Texting While Driving

t is illegal in Florida to operate a motor vehicle while texting. According to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), in 2014, there were over 1,600 citations issued in Florida for texting and driving.

Texting while driving is considered to be extremely risky behavior that puts the driver, passengers, and others in danger. Considered a form of distracting driving, texting diverts a person's attention in a way that can cause a crash on the roadway.

Texting cause a distraction by forcing the driver to take their eyes off the road, it prevents the driver from keeping both hands on the steering wheel and causes a cognitive distraction by forcing the driver to think about things other than driving.

Attorneys for Texting Violations in Florida

If you received a citation for texting while driving in Fort Lauderdale, or anywhere in Florida, then contact an experienced traffic ticket attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A..

From our office in Fort Lauderdale, we represent clients for texting violations throughout Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, FL, in Deerfield Beach, in Hollywood, and in Plantation, FL, just to name a few.

From our office in West Palm Beach, FL, we represent clients accused of texting while driving in West Palm Beach, Miami, and many other major and minor Florida cities.

Our attorneys also represent clients in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie in St. Lucie County, Hobe Sound and the Village of Indiantown in Martin County, and in Coral Gables, Hialeah, Miami Beach and Miami in Miami-Dade County, FL.

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Penalties for Texting While Driving Infractions

First-time violations of Florida Statute § 316.305(3)(a) are noncriminal traffic infractions punishable as nonmoving violations. Second or subsequent offenses within five years of prior offenses are noncriminal traffic infractions punishable as moving violations.

A conviction for texting while driving will result in three (3) points on your driver's license. If the texting occurred in a school zone, then an additional two (2) points will be added to the primary offense. Texting that results in a crash adds six (6) points to the primary offense.

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Texting Consequences for the CDL Holder

For a commercial driver license (CDL) holder, the driver will be disqualified after two or more convictions of any state law on texting while operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Disqualification lasts for 60 days for the second offense within three (3) years and 120 days for three or more violations within three (3) years.

Additionally, the first and each subsequent violation of such a prohibition are subject to civil penalties imposed on such drivers, in an amount up to $2,750.

No motor carrier shall allow or require its drivers to engage in texting while driving. There is an emergency exception that allows you to text if necessary to communicate with law enforcement officials or other emergency services providers.

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Definition of Texting While Driving

For Florida's texting while driving laws, the term "texting" is defined to mean "manually entering text into, or reading a text from, an electronic device.

This definition of texting includes, but is not limited to, short message service, e-mailing, instant messaging, a command or request to access a World Wide Web page, or engaging in any other form of electronic text retrieval or entry, for present or future communication.

Under the statutory scheme, electronic devices include, but are not limited to:

  • a cellular phone;
  • personal digital assistant;
  • pager;
  • computer; or
  • any other device used to enter, write, send, receive, or read a text.

This article was last updated on Friday, February 23, 2018.

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Meltzer & Bell, P.A.

Lawrence Meltzer & Steven Bell

Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Super Lawyers Martindale-Hubble
Meltzer & Bell, P.A.
Palm Beach
515 N Flagler Dr #240
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 557-8686
110 SE 6th St Suite 1749
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954) 745-7457