There is a difference between receiving a Uniform Traffic Ticket in New York for a violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) Section 1225(c) (operating motor vehicle while using a mobile phone as opposed to VTL 1225(d) (use of portable electronic device while operating a motor vehicle). What both violations share in common is the fact that they are serious traffic violations that each carry five (5) DMV points and can have serious consequences on both your driving record and auto insurance premium.
VTL 1225(c) is given to a motorist who is suspected of talking on a mobile phone while operating a motor vehicle in New York State. And the key is that they are talking and not doing so in a hands-free manner. It should be noted that the vehicle does not have to be in “drive” mode. Even if you are at a red light, and the vehicle is stationery, or the car is stuck in traffic, you can not use a mobile phone unless it is mounted to your dashboard. Or in the alternative, as long as you can use the phone and not be distracted (ie.. hands free, eyes not averted from the road), that should not present an issue. Clients often state that they can get the phone records to show they are not talking on the phone. While this helps, as long as you have the phone in your hand and not hands-free, the officer can issue the ticket.
VTL 1225(d) is given to a motorist who uses a smart phone/mobile phone/tablet/GPS for purposes other than talking directly on the phone and does not do so in a safe, hands-free manner. The most common violation of this statute occurs if the motorist is texting while driving (and does not do so safely by speaking into the car’s system to text via voice) or looking at GPS and averting one’s eyes from the road. Some Courts treat this section more serious than 1225( c) because the argument can be made that you are more distracted by texting while driving or looking at your GPS as opposed to just talking on the phone. Suffolk TPVA certainly treats 1225(d) more harshly than 1225(c).
Furthermore, in terms of working out a successful disposition of the case, Courts will take any prior convictions or charges under these statutes into account when trying to work out a plea. However, you always reserve the right to a trial and we can help in either case.
If you need an experienced New York traffic attorney, please contact us at the Law Offices of Michael W. Alpert at (516) 280-7288 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org