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Asserting a defense against a texting and driving violation

Lets face it; no one enjoys getting pulled over by law enforcement. When a motorist sees the lights of a police officer in his or her rear view mirror, one is likely nervous and even questioning what they did wrong to get pulled over. Was I speeding? Did I forget to use a turn signal? These are common causes for traffic stop; however, because of the growing concerns with distracted driving, many motorists in New York and elsewhere are being pulled over for cell phone use.

Much like most states have campaigns against drunk driving, the state of New York has a campaign against texting and driving. Because distracted driving is considered just as dangerous as drunk driving, law enforcement treats it just as serious as well. According to New York State law, motorists cannot use a hand-held mobile telephone or portable electronic device while he or she is driving.

For a first offense, a motorist could face a fine between $50 and $200. If a second offense occurs within an 18-month timeframe, the penalty is a fine between $50 and $250. For a third or subsequent offense within 18 month, a driver could face a fine between $50 and $450. There can also be a surcharge for all violations and can be up to $93.

In addition to fines, motorists will also receive points for each texting while driving violation. If 11 points are received in an 18-month period, a person’s driver’s license may be suspended. This can be a serious consequence for some, as driving is a person’s primary mode of transpiration and the only means of getting around. This could impact a person’s personal life as well as their professional life as well.

While traffic violations are not as serious as other crimes, it is important to take them seriously. Asserting a defense against a traffic violation could help reduce the penalties or even dismiss the charge altogether.

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James L. Riotto
Criminal Defense Lawyer

James L. Riotto is an accomplished criminal defense attorney serving clients in New York. With an extensive background in law enforcement and criminal prosecution, his approach to each case is unique and informed by years of experience with the New York criminal justice system. As a graduate from Albany Law School and before going on to start his own practice, James worked at the Albany County District Attorney's Office, where he helped prosecute many DWI offenses. His inside knowledge of the tactics used to gain convictions provides him with a particular advantage when defending against DUI and other criminal charges.

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Adam D. Staier
Of Counsel

About Attorney Adam Staier has spent the last seven years practicing criminal defense law throughout upstate New York and the Capital Region. He began his legal career through internships in civil law, indigent legal representation and federal energy law regulation. Finding a passion in criminal law, Mr. Staier held internships handling both prosecution and defense…

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William M. Swift
Associate Attorney

About William M. Swift is an associate attorney at the Law Office of James L. Riotto and brings 20 years of experience to our clients. His practice focuses on personal injury cases and criminal matters. He has successfully represented individuals in felony, misdemeanor cases. Additionally, he has extensive knowledge in DMV administrative proceedings involving suspensions…

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