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.

42 thoughts on “Cell Phone Ticket in New York

  1. i received a ticket on 10/10/14 in new york for “cell phone while vehicle in motion” .
    I think it carries 5 points on my drivers licence. can i fight this ticket
    and reduce these points from my licence?

    frank hollman on
    • Frank,

      Yes, you can always fight a traffic ticket that an officer issues to you, and we can help you do it, saving you time and money. You are correct that a cell phone ticket carries five points and that if you are convicted those points will accrue on your license. This violation can also cause heavy insurance increases because to an insurer it means you are a “riskier” driver. Give us a call for a free consultation at 888-883-5529 to discuss your ticket, your options, and how we can help you.

      Adam Rosenblum on

    • Jeannine,

      Yes unfortunately the officer can issue a 1225(d) ticket based on his observation of a motorist using any handheld device, not just a cell phone. The way to avoid the 1225(d) ticket is by attaching the device to your vehicle (e.g. on your dash or your windshield) and program it before you drive. In any event, all hope is not lost because we can still fight your ticket. Call us for a free consultation at 888-883-5529 to discuss your options further.

      Adam Rosenblum on
  3. My husband has always had a clean driving record and took a call when his step father was in the hospital he sent the ticket in and plead guilty I thought he should fight it and has not received the fine yet I told him we should call traffic court avd say he made a mistake but he feels he will not win because he did answer the phone for a emergency and he got the ticket on his 48th birthday that doesn’t matter any advice you have for me ?

    Gloria on
    • Gloria,

      If your husband plead guilty to the offense, and the guilty plea has not been entered into the court’s system, then there is a chance that you can reverse the guilty plea. If they will allow you to reverse the guilty plea, then we can fight his ticket which will mitigate his expenses and the negative insurance consequences that will flow from the guilty plea. If the court will not allow you to reverse the guilty plea then we may still be able to help, depending upon which court he is dealing with. In order to better assist you, you should contact our office immediately to discuss this matter further and how we can help.

      Adam Rosenblum on
  4. I recieved a cell phone ticket and wasn’t talking on phone. it wase in October and I am from NH I was holding phone in lap and then pressing button for Siri to tell it to send message to someone. is that Permissible. There isn’t a cell phone law in effect in NH yet will I still get points attached if found quilty. I am going to fight it

    Anne Anne Anne Parkhurst on
    • Hi Anne,

      There are two types of cell phone tickets that you can receive in NY. If you received the device ticket (your ticket would say that you violated subsection 1225(d) of the VTL) then unfortunately you do not need to be engaged in a phone call at the time that the officer issues you the citation. He can issue the citation if you are holding the device and it is not attached to your car. It is still a good idea to fight your ticket however because even if NH does not have an equivalent violation with points attached, if you are convicted of this offense in NY, NY will report the conviction to NH and the violation will appear on your driving record. The violation appearing on your driving record is what will cause an insurance hike. Also you should be aware that a cell phone ticket may transfer as a “careless driving” offense depending on the jurisdiction. You can call our office at 888-883-5529 for a free consultation to discuss your options and how we can help you fight the ticket.

      Adam Rosenblum on
  5. I received a summons for a Cell phone device in my hand while my vehicle was standing still, can we fight this ticket and will such a summons have points on my license? Can we plea for no points and just the summons if so how?

    Charles Wechsler on
    • Hi Charles,

      Unfortunately you can receive a ticket for holding the cell phone in your hand while your car is not moving, so long as the car is in operation with your keys in the ignition. On the bright side, we can still fight your ticket. Whether we can plea bargain to reduce your points depends on which court your ticket is being handled out of. Certain courts do not allow plea bargaining, and in those courts it is a trial type process to dispute your ticket. Having a skilled attorney who has trial experience is definitely a plus and the most probable way you will have your ticket dismissed if you are in one of these courts.

      Adam Rosenblum on
  6. I received a mobile phone ticket coming out of a parking lot while in a commercial vehicle the ticket does not state I was in commercial vehicle just o/v on mobe phone am fighting it have a spotless record could this get plea bargained to parking ticket with no points

    John brown on
    • Hi John,

      It depends on where you received the cell phone ticket regarding whether you can get the violation reduced through a plea bargain. If you received the ticket in one of the five boroughs of NYC or in Rochester or Buffalo, you are dealing with the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB). In the TVB there is no prosecutor with whom you can negotiate a plea deal. The TVB court is a trial type process and requires an actual trial to get your ticket dismissed. As you probably are already aware, taking the conviction means expensive consequences and points. Having an experienced traffic attorney handle your case is the best way to achieve a dismissal of your ticket and avoid the expensive consequences.

      Adam Rosenblum on
  7. received a cell phone ticket while I was using it as a gps. It was sitting on my lap and not being held in my hand (just holding it in place). I wasn’t pressing anything just glancing down at it. what would be the best course of action in fighting it?

    Kevin on
    • Kevin – You are likely facing the violation of Use of Portable Electronic Device. The fines for this violation depend upon which court is handling your case, although this is a 5 point ticket no matter where your case will be heard. This ticket has a significant impact on your insurance, and I strongly suggest you plead not guilty.

      Adam Rosenblum on
  8. I was issued a ticket for improper use of a cellphone. I explained to the officer that i was not using my phone that i was using a device w/ a speaker. He told me it did not matter because i touched my phone.

    Aziz on
    • Aziz – you are being charged with “use of portable electronic device,’ which does not require you to be speaking on the phone. Similar to the other cell phone law, this is a 5 point ticket and will impact your insurance rates.

      Adam Rosenblum on
  9. Hi I got a 1225c ticket I want to know if its possible to fight this ticket even doe my phone was no near my ear and its Bluetooth to my car once I’m in the car plus the I’d number the officer wrote on the ticket has one number different then my I’d. Can this ticket be dropped?

    ricardo on
  10. 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?

    Angela on
  11. 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?

    chris sakellaris on
  12. 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.

    Eric on
  13. 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 on
    • 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.

      Adam Rosenblum on
  14. Besides the price for the cell phone ticket do I have to go and pay the DMV an additional amount of 450.00 someone had told me this and I would just like to find out if it is true

    Anthony on
  15. I am completely devasted over getting a cell phone use ticket, 1225d. I cannot afford the fine fee or an increase in my my car insurance. I not trying to make an excuse for my actions. It was just one of those days of running late. My daughter called to ask if I would be home in time to bring her to work. I answered angrily telling her Im running late but I will get her there in time. It was quick phone call,yet stupid for me to answer. I try so hard to get my 3 children where they have to be. The stress of thst itself is overwhelming, now I have this ticket. Any advice on how not to get points and a reduced fine. Thanks

    carol on
  16. receive a cell phone ticket 1225c2a in queens of NY, but he listed on the ticket a car that I wasn’t driving because i mistakenly give him a wrong registration, Can i fight this. I have 15 days to mail in the ticket. Should i do that or give it to first to do a plea bargain. first violation, no points.

    Bert on
  17. while on my way to Winthrop hospital in MIneola New York I was on the Wantagh Parkway. My cell phone rang and I panicked because I was expecting a call from the hospital stating my husband may need a blood transfusion, but it was my step daughter inquiring about her father. A state trooper pulled me over because I picked up the phone and also got me for no seat belt which I always wear. I realize I was wrong and was going to plead quilty and pay the fine, till I found this sight

    Patty on
  18. I recieved a ticket in Nassau NY last night, i was driving 50 miles away from my hometown to Hindsdale, MA.. Anywho It was a VT:-1225(d) using a device ( texting), however I dont have a cell phone mount and and was adiment that i was using my GPS since i was unfamiliar wih the area. How low( if not dismissed) can i get this reduced or what are the success rates in this? This the first time ive ever considered getting a lawyer for a ticket.

    Joshua Goldberg on
    • Joshua – these violations do not require the use of an actual cell phone. They are 5 point tickets, and can significantly impact insurance rates. The potential outcome can range between an complete dismissal, or a charge for a lesser offense.

      Adam Rosenblum on
  19. I received a 1225c2a ticket in Far Rockaway, Queens tonight. I was using my speakerphone with the phone in my lap and only had the phone in my hand in order to hang up. Based on my interpretation of the law, this is permissible and I explained this to the officer. He simply stated, “But you can’t hold the phone in your hand.” My question is do I have a legitimate enough defense to even fight this ticket, or at the very least have it reduced in points.

    Kareem on
    • Yes, you do. There are two types of cell phone tickets – one is for speaking on the phone, and one is for using an electronic portable device. Please contact us so we may better advise you of your rights.

      Adam Rosenblum on

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