DuPage County Texting While Driving Lawyers

Defense to Distracted Driving Tickets in Illinois

Federal traffic safety experts have characterized texting and driving as the new DUI because of the risk of traffic accidents caused by drivers distracted by cell phones. As of January 1, 2014, a new law banned handheld use of cell phones in Illinois. The law also prohibits all use of cell phones while driving if any of the following apply: (1) novice driver, (2) school zone and (3) construction zone.

Texting and driving also is prohibited in Illinois under 625 ILCS 5/12-6102, providing in pertinent part: “A person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device to compose, send, or read an electronic message.” While this provision bans texting on cell phones, an “electronic communication device” is defined more broadly to include devices like laptops, personal digital assistants and tablet computers. However, GPS devices or systems integrated into your vehicle like a manufacturer installed “infotainment system” are exempted. Prohibited text messaging is also defined broadly to include not only texting but also email and web surfing.

There are several exceptions to the ban on text messaging that includes: (1) hands free mode, (2) reports of an emergency/follow up information on emergencies, (3) vehicles stopped for traffic in neutral or park and (4) vehicles parked on the shoulder. These are only a few of the exceptions that could apply, so you speak with an experienced DuPage County cell phone accident attorney from Ramsell & Kunowski, L.L.C. to determine if you might have a defense based on a statutory exception.

Enforcement and Penalties for Text Messaging and Cell Phone Violations

Cell phone and texting violations in Illinois are primary offenses, so the officer can stop you solely because the officer observes you using a cell phone. In secondary offense jurisdictions, the officer must have evidence of some other traffic violation to pull you over and issue a ticket. While any text messaging and cell phone violation can result in substantial fines and points against your driving record, you can be arrested for a misdemeanor or felony if you are involved in a collision that causes severe bodily injury or a fatality.

A first offense of a cell phone or texting law will result in a $75 fine while a second offense is subject to a minimum $100 fine. The fine increases to $125 for a third offense and $150 for a fourth offense. If a driver causes a collision that results in great bodily harm, disfigurement, permanent disability or death, the motorist will be charged with “aggravated use of an electronic communication device”. If the aggravated offense causes a serious injury, the offense constitutes a Class A Misdemeanor. When cell phone use causes a fatal accident, the distracted driver can be charged with a Class 4 Felony.

Proven Chicago Traffic Ticket Defense Attorneys

If you have been arrested for a serious traffic violation, you need the experience of a DuPage County cell phone accident attorney that has represented more than 16,000 people charged with crimes ranging from traffic violations to serious felonies. Our founding partner was designated an “Illinois Super Lawyer” by Chicago Magazine. We invite you to call us today at 630-256-8001 or to send us an email to schedule your free consultation in our conveniently located office in Naperville. We also have offices in Wheaton and in St. Charles or Rolling Meadows by appointment.  

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