Texting and Driving in North Carolina: What You Should Know
Distracted driving is unsafe. There are laws against texting and driving in North Carolina, and they are rigorously enforced. If you have been stopped and ticketed for distracted driving in the state, you should take the matter seriously and call an Orange County traffic lawyer.
The fines are higher and the penalties harsher if you are a school bus or commercial truck driver. Rather than try to talk your way out of the situation you should put your case into the hands of a Orange County traffic lawyer who can assess the circumstances in which you received the ticket and advise you on a possible challenge to it.
Texting and Driving in North Carolina
If you are over 18 years old, speaking on the telephone as you drive is allowed in North Carolina. However, sending text messages while driving is banned for everyone. Local police and state troopers can stop you and issue a ticket for violating this law.
If you are a North Carolina resident or intend to drive through the state soon, you should be clear on the law. It is illegal for people to either manually enter text into a cell phone or read an email or text message while driving. You can send and receive text messages if you are parked or you are a state or city emergency services official carrying out your duties. You can also send messages using voice-operated technology.
The main aim of the law is to deter people from engaging in the most dangerous acts of distracted driving. Turning your attention from the road to your smartphone can lead to a catastrophic accident.
Penalties for Distracted Driving
Violation of North Carolina’s texting while driving law can lead to a $100 fine. If you violate this law as a school bus driver, it is considered a class 2 misdemeanor and you will likewise be fined $100. If you drive a commercial vehicle such as an 18-wheeler and you are pulled over for texting while driving, you are breaking both state and federal law. Two convictions for violating this law can lead to the suspension of your license for 60 days. Three convictions may result in a 120-day suspension of your license.
Challenging the Ticket
As you can see, there is much to lose if you are cited for driving while texting. If you are not guilty of this crime, then you should challenge the ticket and the officer who gave it to you. In some instances, it is worth challenging what may seem like a minor infraction. It may be especially worth doing so if you are a bus or commercial truck driver. The ramifications on your career if you have such a citation in your record can be serious. That is why you should fight the ticket if it has been unjustly given to you.
The police do not always get it right. They make errors and mis-judgments all the time. There is also the perverse incentive that some local governments have to fine people for traffic violations. For some cash-strapped municipalities, ticketing drivers is a primary means of generating revenue. If you believe you have been ticketed by an overzealous police officer, then you should hire an Orange County traffic lawyer.
There is nothing silly or small about challenging a ticket. Once you have contacted a practicing Chapel Hill traffic lawyer, they will sit down with you and ask you to recall the events and circumstances that led to the traffic stop and the ticket. Your Orange County traffic lawyer will also ask you to identify the officer who gave you the ticket. If you did not take down their name or badge number, it does not matter. Your Orange NC traffic lawyer will be able to get these from the ticket.
The time stamps on your smart phones are the best evidence in these cases. If your phone was inactive during the time leading up to the traffic stop, it will serve as proof that you were unjustly ticketed. In these instances, your Chapel Hill, NC traffic lawyer will be able to squash the ticket and may even get the city to pay for your legal fees.
If you have received an unjust ticket, you should speak to a Orange County, Chapel Hill North Carolina traffic lawyer at the Law Office of Tony Huynh.