Distracted driving is a serious problem in the United States.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration distracted driving claimed 3,166 lives in 2017 alone.
Virginia has responded to this issue by putting some strict cell phone laws as well as, texting and driving laws in place.
In Virginia a first-time offense for texting and driving is a $125.00 fine. After that any subsequent offenses will be a $250.00 fine.
I WAS NOT TEXTING- WHAT CAN I DO?
As with other traffic offenses, the burden of proof is with the Commonwealth.
If a police officer in Southampton County incorrectly pulled you over for texting and driving, you should speak to an experienced Virginia traffic ticket defense lawyer before paying the fine.
To hold you responsible for texting and driving, Virginia must prove that:
- You were operating a moving motor vehicle on a public road; and
- You sent or read a text message or similar message while behind the wheel.
If the state cannot do so, then the ticket must be dismissed. Remember, police officers do not have the right to demand that you hand over your cell phone to see if you sent any messages.
If a law enforcement officer asks for access to your cell phone during a traffic stop, you can and should say ‘NO’.