Texting While Driving

Attorney for Texting Behind the Wheel in South Florida

The Texting While Driving statute in Florida, Section 316.305, was enacted on October 1, 2013. It is cited as the "Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law" under § 316.305(1), Fla. Stat. This statute prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, symbols, numbers, or other characters into a wireless communications device.

According to the DHSMV, in 2014, there were over 1600 citations issued in Florida for texting and driving. If you pay the ticket, you will be assessed the following points on your license: 

  • Texting while Driving - 3 points; 
  • Texting occurred in a school zone (points added to the primary offense) +2 points
  • Texting resulted in a crash (points added to the primary offense) +6 points 

The prohibition on sending text messages while driving also prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle while sending or reading data in such a device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication. These nonvoice interpersonal communications include, but are not limited to, the following: texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging. See § 316.305(3)(a), Fla. Stat.

Attorneys for Texting While Driving in Palm Beach and Broward County

If you were cited for texting while driving, then the experienced attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A., "The Traffic Stop" can help you. With experience in every aspect of traffic violations, we are ready to aggressively defend your record and your future.

We proudly represent clients throughout cities such as West Palm Beach, Belle Glade, Delray Beach, Pembroke Pines, and Fort Lauderdale.

Call (561) 557-8686 today.

Info for Texting While Driving Citations

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Definitions Under Florida's Texting Ban

The statute defines the term "wireless communications device" as any handheld device used or capable of being used in a handheld manner, that is designed or intended to receive or transmit text or character-based messages, access or store data, or connect to the Internet or any communications service as defined in § 812.15, Fla. Stat. and that allows text communications. See § 316.305(3)(a), Fla. Stat.

Florida's texting statute also provides that when a motor vehicle is in a stationary position and is not being operated then it is not subject to the other provisions. See § 316.305(3)(a), Fla. Stat. The statute also provides for several exceptions to the prohibition as provided in § 316.305(3)(b), Fla. Stat.

Under the statute, enforcement of the statute by state or local law enforcement officers is to be carried out only as a secondary action when an operator of a motor vehicle has been detained for a suspected violation of another traffic violation. See § 316.305(5), Fla. Stat.

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Punishments for Driving While Sending a Text Message

A person who violates the statute while driving in cities like Fort Lauderdale commits a noncriminal or civil traffic infraction. The civil infraction for texting is punishable as a nonmoving violation. See § 316.305(3)(a) and § 316.305(4)(a), Fla. Stat. 

A second or subsequent violation within five (5) years after the date of a prior conviction for a violation commits a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided by statute in § 316.305(4)(b), Fla. Stat.

Additionally, points can be accessed by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (DHSMV) as follows:

  • No points assessed on first offense;
  • Two points are added to the primary offense if texting occurred in a school safety zone
  • Three points assessed on second offense within five years of first violation
  • Six points are added if the texting offense resulted in a crash

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Finding an Attorney for a Texting Citation in Fort Lauderdale

If you were charged with sending a text message while driving, particularly if the allegation involves a crash or driving in a school zone or construction zone while texting, then contact the experienced attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to enlist the aid of a skilled lawyer.

With offices in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, our traffic ticket attorneys represent clients charged with sending or reading a text message while driving throughout Palm Beach County and Broward County by providing a diligent approach to their case and open communication through each step of the process.

Don't Text and Drive

This article was last updated on Monday, November 1, 2016.

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