Criminal Defense Lawyer Norfolk, VA and throughout Hampton Roads
Criminal Defense Lawyer Norfolk, VA and throughout Hampton Roads

Driving While Using a Cellphone Defense Lawyer in Virginia

Make sure you protect your rights after a traffic infraction

Were you charged with driving while using a cellphone in Virginia? Although this is simply a traffic violation, not a crime, it can still have significant effects on your future. The experienced defense attorneys at Welch & Wright, PLLC can help.

Va. Code Section 46.2-818.2 makes it illegal to drive a motor vehicle while holding a handheld communication device (i.e., a cell phone). This code section was amended in 2020. It used to only be illegal to use your phone or text while driving, but now it is illegal to simply hold your cellphone while driving.

This code section has 5 enumerated exceptions for certain drivers:

  1. Those drivers operating emergency vehicles while “performing their official duties”
  2. Someone who is properly parked or stopped
  3. Someone who is using the device to report an emergency
  4. The use of an amateur or citizens band radio
  5. Certain drivers for the Department of Transportation

These exceptions are mostly obvious and self-explanatory. However, the exception for a driver who is “properly parked or stopped” can be interpreted differently by different judges. The exception appears to apply when someone is lawfully stopped at a stop light or stop sign, but not every judge interprets the statute this way.

This charge is a traffic infraction punished by a fine of $125 and is a minor moving violation that will result in 3 demerit points on the Virginia driving record. A second or subsequent offense or an offense that occurs in a “highway work zone” will result in a fine of $250. This charge stays on the record for 3 years.

There are several defenses in these types of cases, and each is heavily reliant on the facts of each individual case. The attorneys at Welch & Wright have vast experience in these cases and have successfully fought and won at trial. If you’ve been charged with using a cellphone while driving, contact us today. We can help.

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