If your mobile phone use during driving also results in dangerous driving, you can expect the penalties to multiply in their magnitude. You must not take the charge lightly. If accused of this offence, it is important to get in touch with using a mobile phone offence solicitors at the earliest.
Here at the London-based Adam Bernard’s Solicitors, we have expertise in handling driving offence cases. Our using a mobile phone offence solicitors can help you shore up a robust defence if charged with this offence.
The laws governing mobile phone use while driving stipulate that you must not use a mobile device during driving. This device can be a mobile phone, tablet, or any other type of mobile device.
Usage in this case means holding a mobile device in your hand for whatever purpose. Whether you are browsing the web, taking a call, reading a text, or taking photos with your mobile device, this qualifies as ‘usage.’
You may think that the laws allow mobile phone use when your vehicle is stationary, but that is not the case. It is still illegal to use a mobile phone when you are temporarily stopped due to traffic or stopped at the traffic lights. It also applies if you are supervising a learner who is at the wheel.
You can’t even hold a mobile device that is in flight mode or offline when operating a vehicle.
However, it is legal to use a mobile phone when:
Sometimes, it may not be clear whether or not your mobile phone use was legal or illegal. The police may charge you with the offence but you might think that you were legally using the phone. In such a case, it is best to consult using a mobile phone offence solicitors. Qualified motoring offence solicitors will advise you on whether or not your usage was legal.
You are allowed to use a mobile device through hands-free access. However, you must still not hold, touch, or operate the mobile device with your hands. Such hands-free access may be made possible by using a dashboard mount, Bluetooth headset, built-in sat nav device, or any other way.
Even as you use hands-free access, the mobile device must not be held up in front of you to obstruct your view of the road.
The police may still stop you if your hands-free use leads to reckless driving. In such a case, you may be charged with the offence of careless driving.
The penalties for using a mobile phone depend on several factors. These factors include:
These and other factors will be considered by the court when determining the actual penalties. The standard penalty for the offence is a fine of up to £1,000 and up to 6 penalty points. The maximum amount of fine goes up to £2,500 if you were charged with the offence when operating a lorry or bus.
If you are charged with this offence twice in three years, you face disqualification under the totting-up procedure. This effectively bars you from operating any vehicle for a specific period.
If you have only recently passed your driving test and are charged with this offence within two years of passing the test, your license will be revoked. You must then undertake both parts of the driving test once again to go from a learner to a licensed driver.
Evidence for a Using Mobile While Driving Offence
The prosecution is required to furnish evidence that the offence has required. For this purpose, the prosecution must prove two things:
‘Using’ may refer to virtually any activity you might perform with your mobile. For instance, if you were making a call, texting, using any app, or shooting photos, this qualifies as ‘use’ in this case.
The offence of using a mobile while driving is tried summarily. This means that your trial takes place in a Magistrates’ Court. Typically, the location of the incident determines which court shall have jurisdiction. However, you can request to have your case transferred to a different court if the offence occurred at a considerable distance from where you work or live.
At the Magistrates’ Court, you will have the option of entering a ‘Guilty’ or ‘Not Guilty’ plea. A guilty plea is an admission that you committed the offence. It can lead to a speedy conclusion to a trial and certainty of penalties. However, a court may take a lenient view of your offence due to your guilty plea and reduce the sentence.
In contrast, a ‘Not Guilty’ plea means that you intend to contest the prosecution’s charge. You must consult qualified motoring offence solicitors before going down this path. It is only with good driving offence solicitors by your side that you may have a chance of winning your case.
Your solicitors will consider various defences before choosing one that best suits your case and circumstances.
You can legally use a phone while you are parked. However, you must ensure that your vehicle is safely parked in a designated area or by the roadside. If your vehicle is parked illegally and you use your mobile phone, the police can still charge you with the offence.
Many of us need navigational directions to reach a specific destination. This may require the use of sat nav. However, you can’t use your hands to hold a device for navigational help. Instead, the device you are using for navigation must be mounted onto your dashboard or windscreen without obstructing your view of the traffic.
The same law that incriminates the use of mobile phones whilst driving also offers possible defences in such an offence. If one of these defences applies to your case, you can plead for a reduced penalty or have the charges dismissed altogether.
In general, you can defend the use of mobile phone while driving if:
In addition to these stipulated exceptions, other defences are also available. One common defence is that the officer who stopped you for the violation was simply mistaken. You may not be using the phone or taking the call at the time, but the officer concluded that you did.
Your motoring offence solicitors can argue that you were indeed not using the phone. This can be ascertained by looking at the call logs and other data from your mobile phone. If this line of defence holds, the prosecution may be forced to dismiss all charges altogether.
If you have been charged with the offence of using a mobile while driving, it is important to consult a using a mobile phone offence lawyer at the earliest. Driving offence solicitors specialize in this particular area and can understand the nuances of the case. This enables them to provide you with tailored advice and guidance in your case.
A qualified using a mobile phone offence lawyer can help you weigh all your legal options in the wake of the charge. You will be advised on whether or not you should plead guilty, how your plea might impact the case, and what are your chances of fighting the charge.
Here at the London-based Adam Bernard’s Solicitors, our driving offence solicitors have experience in handling driving offence cases. Whether you have been charged with using a mobile while driving, or found driving with excess alcohol, we can help you. Our personal injury solicitors will carefully review your case and provide a robust defence.
Get in touch today with a using a mobile phone offence lawyer at our law firm. You can schedule a preliminary consultation to see how we can help you.