What to do if you’re accused of texting and driving
Arizona is one of only three states that does not have a ban on texting while driving for all drivers. In July 2018, however, Arizona drivers under 18 were banned from texting while driving with a learner’s permit and during the first six months of getting their license. Some municipalities, like Flagstaff, have enacted their own ordinances, making cell phone use, talking and texting, illegal while driving.
As you drive throughout the different cities and towns in Arizona, you may not be aware of the different cell phone rules set by each local government. In certain areas of the state, texting and driving is a secondary offense, which means the police officer must have another reason to initiate a traffic stop.
Being Accused of Cellphone Use While Driving
The challenge with any law or ordinance that forbids a driver from using the phone to text is that it’s extremely difficult for the officer to see what you’re actually doing on your mobile device. While you’re looking at Google Maps to ensure you’re on the right route, an officer may assume you’re sending a text or email.
If you’re pulled over for cell phone use while driving, the officer must have a search warrant to take your phone, so if the officer asks, you are allowed to respectfully decline. Call and text records can easily prove that you were using the phone in another way.
A Penalty for Texting While Driving
If a driver is ticketed for texting or using the phone while on the road, fines range depending on the city and county you are pulled over in. The penalty you will face for using your cell phone while driving is much more severe if your phone use results in a car crash.
You may see it as easier to just pay the fine rather than fight the citation, but if you partner with an experienced traffic lawyer, you have a very good opportunity to fight the charge and win. Because laws vary from state-to-state and sometimes even across city lines, find a local lawyer who can review your case and protect you from being wrongly accused. Schedule a consultation with Winborne Law so we can review your case today.