I Got Pulled Over for Being on the Phone in Illinois
Studies have shown that distracted driving can cause serious to fatal car accidents. In response to this research, the state of Illinois prohibits motorists from using hand-held cell phones or other electronic communication devices while driving a motor vehicle. This includes texting or dialing a phone while operating an automobile. Those drivers who are 19 or older are permitted to use hands-free devices or wireless Blue Tooth technology. However, even using hands-free devices can be distracting and dangerous while driving because it takes a driver’s attention and eyes off of the road ahead of him or her. Just looking down for a few seconds can cause a motorist to swerve, which could lead to a police officer pulling the driver over for erratic driving behavior. Traffic stops can result in traffic tickets or citations, ultimately affecting a person’s driving record, license, and privileges. If you or someone you know is facing traffic violations, an experienced attorney can help you understand the penalties and your best course of action.
Illinois Penalties for Cell Phone Use
It is important to note that there are a few exceptions for when an Illinois driver is allowed to use a cell phone that is not hands-free:
- To report an emergency.
- When parked on the shoulder of a roadway.
- When stopped with the vehicle in neutral or park.
On July 1, 2019, a new texting and driving law took effect in Illinois. Under this legislation, a first-time offense of driving while using a handheld mobile device counts as a moving violation. This type of traffic ticket will appear on a motorist’s driving record. After being convicted of a certain number of moving violations, a driver could face license suspension. In Illinois, a first cell phone driving offense results in a $75 ticket; a second offense is $100; a third offense is $125; and a fourth offense is $150. In addition, distracted drivers who cause a vehicle collision with injuries can face even harsher penalties, including more costly fines and jail time.
Options for Handling Traffic Tickets
A law enforcement officer must have a reasonable suspicion that you were committing an offense in order to perform a traffic stop. If you are pulled over by police while driving, you may be wondering what to do. All Illinois drivers are required to show their driver’s license along with their auto insurance card. If you are issued a ticket for cell phone use, you have a couple of different options. Sending in your fine payment might be the easiest and least expensive way to handle your cell phone ticket. However, paying any traffic ticket requires you to plead guilty. If you believe you were wrongfully issued a ticket, an experienced attorney can help you fight to reduce or dismiss the charges against you.
In some cases, you can request court supervision, but the court must approve it and you must qualify for it, which may include completing an online traffic safety class. Also, if you hold a commercial’s driver’s license (CDL) in Illinois, it is essential that you speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible since this could result in losing your certifications and livelihood.
Contact a Woodstock Traffic Violations Defense Lawyer
As an Illinois driver, it is important to stay up to date on the latest traffic laws. This includes violations for using a cell phone while driving. At Prime Law Group, LLC, we understand the impact a traffic ticket can have on your driving privileges as well as your auto insurance premiums. Let our knowledge McHenry County traffic ticket defense attorneys help you. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 815-338-2040.