New York Texting Violations Increase But Plea Deals Prove Helpful

New York law enforcement reports an increase of texting violations by 205 percent statewide. A recent analysis of data shows an influx of texting while driving increased substantially over the past five years. Meanwhile, reports indicate a simultaneous decrease in drivers charged with talking on a cell phone while driving. Nearly 50 percent of cell phone talking violations dropped since 2012.

It may be tempting to send a quick text or answer a call while in traffic. However, it is merely against the law in New York. Even vehicles caught in slow-moving traffic are liable for committing an offense when engaging in cell phone activity. This includes browsing the internet through your phone, viewing images, checking e-mail and more.

Legal consequences

Drivers caught using their cell phones while operating a vehicle in New York is subject to harsh legal consequences. First-time offenders are legally responsible for paying fines that may reach $200 and possibly receive five points on their driving record. More than three violations within a year and a half raise potential penalties to $450 and 11 possible points on a driving record.

Plea deals

It is not uncommon for violators to seek a plea deal for their charges. Plea deals are frequently an available option to reduce the number of fines and points associated with the traffic violation. This option is especially common when drivers hold clean records. However, the court may be less flexible when violators hold multiple offenses.

New York drivers are at a higher risk for being caught driving and using a cell phone by unmarked police vehicles. A new initiative has begun in April of this year to combat the rising amount of drivers who engage in all forms of cell phone activity. Fighting traffic charges like these may significantly reduce the consequences they carry.