Written by attorney Adam H Rosenblum

The Best Way To Fight a Cell Phone Ticket

How will a cell phone ticket conviction affect you? In most states, a cell phone ticket conviction will show up on your driving record. Putting aside the fact that you will no longer have a clean driving record (which could be invaluable if you were to be pulled over the the future because people with clean driving records usually get better treatment), accrual of enough moving violations can lead to increased auto insurance. If you were given a New York cell phone ticket ( points will be added to your New York record. Note that even if you have a driver's license from a state other than New York, New York State will still generate a computer record of the violation and if you accrue 11 points within 18 months they will suspend your right to drive in New York State. As such, it is more than worthwhile to fight a cell phone ticket. The question is how to fight a cell phone ticket or what is the best way to handle a cell phone ticket.

Taking the ticket to trial. If you read our Avvo Legal Guide How to Beat a Cell Phone Ticket, you know by now that "swinging for the fences" (baseball terminology for going all the way) by taking a ticket to trial carries a significant degree of risk. If you take the ticket to trial, no matter how confident you are that justice will prevail and you will get acquitted, there is actually a significant chance that you will indeed get convicted.

Entering into a settlement or "plea bargain." In many jurisdictions (including New York except for the areas which have a Traffic Violations Bureau) a cell phone ticket can actually be settled via a "plea bargain." A plea bargain is an agreement whereby the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a different violation than the one he or she is being accused of. Often times a plea bargain can be negotiated to reduce a cell phone ticket to a non-moving violation with 0 points. You will still have to pay a fine but let's face it - preventing that cell phone ticket from showing up on your record can save you points, surcharges and even auto insurance dollars (depending on what else you have on your record). In New York State, pleading a cell phone ticket down to a 0 point non-moving violation will prevent those 2 points from showing up on your New York driving record.

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