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What are the penalties in NJ for using a cell phone while driving?

New Jersey has been concerned for years with distracted driving, so you can be pulled over and ticketed for using a hand-held phone while driving.  “Use” is considered to be talking or listening on the phone, texting, or e-mailing.

The penalty is a fine of $100 to $250 plus court costs of $33.  Sometimes people will plead to this as part of a bargain with a municipal prosecutor as an alternative to unsafe operation.  However, the penalties for the latter charge cannot be avoided, as they apply to this offense when used in a plea bargain.

Hands-free usage of a cell phone is acceptable, as long as:

  • “the [phone’s] placement does not interfere with the operation of federally required safety equipment” and
  • “the operator exercises a high degree of caution in the operation of the motor vehicle.”

Any distraction to driving should be avoided to prevent injury to yourself or others as a result of an accident.

If you have been charged with distracted driving in South Jersey, please feel free to call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule a free consultation.

If you are looking for more information on New Jersey's traffic laws, then download my free book, A Guide to Driving Legally in NJ, and Surviving Traffic Court If You Don't.

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Steven J. Richardson
Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.