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.
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Note: New York increased the penalties for cell phone tickets to 5 points as of 6/2013.

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366 Comments

  • Desha Jackson
    February 21, 2018

    what is the statute of limitations on these tickets?

    • Ronen Cohen
      February 23, 2018

      Please clarify what precisely your question is. If you have been charged with a speeding ticket and fail to answer, you may be ‘default convicted’ of the offense. If, however, the State has failed to charge you with an offense, then very broadly speaking, at least 2 years must pass before a ‘motion for a speedy trial’ can be entertained.

  • Naftali Horowitz
    February 7, 2018

    I have an interesting question

    I recently got 2 TVB tickets in Boro Park they claimed that I passed a red light (it was a newly updated leading pedestrian signal)
    One ticket for passing red light
    One ticket for failed to have my license on me

    I thought the red light ticket never reached the system because when I searched it online it did not come up. Now over shabbos I received a letter that my licence will be suspended because I failed to answer that ticket but again when I searched online its not there. I figured out that they entered the Red light ticket into the system with a wrong DOB (as i noticed on the letter – bottom portion) so when I search the system as if I don’t have a licence and put the wrong DOB it comes up but if I search the system with my licence it will not show up. Would you be able to provide me with honest answer if I need to worry about it and how I should go about it.

    • RLF Attorneys
      February 8, 2018

      In order to prevent license suspension, you must answer these tickets. While we understand why you were unable to answer your ticket timely, you must none-the-less answer the ticket to prevent license suspension.

      Generally speaking, incorrect DOB’s on tickets will not directly lead to a dismissal – as courts will likely view these errors as ‘clerical’ in nature.

  • Raf
    January 28, 2018

    I just received a 1225d1 for nothing. Cop claimed I was using my cellphone, meanwhile cellphone was placed by the compartment under dashboard without touching. The gps was running but never touched the phone

    • RLF Attorneys
      February 1, 2018

      I suggest you contest this 5 point ticket. How this ticket is fought will depend on the location of the incident in question. New York is governed by two court systems – one of which has plea bargaining, and the other requires a trial.

  • Ryan
    January 28, 2018

    I was delivering for a pizzeria i work for located in Utica New York in Oneida county. The trooper was sitting in the road when he abruptly came behind me. Eventually pulled me over and asked why i was on my phone. I had told him i deliver pizza and actually keep the receipts on my lap to keep the address on hand to know where I’m going. He couldn’t prove that i was even on my phone when i asked. I had told him multiple times i was not on my phone but still wrote me the ticket. What is your best method to getting his dropped

    • RLF Attorneys
      February 1, 2018

      Ryan – the officer likely charged you with 1225(d) – a violation which prohibits you from using an ‘electronic portable device while operating a motor vehicle.’ This violation does not require proof that you were, in fact, actively engaged in a phone call. I suggest contesting this 5 point violation by pleading not-guilty.

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