I got pulled over on my way home from the gym, the cop stated he pulled me over because I was looking down while driving, which indicated I was texting while driving. I advised the officer that I wasn't on my phone, that it was plugged into the car charger and on the front passenger seat on my book bag. I advised the officer if I was looking down it was only to ensure the car charger was working correctly. The officer stated he still had to write me a ticket. I was told I could just pay it but he checked the box court appearance required. Now that I'm going to have to miss work for something that I wasn't doing I'm thinking about fighting it. The ticket was written at 1256. When I got home after going food shopping I took screenshots of my call log, texts and messenger from Facebook showing I wasn't on my phone. Should I fight this and bring print out of screen shots, especially since I wasn't texting or holding a phone while driving. My phone was literally on the passenger seat charging...
If your going to fight and win your going to need a lawyer. That being said it sounds like you have a great defense if the cop did not see you hold the cell phone as it is not illegal to look down. A lawyer would do discovery which would get you a copy of the video of the stop and his comments which would definitely hurt him in court. The problem with hiring a lawyer is that it will cost you more money then just paying the ticket, but remember if you do get three of these now or in the future you would be facing 90 days loss of your drivers license.
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None of that matters. If you are TOUCHING your phone even if it is OFF you are guilty Very hard to prove a negative, which unfortunately is how it goes sometimes in municipal court. Get a lawyer. If you don't plead guilty count on coming back 2-3 days and having to wait for a whole court session to end to have a trial finally.
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You seem determined to fight what may affect you later if you should get a second "moving" violation. You have some evidence. I would go to the administrative hearing and present your evidence.
I agree with my colleague Attorney Aalsberg. You appear to have a defense although more info is needed. I'm sure the cop will have a different story. I also agree that to win the case you probably will need to use an attorney as the odds are stacked against you within one. A first offense cell phone violation is $200-400, and ultimately can lead to after a third offense, 600-800, three points, and a license suspension possibility of up to 90 days. Yes, you may lose a day going to court, but by trying the case, you will likely lose several days more. On the other hand, if you just pay the fine, you give up your trial rights and the possibility of winning not to mention you will have a t least one cell phone violation so any subsequent violation will lead to stiffer penalties. You may want to go for a consultation with an attorney to see if it's really with your while to fight the case. If you have any other tickets, bring those.
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You may have a shot but a better one with an attorney. If you cannot get a dismissal from the prosecutor you may need to come back a second time to try the case.
While you may think you have a valid defense, bear in mind that merely holding the cell phone is enough to prove the case. Consult with an attorney to map out a strategy.
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