Illinois Traffic Violation and DUI Lawyers
Cell Phone Ticket
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Under Illinois law 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2, the use of a cell phone while driving is illegal. Not only is the use of hand-held cell phone prohibited, but also “electronic communication devices” which includes anything from personal digital assistants (PDAs) to portable or mobile computers (such as an iPad).
It is important to know that any use of the cell phone is against the law. We often hear drivers say they were not talking on the phone or texting when they were stopped by the officer. Instead, they were just checking their phone for the time, using it for GPS, or initiating a hands-free call.
None of these are valid legal excuses. In fact, they can be seen as admissions of guilt. Talking on the phone is illegal if it is in your hand. Texting while driving is also illegal under the law. The phone cannot be used in your hands at all unless one of the following exceptions applies:
- Using the cell phone to call for emergency assistance;
- Using the cell phone in “hands-free” mode or with the use of a headset;
- Using the cell phone while parked on the shoulder of a roadway;
- Using the cell phone on the roadway if the normal flow of traffic has stopped or obstructed and you have your vehicle in park or neutral;
- A driver using a cell phone which has a single button to start or stop a voice communication (not the use of a text).
Cell Phone Ticket Penalties
A cell phone ticket is relatively inexpensive compared to many other violations. It is a maximum fine $75 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense, $125 for a third offense, and $150 for a fourth or subsequent offense.
While a violation of the Illinois cell phone law is usually a petty offense, the use of a cell phone that results in an accident resulting in personal injury or death may be upgraded to a misdemeanor or felony offense.
Is a Cell Phone Ticket a moving violation?
The first offense for driving while using an electronic communication device is not a moving violation. Subsequent offenses are considered a moving violation. However, the county clerks and the Illinois Secretary of State often make errors. It is possible for this violation to be reported on your driving record, despite it being your offense. If you are a driver with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or you want to make every effort to keep this off your driving record, it is advised that you hire an experienced traffic lawyer to represent you. We may be able to get the ticket dismissed, get a “not guilty” verdict at trial, or otherwise keep this off your record.