Most states have increased the penalties for cell phone tickets. Some states will place penalty points on your drivers license while other states will make you pay hefty fines. Judges will sometimes impose the maximum penalty for people who have weak testimonies in court. Let’s avoid this by effectively testifying and fighting cell phone tickets in court. We can follow steps to avoid getting penalty points on our licenses with a fine or get the ticket dismissed entirely!

Read your ticket carefully before going to court. Make sure the time, which may be in 24 hour format, is correct. The location of occurrence will say something like “N/B 3rd Avenue & West 12th Street”. This means you were travelling north-bound on 3rd avenue near west 12th street when the Officer observed you “breaking the law.” Pull up Google Maps and get a good closeup of the location. Figure out where your car was and where the Officer’s car was. Keep in mind, you may not have noticed the police car until you were actually pulled over. Print out the maps and mark where your car and the police cars were. You should also get a copy of your cell phone usage for the day you got the ticket. Get an official copy from your cell phone carrier. Most of them include your usage stats on the monthly bill. If there wasn’t a record of a phone call at the same time you got the ticket, bring the bill with you. Bring the cell phone you had with you in the car the day you received the ticket. Also, bring the Bluetooth or other hands-free headset you use while driving because you read my previous post on avoiding cell phone tickets.

Bringing visual aids to court will only help your case. Judges sit in their chairs and listen to talking heads all day. They’re nearly operating on autopilot during most testimonies. Once you start presenting maps, cell phone bills, hands-free headsets, etc, it almost forces the judge to snap out of his routine and pay full attention to your particular case. Make sure the Officer includes these points in his testimony…

1.  You had a cellular phone in your hand pressed against your ear or held up to your mouth.
Make sure the Officer specifies which hand the phone was in and which ear it was pressed against.

2.  Your car was in motion while you were holding the cell phone.
This is a very important piece of information the Officer has to include in his testimony. It is not against the law to talk on your phone while your vehicle is completely stopped.

3. There was no Bluetooth or other hands-free headset in your car
Some Officers are required to ask if you have a Bluetooth or hands-free headset in the car when they first pull you over. If the Officer never asked you, you could always argue in court   that you had a hands-free headset in the car and the Officer never asked if you had one or gave you a chance to show it to him. Remember to show the actual headset to the judge when you mention this point.

4. What car windows the Officer saw you from
It’s actually important for us to know which windows the Officer saw us from. Let’s say the Officer saw you through your driver-side window from his front driver-side window. Doesn’t sound like it matters right? Ok now let’s also add in the fact that you had your cell phone in your right hand pressed against your right ear. This is on the opposite side of your head. How could the Officer possibly see a cell phone that he’s on the opposite side of? Now this point alone isn’t all that powerful but it can be effective if it’s used with the next point

5. The color of your cell phone
The Officer may or may not mention the color of your cell phone. We can use this to our advantage if the Officer was on the opposite side of our phone. Again, this fact by itself isn’t all that powerful. Especially since the majority of cell phones are black or silver.

When giving your testimony, speak to the judge and don’t talk to the Officer unless the judge tells you to. Remember, the Officer can lie on the spot if you start questioning him about points he left out. Our goal is to make the judge doubt the Officer’s testimony. If the Officer makes mistakes or completely omits some of the points I’ve just listed, you should be able to receive a reduced fine or have your ticket dismissed altogether.

Please share any experiences, questions or suggestions, please leave comments below or feel free to e-mail me through my Contact Page. I reply to every e-mail I receive.