Written by attorney Amanda Lynn Deering


Driving while using your cell phone in California can lead to serious consequences. We all know that we shouldn’t text and drive, but did you know that talking on the phone – while using a wireless headset – can still lead to traffic ticket?

VEHICLE CODE §23123: Use Wireless Headsets When Driving

In California, Vehicle Code §23123 prohibits drivers from using cellular telephones unless the phone is equipped to allow for hands-free listening or talking. This means that in order to drive while talking on the telephone, you will need to use a headset or Bluetooth device in your car. A violation of this statute will cost you $20 for the first offense, and $50 for each one after.

VEHICLE CODE §23124: Drivers Under Age 18 Cannot Talk and Drive, Even with Wireless Headsets

However, for drivers under the age of 18, Vehicle Code §23124 prohibits the use of cellular telephones – with or without- the use of a wireless device. Thus, any driver under the age of 18 caught using a cell phone while driving a vehicle is subject to a fine of $20 for the first offense, and $50 for each subsequent one.

VEHICLE CODE §23123.5: No Texting While Driving

Vehicle Code §23123.5 prohibits drivers of all ages from using a cell phone to “write, send or read textbased communication." This includes text messages, BBMs, instant messages, or email. However, the statute exempts actions such as entering a phone number or a name in your phone for the purpose of making a phone call. Violations of this code are considered infractions and are subject to a $20 fine for the first offense and $50 fines for each subsequent offense.

A $20 fine does not seem that bad. Why should I fight it?

The reality is that your ticket will cost you well over $20. Each county in California tacks on additional fees and penalties! And to make matters worse, fines are doubled in construction zones and are generally raised in other areas such as: school zones, railroad crossings, and business districts.

If you have received a ticket for texting while driving or for using your phone while driving, I encourage you to speak with an experienced traffic law attorney about your case. At Deering & Valle we offer FREE initial consultations and flat rate prices, so you know all costs from the beginning. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

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