Virginia's New Handheld Device Law
What Makes This New Distracted Driving Law Different?
The use of handheld cellphones and other personal communication devices while operating a motor vehicle is now illegal. Even if you are not talking or texting on the cellphone, the action of holding it in your hand is still prohibited. Va Code § 46.2-818.2.
Penalties for Using a Handheld Device While Driving
The first violation of this law is punishable by a $125 fine. The second and any subsequent offense is punishable by a $250 fine. Additionally, the $250 fine applies to being charged with using a handheld device while driving in a work zone. If this violation is part of a reckless driving charge, you could face up to a $2500 fine, a 6 month license suspension, and 12 months in jail. Finally, three demerit points can be added to your license by the DMV.
Are There Any Exceptions?
There are a number of exceptions as described in Va Code § 46.2-818.2. You are allowed to use a cellphone or handheld device if: 1. Your vehicle is lawfully stopped and parked; 2. You are using an amateur or citizens band radio; 3. You are reporting an emergency; 4. You are the operator of an emergency vehicle performing your official duties; 5. You are operating a Department of Transportation vehicle.
How We Can Help
The Pickett Law Group, PLLC is an experienced law firm with two generations of former prosecutors, who have fought from both sides of the courtroom on all types of legal issues including Distracted Driving charges. Our firm has fought to successfully protect the driving records of those convicted of Distracted Driving. Contact us today and we will begin fighting on your behalf.