Mobile phone offences
The use of a mobile phone, or other similar handheld device, whilst driving is a criminal offence and the consequences can be severe. This offence now carries 6 penalty points and a fine.
With Mander Cruickshank Solicitors you have access to a specialist team of solicitors who will guide you through the complexities of the law. Our aim is simple; to establish a defence and save your driving licence.
Use of a mobile device whilst driving
A mobile phone offence is committed if you;
- Use a mobile for some external interactive communication whilst driving – this includes using it even if you are stationary if the engine is running, it also includes where your engine switches off while stationary;
- Cause or permit a driver to use a mobile phone;
- Use of a mobile phone whilst supervising a provisional driver.
To help ensure you don’t fall foul of the law and safely operate a vehicle, use a hands-free kit or in car Bluetooth system which doesn’t require you to pick up the handset in order to operate it.
Remember the same laws apply to other handheld devices such as sat-navs, iPods, iPads or portable DVD players.
The definition of ‘using’ a mobile phone or other device includes holding the device at some point in order to:
- make or receive a phone call;
- perform any interactive function, including texting or reading a text;
- use the internet or download images or music.
A 2018 Crown Court Appeal established that if you are changing music already downloaded to your phone you are not using it, but may be guilty of other offences based on your not being in proper control of your vehicle.
Police have regularly charged drivers based on them allegedly looking down at their phones often while stationary at traffic lights – if they are not actually using it this should not result in them being convicted of this specific offence.
The law in relation to this offence is complicated – let us guide you through it & find a legal argument to avoid your being convicted.
If found guilty of driving whilst using a mobile phone the penalties vary depending on the unique circumstances of your case.
Penalties can include:
- A fine of up to £2,500 if driving a vehicle which holds eight or more people;
- A fine of up to £1,000 if driving a car;
- Six points on your licence.
If you already have six points or more on your licence and receive six more for this offence, the Magistrates will consider disqualifying you for a minimum of six months under what is known as the totting up procedure unless there is a Special Reasons argument not to endorse your licence with penalty points or proof that Exceptional Hardship would be caused by your being disqualified.
If you have been driving for two years or less then a conviction for this offence will mean that your licence would be revoked and you would have to retake both tests.
What happens next?
Mander Cruickshank Solicitors understand that not everyone is guilty of the offences for which they are accused and we pride ourselves on identifying where mistakes have occurred and preparing the strongest case possible to protect your driving licence.
There are a number of defences which can be explored depending upon the circumstances of the offence. For example, if you were using the mobile device to call the emergency services in response to a genuine emergency.
Errors can, and do, happen. The Police may have been mistaken in their observations as to what you were holding (if anything) let alone being able to prove that the phone was being used for some external interactive communication.
Mander Cruickshank Solicitors are experts in presenting legal defences to mobile phone use whilst driving and have a proven track record of success representing clients throughout England & Wales.
It is important to remember that by seeking legal advice at the earliest opportunity you can help to ensure that any complex legal arguments favourable to you are identified and argued on your behalf.