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What are the penalties for texting and driving in New York?

Texting and driving at the same time is both dangerous and illegal. This is why many different activities that involve the use of a cell phone while operating a vehicle are illegal here in New York.

State law prohibits individuals from operating a motor vehicle with an electronic device in their hands. Motorists are prohibited from driving and engaging in a conversation on their phone while behind the wheel as well. It's also unlawful for motorists to use a phone to send or read emails, text or surf the internet while driving. It's unlawful for drivers to play games on an electronic device while operating a car as well.

The only time that motorists are permitted to use their cell phones while driving is in the event of an emergency. Drivers are only allowed to call 911 in such instances. Any motorist that is stopped for using their cell phone while driving may be issued a traffic citation and assessed a fine.

Individuals who are convicted of using an electronic device while driving may end up with points added to their license. Motorists that accumulate 11 points or more within 18 months may have their driver's license suspended. Motorists may also be assessed fines ranging from $50 to $450 depending on whether it's their first, second or subsequent offense.

Each violation may result in five points being added to a motorist's driving record.

Probationary or junior drivers may have their driver's permit or license suspended for 120 days after being convicted of their first charge. These same drivers may have their driving privileges revoked for a year if they have two similar convictions within six months.

Operating a motor vehicle requires the use of all of a person's skills, reflexes and senses. Distracted drivers are dangerous to both themselves and others. This is why the punishment can be pretty harsh in such cases. An attorney can advise you of the penalties that you're facing. Your lawyer can then help you negotiate the best resolution in your case so that you can get back on the road here in Manhattan as soon as possible.

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