At the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley, people from all over Raleigh and Wake County call us or stop by our office with questions regarding traffic law in North Carolina. One comment that we often hear (surprisingly) is, “I was ticketed for texting and driving, but I wasn’t even moving.” In North Carolina, it is not illegal to use a cell phone while driving (except in certain circumstances), but the state has banned all texting while driving.
If you were ticketed for texting and driving, you can benefit by calling the leading Raleigh traffic attorney, Dewey P. Brinkley. We will work closely with you, one-on-one, to try and mitigate the consequences of this ticket, and we provide professional service while protecting your interests. For a free, no-obligation consultation with Raleigh defense attorney Dewey Brinkley, call our law firm today at (919) 832-0307.
Texting and Driving Laws in North Carolina
In North Carolina, there is no law banning mobile, hand-held phone use while driving, except for drivers under 18 years old and school bus drivers. However, the State of North Carolina bans all texting while driving, and if a police officer sees you texting (or emailing, messaging, etc) while driving, then the police officer can pull you over and issue a citation.
It is important to note, that in an attempt to reduce and eliminate driving while texting (which is said to be almost as dangerous as driving while impaired), police officers can give you a ticket for texting while driving even if you aren’t moving. The specific statute regarding this law is § 20-137.4A, and it states:
- “It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a vehicle on a public street or highway or public vehicular area while using a mobile telephone to:
- (1) Manually enter multiple letters or text in the device as a means of communicating with another person; or
- (2) Read any electronic mail or text message transmitted to the device or stored within the device, provided that this prohibition shall not apply to any name or number stored in the device nor to any caller identification information.
In other words, if you are looking at your phone in your lap, or simply have your phone in your hand, then a police over may be able to pull you over on the grounds you were texting and driving. In some cases, police officers may issue a ticket for reckless or careless driving, as opposed to texting while driving.
However, and this is important, the law doesn’t apply to GPS, apps, and games. This somewhat muddies the differences between texting and, for example, setting a destination in your GPS. Technically, to charge you for this traffic violation in a court of law, the judge would have to prove that 1) you were using the smartphone and 2) you were conducting text-based communications.
Contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley
There are many nuances to this law, and, in some cases, it can be difficult to prove that you were, in fact, texting while driving. Nonetheless, if you weren’t moving (aside from being lawfully stopped or parked), you can still receive the ticket. If found guilty, you could be facing a $100 fine and the costs of the court. If you’re a school bus driver, as defined in G.S. 20-137.4(a)(4), and you were caught texting while driving, you could be facing a class 2 misdemeanor.
If you were pulled over and ticketed for driving while texting, whether you were moving or not, make sure to call the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley as soon as possible. We offer professional, experienced-backed criminal defense. Call our Raleigh law firm at (919) 832-0307 for a free, no-obligation consultation.