Cell Phone Ticket in New York

by Adam Rosenblum

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.

241 thoughts on “Cell Phone Ticket in New York

  1. Greetings I recently I ticket VTL 1225D this month of February for putting my phone on my gps stand, after reading this does gives my 5 points on my license. How can I beat this ticket ? and how can I importantly get the points of my license if I do not win the case ? Is it still possible to get it removed

    Alfred on
    • Alfred – In order to provide information regarding this 5 point violation, please advise as to the location of the incident. There are 2 court systems in NY that handle cases markedly different.

      RLF Attorneys on
  2. If you get a ticket for cell phone and its a first time do you still have to go to court. Can you just pay the ticket and not have to go to court

    hope on
    • While you typically can plead guilty via mail, we suggest contesting the ticket, as it does carry 5 points onto your NY license, as well as a fine of $243 and additional fees. You can reach us at 888-883-5529.

      RLF Attorneys on
  3. I was stopped today and received a ticket for being on my cell phone. The kicker is I was on my bluetooth I just had the phone in my hand. I use not using my phone.

    Tracy McManmon on
  4. I was holding a phone, but was NOT using it, and Officer did not dispute that when I said so. Gave me a V225d, which is not legible in the “description/Narrative” box. Also, officer did not print his name and rank. Is this worth fighting?

    Leah on
    • In order to provide an accurate answer, we need to know what court will be handling your case, as the procedure varies greatly.

      RLF Attorneys on
  5. I received a 1225(c) the other day. I was in Brooklyn, calling my doc from a parking space (while the car was in park) on a side street to tell them I’d be late. I pulled out of the space as I was finishing the call, and a cop was right there at the corner. The car was in motion for less than ten seconds before the phone was down, and I was pulled over for those ten seconds. I want to appeal, but not sure how.

    Sara on
    • The question is whether your car was in operation while you were engaged in a call. How llong you were on the phone unfortunately does not play a part here. You may none-the-less contest this ticket. You may contact us for a free consultation at 888-883-5529.

      RLF Attorneys on
  6. I recently received an Improper Cell Phone ticket in Brooklyn. I just moved from Massachusetts, where it is legal to be on the phone, and had no idea it was illegal in NYC.

    Moreover, my boss knew I was driving and called me, which he never does. I picked up the phone for 3 seconds thinking it was an emergency of some sorts. It’s my first offense and I really can’t afford to have the points on my license because it would hurt my job. Do you think these reasons are strong enough to fight the ticket?

    Scott on
    • Scott – Unfortunatley, ‘ignorance of the law’ is not an excuse for a cell phone violation. Additionaly, the emergency exception is narrowly tailored, and does not include phone calls from your employer. Notwithstanding this information, it is still possible to contest your ticket.

      RLF Attorneys on
  7. I have a 1225-d ticket. The cop said there’s. No jnsurance points does that mean no liacense points. If there are points how do I fight it

    Keith on
    • Unfortunately, a ticket for this violation will add 5 points to your driving license, and will substantially increase your insurance rates. In order to provide further information, we need to know which court is handling this case, and where you are licensed to drive.

      RLF Attorneys on
  8. i got a cell phone ticket along time ago.i need to know how to fix this .i dont have the ticket number.can you help

    GARY [TWA TRUCKING] E MORGAN on
    • You should contact the NY DMV to determine where you received this ticket. When you have obtained this information, you may reach us at 888-883-5529 for a free consultation.

      RLF Attorneys on
  9. I was ticketed in Queens with a 1225(c) Use of Cell phone. I answered my cell phone and put the phone on speaker and placed it on the console while stopped at a red light. After driving for a bit the officer pulled me over. The charge is use of a cell phone while Vehicle in motion but I was not moving when I answered it. I am totally confused because I have not ever done this before. I am a professional bus driver and can not afford to have points on my license.

    Eugena Holman on
    • The argument you present here is an interesting one. While your vehicle was not in ‘motion’ as per the precise language of the statute, courts generally rule that a vehicle is considered in motion if it is in the flow of traffic. You may contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case in further detail. You may reach us at 888-883-5529.

      RLF Attorneys on
  10. Hi,I was in interview in Utica,NY and in the way to the airport I had my Phone on GPS and I was taking a u-turn.The officer gave me tickets one is using a portable device which I showed him no records of calls and the other he considered my turn is moving from lane unsafely.I want to plead unguilty but he gave me a supporting deposition for both.please advice,I am from CA and can’t get back to NY for court either.thanks

    Joseph on
    • In order to provide further information, please contact me at 888-883-5529. There are two types of cell phone violations, and the strategy of handling them differs based on the violation type.

      RLF Attorneys on
  11. I got a ticket tonight and the ticket says “improper use of cell phone”
    What does that actually mean. I did admit to the officer I was talking on speaker phone
    which he said is not allowed in nyc…only hands free
    which I was not. I had one hand on phone and other on wheel.
    Should I just pay the ticket..it is $138

    Scott on
    • Scott – in order to provide further information – please advise us which court is handling your case, as the procedures vary greatly. Generally speaking, you are facing a 5 point ticket that carries substantial fines and penalties. I strongly suggest you contest this ticket to avoid these consequences.

      RLF Attorneys on
  12. Adam, I received a VTL 1225D a few days ago. I will admit I was texting but I was stopped at a stop sign while I was texting and had even checked around me before I started to make sure I wasn’t holding up traffic. This if my first offense of this kind and do not have any points on my license. It took place in Orange county. Can I plead bargain and maybe not get any of the points and just pay a fine?

    Derek B. on
    • Derek – Unfortunately, even if you are stopped at a stop sign, an officer can still issue you the ticket because you are still considered to be operating a motor vehicle. However, this is a ticket which carries 5 points and can cause a major spike in your insurance rates. By pleading not guilty, you will have the option to get this ticket reduced.

      RLF Attorneys on

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