Using a Mobile Phone

Using a Mobile Phone

Auriga advocates are specialist in mobile phone offences, you can call us now for free initial advice.

It is an offence to use a handheld mobile phone whilst driving. The offence carries a fine of up to £1,000 and 6 penalty points. £2,500 if you are driving a bus, coach or HGV. It can be dealt with by way of a fixed penalty notice, which will be £200 fine and 6 penalty points.

It is usually dealt with by way of a fixed penalty ticket which used to be £100 and 3 points but has recently been raised to £200 6 points due to the use of mobile phones being the cause of many serious accidents.

(https://www.rospa.com/rospaweb/docs/advice-services/road-safety/drivers/mobile-phone-report.pdf)

The use of a mobile phone whilst driving where you have caused an accident could attract much more serious offences such as careless driving or dangerous driving
offences. If you are being investigated due to such an accident you should seek specialist advice straight away for the best possible outcome.

Do I have to accept the fixed penalty ticket?
An FPN can only be issued if a motorist fulfils the following criteria:-

  1. The motorist holds a driving licence
  2. The motorist will not be subject to the “totting up” procedure ie 12 points or more on licence after adding the points for the offence
  3. The motorist must be able to surrender his licence for endorsement.

If a motorist is unable to fulfil the criteria the officer will report the motorist for summons.

You will not be offered a fixed penalty ticket if you may be disqualified for the offence, or fall within the “totting up” procedure.

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If you fulfil the criteria for a fixed penalty you do not have to accept it.

Often police officers will tell you that you should because you have clearly committed an offence but police officers are not evidential experts and are not always right. You can decline the offer of a fixed penalty or just ignore it.

If you do this you will be summonsed to court which will increase both the penalty and costs. It will not increase the number of points to be endorsed on your licence.

Before you do anything about your fixed penalty ticket ensure that you doing the right thing for you by contacting one of our specialist solicitors who will be able to guide you down the right path.

I am a new driver should I accept the fixed penalty ticket?

If you have passed your test within the last two years and have been caught using your mobile phone you will revert to being a provisional licence holder, so will have to resit your driving test.

However, before accepting the fixed penalty you should discuss your case with one of our specialist solicitors who will discuss whether you can avoid the imposition of 6 points ie by offering a plea to another offence or whether you have a defence.

If the court cannot impose a disqualification for a short period so they must impose 6 points if you plead guilty or are found guilty and as a new driver your licence will revert to a provisional licence.

We understand the impact having to revert to a learner driver can have, there is often a lengthy wait to re-sit your test. Not to mention the expense. We are here to help so call us now to discuss your case free of charge.

 

What is the penalty for a mobile phone offence?

The offence carries a fine of up to £1,000 and 6 penalty points. £2,500 if you are driving a bus, coach or HGV or a vehicle which carries more than 8 passengers.

You will also receive costs in the region of £85-135 and a 10% levy on your fine known as a victim surcharge.

If you are offered a fixed penalty the fine will be £200 and an endorsement of 6 points on your licence.

These will increase if you are convicted after trial because you lose 33% credit which is allowed on a prompt guilty plea, so you have to be sure that you have a strong case.

If you want to know whether it is worth going to trial call one our specialist mobile phone offence solicitors for free advice.

Is there any defence?

There are a number of possible defences to the offences such as you were not

  • driving the vehicle at the time
  • you were not using the device at the time of driving
  • you were responding to an genuine emergency and it was unsafe or impracticable to stop

Unsure as to whether you have a defence or not get free initial advice by calling one of our specialist team.

I was using my blue tooth is it still an offence?
You can use a mobile phone whilst driving if you are using a “hands free” kit as long as you do not have to hold the phone. If you need to take your hands off the wheel to operate it, it is not hands free and could result in an offence despite it being considered a hands free kit. Be careful!

If you are using a mobile phone regularly in a vehicle make sure you have the right equipment so that you are not tempted to touch it at all.

I hand the phone in my hand but I was not using it?

The prosecution have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were actually driving with a phone in your hand and in use.

“Use” includes using the device for any telecommunication purpose, not just making or receiving calls.

This includes texting while driving, using any other Apps, or messenger services that allow you to communicate with other people. This offence is not just using your mobile as a phone to talk to people while driving.

You have to cast doubt as to whether you were using the phone. You do this by giving evidence that you were not using or holding the mobile whilst driving and producing evidence such as your phone records to corroborate what you are saying. The police will not usually look at your phone at the time despite you offering to show it to the officer.

How will Auriga help me defend my case?

Being prosecuted and going through the court process is extremely daunting for most drivers however, our specialist team of lawyers will give you the best support by

  • Reviewing the strength of the prosecution’s case against you
  • Finding the weaknesses in the prosecution case
  • Collating evidence in your defence
  • Attacking the prosecution case relentlessly on your behalf
  • Taking the pressure and anxiety off you
  • Being there to answer all your questions
  • Providing specialist representation in court
Are there any other offences which could be considered?

If the police are unsure whether you were using the mobile phone or not they will probably consider reporting you for an offence of not being proper control which carries a lesser penalty of 3 points.

If there has been an accident more serious offences of careless driving or dangerous driving may be considered.

Unsure what your options are?

One of our legal team will be more than happy to have a chat about your options and your concerns FREE OF CHARGE.

Between us we will reach the right option for you.

We will not charge you a penny until you instruct us to act for you.

We are confident that we can offer you the best advice and support but you do not have to take our word for it see what our clients think of us

By all means browse our website, check out our services and fees you will find we offer our services at highly competitive rates. fees here. You do not have to pay extra for attention and support we give that naturally because we care about you and understand what a traumatic experience being charged with an offence is.

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