As technology becomes more ingrained in our everyday lives, texting and driving has become extremely common. Though it doesn’t seem like a big deal, distracted driving is dangerous and, if caught, can land you in trouble. Understanding the penalties for texting and driving is vital if facing this violation. Keep reading to learn more about this offense and how a Maryland traffic attorney can help you.
What Are the Penalties for Texting and Driving?
If you are pulled over for texting while driving, the penalties can be harsh. A first-time offense is a $70 fine, while second and third offenses are $125 and $175, respectively. You will also receive one point on your driving record.
While this may not seem that bad, if texting and driving causes a crash, you face a $110 fine and three points issued against your driver’s license. However, if the other driver is seriously injured or passes away, you can face a fine of up to $5,000 with the potential for three years in jail and 12 points, under Jake’s Law.
There are some allowances for when drivers are allowed to operate a handheld device while driving. This includes calling emergency services like police departments or fire stations or using your GPS.
How Can I Avoid Texting and Driving?
If you’ve developed the habit of checking your phone while driving, there are steps you can take to reduce the distraction. One of the best ways to stay connected is to invest in hands-free technology. This allows you to answer calls or respond to messages with your voice, ensuring your hands remain on the wheel and your eyes are on the road.
You can also place your phone in an area where you will not see the screen light up. This “out of sight, out of mind” mentality is a great way to protect yourself. However, you should still keep your phone in an accessible location in case you need it in an emergency.
What Should I Do If I’m Facing a Violation?
If you are pulled over for using a handheld cell phone, ensuring you contact an attorney as soon as possible is essential. Keeping your record clear of any fines is essential. This is even more important if you are issued citations for causing a collision.
When you are issued a cellphone citation, ensuring you contact the Law Office of Debra A. Saltz as soon as possible is essential to protecting yourself. Contact us today to learn how we can help you navigate this offense.