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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  • Adam
    February 12, 2015

    Received a ticket for having device on for GPS while in motion. I’m not NY resident and am out of state. Officer said citation will not be detrimental to points on my license and that I just need to pay the fine. Is it worth fighting this? How do I confirm points will not be added? What do the points mean for me? From Texas. What happens if I don’t pay fine and how can I fight being out of state?


    • Adam Rosenblum
      February 13, 2015

      This ticket carries with it 5 points, $138 fine, and a significant impact on your insurance. You need to contact your home state’s DMV to determine how many points will transfer there. If you retain an attorney, you do not need to appear in court.

  • Eric
    February 12, 2015

    I received a 1225c in queens NY. The officer said I was on my phone and it was near my ear but neither of those things were true. My work phone records will indicate I was not on my phone at the time the ticket was written. I was also in a commercial vehicle. I want to plead not guilty but I don’t know how to prove it at the trial.

    • Adam Rosenblum
      February 13, 2015

      Eric – You may contact us for a free consultation. We will be happy to advise you further.

  • Paddy
    February 11, 2015

    Is it illegal to talk on speaker phone while driving if the phone is in your hand? What if it is sitting on your lap?

    • Adam Rosenblum
      February 13, 2015

      Yes, it is. It is a crime to use a portable electronic device while driving.

  • chris sakellaris
    February 4, 2015

    I received a summons for 1225c2a in nyc earlier today. The issue I have is that I wasn’t on the phone nor did I have it up to my ear as stated in the vtl. The description on the ticket also states “unauthorized use of handheld electronic device” which applies to 1225d. I have cellphone records to back up my claim. should I plead not guilty?

    • Adam Rosenblum
      February 12, 2015

      Yes you should. Proving that you were not speaking on a cell phone will allow you to avoid the harsh penalties associated with a cell phone violation.

  • Angela
    February 3, 2015

    My husband got a ticket for using his cell phone in NYC while stopped at an intersection or light. He was on a work delivery, in a work truck. He has a CDL. The ticket SPECIFICALLY says he was on his cell phone, which he states he was merely adjusting the GPS on the dash (not to read it but to just adjust it). Is there any way we can argue this. From what I’ve read, CDL drivers are held to a higher standard, which I understand; however, we are worried about the implications on his CDL, his insurance, etc with his company, especially for something he was not doing. Could we fight the technicality of the GPS and the ticket SPECIFYING cell phone? I was told specifically something about only a certain class of officers can write these tickets or some nonsense? We received a notice for a hearing, but cant verify when that is because the TVB will not answer their phone (we moved and the notice got misplaced). Thoughts?

    • Adam Rosenblum
      February 12, 2015

      Angela – What violation code is specifically written on the ticket?

      • Angela
        August 3, 2015

        Adam, apologies for this taking forever to respond. I finally found the ticket. The Violation says “1225D1 and the description says “use of electronic device while in motion. (texting on cell phone)”.

        As stated in my previous response, my husband has a CDL. He was not on his cell phone. He said all he can think of is he was adjusting the GPS, but definitely not using his cell, as records can prove.

        • Adam Rosenblum
          August 11, 2015

          Angela – 1225D penalizes drivers who improperly ‘use’ an electronic portable device. Thus, the statute is written in a very broad manner, to encompass a litany of actions. I suggest you contact us to discuss further. This is especially relevant in your situation, as your husband is a CDL driver.

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