New York State law forbids the use of a handheld mobile telephone or portable electronic device while driving. 

According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, this includes:

  • Talking on a handheld mobile telephone
  • Composing, sending, reading, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or retrieving electronic data such as e-mail, text messages or webpages
  • Viewing, taking or transmitting images
  • And, believe it or not, playing games

In addition to fines totaling hundreds of dollars, conviction of a cell phone use, portable electronic device use, or a texting violation will also leave you with points on your DMV driving record. If you receive 11 points in an 18-month period, your driver’s license could be suspended.  

According to the Times Union in Albany, “State data show texting tickets increased 205 percent across the state from 2012 to 2016. Tickets for talking on cell phones fell 47 percent statewide during that period.”

Texting and talking while driving are moving violations—which can cost you dearly in many ways. 

According to

Moving traffic violations include running a red light, driving through a stop sign, and, of course, texting while driving. Other examples include speeding; failing to use turn signals; driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol; failing to yield the right-of-way; not wearing a seat belt or observing child safety seat laws; failing to stop for a pedestrian, and driving without a valid license.

Most of this is pretty basic stuff. But many of us, from time to time, let down our guard and make some pretty basic driving mistakes that can cost time, money, and a great deal of anxiety if not dealt with properly.

Outside of the traffic ticket that lets you sign a guilty plea, write a check and pay by mail, traffic violations can amount to some pretty serious stuff. So your best first move, when faced with a serious situation, is to hire the right lawyer, from the right law firm, Phillips & Millman.

“Those who say you don’t need a lawyer for traffic violations ignore the potentially serious consequences,” reads, the Phillips & Millman website. “If you accumulate enough points you can lose your license, possibly disrupting your life and endangering your livelihood. Even if this doesn’t happen, your insurance rates are likely to rise, possibly by hundreds of dollars a year. When charged with any moving violation, it is imperative that you plead not guilty and hire an experienced lawyer to defend you. This can also reduce fines and help avoid higher insurance rates.”

Speaking of insurance rates, the Insurance Information Institute spells out pretty clearly how a poor driving record can affect your premium. 

“Your driving record is taken into account when you get your auto policy—the more driving risk you've demonstrated in the past, the more you might have to pay for your auto insurance premiums,” reads “So it makes sense that your insurer might re-evaluate your rates after claims or other driving incidents (such as moving violations) that are primarily your fault.”

“...In general, when you make a claim against your insurance policy above a specific amount due to an incident that is primarily your fault, an insurer will increase your premium by a certain percentage. The amounts and percentages and ceilings of these increases vary from company to company and these increases generally stay on your premium for three years following the claim.

“Different insurers have different rules about what constitutes an unacceptably bad driving record. If your history gets markedly worse with serious traffic violations or you have several accidents, your insurance company may decide not to renew your policy.”


And since we’re talking about basics here, it never hurts to refresh your memory when it comes to getting pulled over for that traffic violation. 

  • As the officer approaches your car, keep both of your hands where they can see them—on the steering wheel. 
  • Address the officer with respect. Saying “yes, sir,” “no sir,” “yes ma’am” and “no ma’am” is a good place to start. “Yes, officer” and “no officer” work well also.
  • Don’t appear frustrated and don’t take your frustration out on the officer, who is simply doing their job. 

You will likely be asked for your driver’s license, registration, and insurance card. Always let the officer know when you are going to be reaching for something that is out of sight. From their perspective, they don’t know who you are, where you are coming from or what you may have hidden in your glove compartment. Before reaching into your pocket or purse for your wallet, say, “I’m just going to reach for my wallet now.” If your registration or insurance card is in the glove compartment, say, “I’m just going to open the glove compartment now, to get the registration and insurance card.”

One critical element to remember after being stopped for a traffic violation is that, for all the control you have ceded over your current situation, there is plenty you still have control over. Most notably, you are in a grand position to keep something that is bad from getting worse. Your first step toward containing the damage is to hire the right law firm.

“Motor vehicle-related cases are among the most common legal proceedings people face, and Phillips & Millman’s attorneys have handled scores of cases involving DWI and other moving violations,” reads “Let us put this experience to work for you.”