When people think of cell phone use while driving, they oftentimes think of texting while driving. This is due largely to the anti texting and driving campaigns that have gotten air time in recent years. However, despite these warnings, texting while driving still persists. In some cases, you might instinctively glance at your phone when you hear it ring. In others, you might be quickly alerting a friend to a change of plans. Whatever the reason, in the state of Connecticut, texting while driving is illegal. Also, it could result in a ticket and fines. If you are facing a texting while driving charge in Connecticut, you can use this information to defend yourself.
What is Texting and Driving?
“Texting” is defined as reading, typing, or sending a text message with a handheld device. Doing this while driving is a driving infraction. If a police officer sees you looking at your phone or typing on it while driving, they can assume that you are texting while driving. While texting and driving with a handheld device is illegal, it is important to know that texting using a hands-free device is not illegal in the state of Connecticut. This means that if you are using a voice activated driving kit that sends text messages for you, or if you use a hands-free headset to use phone capabilities, this is not illegal.
In addition, an exception will be made for emergency texts. Texts made in a true emergency will not result in a texting and driving charge. If you are charged with texting and driving but you were sending an emergency message, this is a potential defense to the ticket.
Texting and driving law in Connecticut is enforced by penalties imposed on those who break this law. If charged with texting and driving, you face the following penalties:
- Texting and driving, first offense: $100 fine.
- Texting and driving, second offense: $150 fine.
- Text messaging and driving, third or subsequent offense: $200 fine.
If you plead guilty (or nolo contendere) to the ticket that you face, you will have to pay these fines. Alternatively, if you plead not guilty and take your case to traffic court, you can build a defense for yourself and potentially avoid these fines.
Being Pulled Over
Texting while driving and using a cell phone while driving are considered primary laws in the state of Connecticut. This means that a police officer can pull you over for one of these offenses without witnessing any other driving violations. If you are pulled over by a police officer for a cell phone related violation, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. You can contact Mr. Speeding Ticket™ here.