I was driving on my cell phone and a police pulled me over. The police gave me a ticket and told me that now all cell phone while driving tickets must show up to court. But he couldn't give me any specifics on the penalties.
I believe this is my 3rd ticket for using the cell phone while driving. And I paid $135/ticket both times. I was informed that the law recently changed and 3rd offense can have license suspended.
Please advise if new law applies to the previous offenses prior to the new law.
And what would be the best approach to my case.
Yes, the new law does apply to your first two offenses. Under the new law, which went into effect on July 1, 2014, for a third offense you can be fined $600-800. You will also receive 3 points on your license and the judge may, but does not have to, revoke your driver's license for 90 days. Your best approach would be to hire an attorney, who can hopefully convince the judge not to suspend your driver's license.
It is now serious enough that hiring an attorney to negotiate a penalty that does not include loss of license would be your best bet. Or perhaps even have the whole thing thrown out - there are defenses to this.
This should not be considered legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. It does not constitute a contract for legal services between any parties. Answers are given to questions for which there may be additional facts not mentioned which might change the legal issues or consequences.
in addition to the penalties my colleague set forth, you should know that insurance companies look at these tickets similar to a DWI ticket, because it is only a matter of time, in their eyes, before you get into an accident while talking on the phone. if you are found guilty of this offense, your insurance company will surely raise your rates substantially and may refuse to insure you when your policy is up. by hiring an attorney, you may be able to have the attorney work something out with the prosecutor where you can plead to something different and save yourself thousands of dollars over the next few years.
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It depends. Some courts will not count the prior tickets. Some courts will. Some courts will suspend. Some courts will not. With a 3 month loss of license at stake, there is every good reason to retain counsel. There are several defenses which may apply to your situation depending on the facts.
The new law does apply and many courts will suspend. It depends on the court. Use an experienced criminal defense attorney.
39:4-97.3 states that a third offense can result in a fine between $600-$800, 3 points, and up to 90 days loss of license. You need a lawyer.
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