain answer, generally judges are hesistate to dismiss cases for clerical errors.

  • N Ehsan
    September 30, 2017

    hi i received a 1225d ticket while i was driving and taking photo of the sunrise in Suffolk county NY please advise .

    • RLF Attorneys
      October 9, 2017

      Using an electronic portable device while operating a motor vehicle is a 5 point offense in NY. This jurisdiction is generally strict with cell phone violations. If you would like to discuss your options, you may reach us at 888-883-5529 for a free consultation.

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