Legal Consequences of Texting While Driving: Fines, Points, and Penalties

Texting while driving is a prevalent issue that poses significant dangers on the road. Despite widespread awareness campaigns on the risks of using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle, many drivers still engage in this risky behavior, leading to severe legal consequences.

Here, Shugar Law Office delves into the legal ramifications of texting while driving, including fines, points, and penalties, to highlight the importance of staying focused while driving.

Texting While Driving Laws

Texting while driving is prohibited by law in most states, including New Jersey. Distracted driving laws aim to reduce accidents caused by drivers using handheld cell phones. These laws vary by state, with some imposing stricter penalties than others. In New Jersey, for example, if you’re caught texting while driving, it is considered a primary offense, meaning a police officer can pull you over solely for this violation.

Fines for Texting While Driving

The fines for texting while driving can be substantial, varying by jurisdiction. In New Jersey, first-time offenders face fines ranging from $200 to $400 for the traffic violation. A second offense can result in fines between $400 and $600, while subsequent offenses can incur fines up to $800. These penalties are designed to deter drivers from using mobile phones while on the road.

Points on Driving Record

Texting while driving violations can significantly impact a driver’s record. In New Jersey, for example, each texting violation adds points to the driving record. Accumulating too many points can lead to increased insurance premiums and a potential license suspension for being a repeat distracted driver. For instance, a driver who accumulates three or more points within a certain period may face severe consequences, including higher fines and penalties.

License Suspension or Revocation

Repeated texting while driving offenses can lead to the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license. In New Jersey, a third offense can result in a suspension of up to six months. To reinstate a suspended license, drivers may need to complete a driver improvement program or meet other requirements set by the state.

Other Penalties

In addition to fines and motor vehicle penalty points, other penalties for texting while driving can include increased insurance premiums, court-ordered penalties, or community service. Distracted drivers involved in other incidents may face even more severe consequences, especially if their actions result in injury or death during a car accident. In such cases, drivers could be charged with a disorderly persons crime or more serious offenses.

Tips for Avoiding Texting While Driving

To avoid the legal consequences of texting while driving, consider these tips for staying focused on the road:

  1. Use a hands-free device: Utilize talk-to-text technology or Bluetooth systems to communicate safely while driving rather than handheld cell phone use.
  2. Pull over: If you need to send a text or make a call, pull over to a safe location.
  3. Set your phone on Do Not Disturb: Prevent distractions by silencing notifications while driving.
  4. Plan ahead: Sending texts or making phone calls before you start driving.

Contact Shugar Law Office for More Information

The legal consequences of texting while driving are severe, including hefty fines, points on driving records, and potential license suspension. Avoiding distractions and staying focused on the road is crucial for your safety and the safety of others. Remember, no text message is worth risking your life or the lives of others.

For more information on the legal consequences of texting and driving, contact our law firm today. Stay informed, drive safely, and help reduce the number of distracted driving incidents on our roads.

Contact Our Experienced Traffic & Criminal Defense Team for a Free Consultation Today!