It’s hard to imagine that the booming popularity of smartphones and the sharp increase in the amount of car accidents caused by distracted drivers aren’t in some way related. If you’re like me, every time you’re in your car you see a couple of drivers glued to their cell phones while their driving. Not only is it dangerous, it’s downright illegal.
According to Minnesota statute 169.475, “No person may operate a motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device to compose, read, or send an electronic message, when the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic.” A key note in that definition is “a part of traffic,” meaning that you’re still in violation of the law if you check your text messages while stopped at a red light.
It’s also worth noting that cell phone use is illegal for any driver under the age of 18 while they are driving. This doesn’t just pertain to texting, but to any action with a cell phone, even if they are using a hands-free device. The only exception to this law is that a minor may use their cell phone behind the wheel in order to call 911.
Cost Of A Texting While Driving Ticket In Minnesota
The base fine for a first offense of texting while driving in Minnesota is $50, but there are often a number of fees and surcharges tacked on that mean you’ll likely pay more than $100 for your first offense, and it could also affect your car insurance rates. Any subsequent violation results in a base fine of $225, but again there will be added fees and surcharges, making this a very costly ticket.
That’s just the cost of a citation for texting while driving, and there’s a very real possibility that if you are caught playing with your phone behind the wheel that the officer will tack on additional citations. You could receive a citation for failing to drive with due care, illegal lane change, or if you hit another vehicle or car, you could potentially be charged with a felony. Simply put, it is not worth it to send a text or email when you’re driving.
Contesting A Texting While Driving Citation In Minnesota
There are plenty of reasons to contest a citation for texting while driving. Aside from the monetary reasons listed above. If you have a number of other driving-related offenses on your record, there’s a chance that you could be in danger of losing your driver’s license. If you are still on your temporary permit, you’ll also have the temporary status extended.
It’s also worth contesting a texting while driving charge because it is hard for police to prove that you were indeed texting and driving unless you admit to the crime. If an officer pulls you over because you were looking down, you can argue that you were simply changing the radio station or brushing something out of your lap. This is why it’s so important to keep your mouth shut about your actions when talking to the officer. You can be respectful and acquiesce to their requests, but that doesn’t mean you should admit to texting and driving. If you don’t admit to it, you’ll have a much better chance of beating the charge.
Minnesota Traffic Attorney
If you have been ticketed for texting and driving in Minnesota and you are interested in contesting the ticket, reach out to the experienced lawyers at Appelman Law Firm. We’ve helped countless people contest these tickets, and we know exactly how to challenge each individual case. For more information or to talk to us, click here or give us a call at (952) 224-8500.