Driving While Using a Mobile Phone
We have years of experience of successfully defending Driving While Using a Mobile Phone cases.
For free initial advice call 0800 999 5535
Keep My Driving Licence have years of experience in defending charges of Driving While Using a Mobile Phone.
Call our specialist team today on 0800 999 5535 or submit your case and we will call you back.
If suspected of driving while using a mobile phone, you’ll be stopped by the police and prosecuted.
Not only will you attend court but, if found guilty, you’ll receive a fine, have points added to your licence and, in some cases, be disqualified from driving.
If you’re facing prosecution and you’re not sure what to do, we can advise you of the laws and penalties of being caught driving while using a mobile phone and the action you need to take.
What is the law regarding driving while using a mobile phone?
It has been illegal to use or touch your mobile phone while driving or riding a motorcycle since 2003 – even if you’re stopped at traffic lights, queuing in traffic or using a hands-free headset.
The same law applies for other electronic computerised equipment too, including:
- Satellite navigation systems
- Electronic tablets
- Hand-held gaming devices
And, should you be a driving instructor or supervising a learner driver, you’re the legal supervisor, so the law applies even though you’re the passenger.
The only time you’re permitted to use a mobile phone is if you’re parked safely with the engine turned off, or you need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s either impractical, unsafe or impossible to stop the vehicle.
Other than in exceptional circumstances, should you be seen holding a mobile phone or electronic device while driving, you’ll be stopped by the police and penalised.
What is the penalty for using a mobile phone while driving?
If caught or suspected of driving while using a mobile phone, the penalties individuals can face include:
- 6 penalty points on your licence
- A minimum fixed penalty fine of £200
- Disqualification from driving or riding with a maximum fine of £1000
- A £2500 fine if you’re a bus or goods vehicle driver
If you’re caught using a mobile device again while driving or riding within three years of your first offence, or tot up 12-points or more, a 6-month disqualification may also be given.
What defences are there for using a mobile phone while driving?
If you find yourself with a court summons, you won’t necessarily be found guilty.
You can fight the charges if you can prove:
- The vehicle was stationary and the engine turned off at the time the mobile phone was in use
- You were calling 999 or 112 to contact the emergency services
- Your phone use was in response to a genuine emergency and it would have been impractical, unsafe or impossible to stop
- You were using a hands-free device and at no point touched your phone while in control of the vehicle
Your driving does not have to be at fault. Nor do you have to have caused or been involved in an accident for careless or dangerous driving charges to be brought. However, should you use one of the above defences, it’s up to the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt you were using or holding a mobile device while driving.
Why is legal advice important?
Your best chance of a successful defence is hiring a legal team with experience in winning road offence lawsuits.
And your best chance is with KeepMyDrivingLicence.co.uk.
Our solicitors will review your case and, with our knowledge and expertise, leave no stone unturned to ensure you get the best possible result from our representation.
Driving whilst using a Mobile – FAQs
1: What constitutes using a mobile phone?
Holding or touching your mobile phone or being involved in any interactive communication on your mobile phone such as calling, texting or accessing the internet whilst the engine is running.
2: I was using sat nav, not my phone. Can I still be prosecuted?
Yes, if you’re holding a sat nav which should be connected to a dashboard holder, you’re not in full control of your vehicle.
Your sat nav should be connected to the dashboard, windscreen mounted or built into the car. You should also be safe if you have hands-free access via a Bluetooth headset or voice command. However, the police can stop you if they feel you’re distracted and not in control of the vehicle.
3: I was using my phone to play music. Can I still be prosecuted?
If you touched your phone to pick a song or change the volume, then this constitutes using your phone while driving.
You can play music through your phone as long as you use voice control and are not distracted while doing so.
4: I was wrongly accused of holding my phone. How do I go about proving this?
If you deny holding your phone while driving, the prosecution must provide evidence you were.
5: I was making a call while parked up. Can I still be prosecuted?
If you are parked safely and your engine is off, then you will be fine.
However, if your engine is running, you are still in charge of a motor vehicle, which is an offence.
The easiest way to avoid prosecution is to make sure your engine isn’t running if you use your phone while parked
6: I was holding a mobile phone, but not using it. Can I still be prosecuted?
Holding a mobile phone, even if you are not using it, is illegal and you will face criminal charges of the lesser offence of not being in control of your vehicle.
7: How can I prove I was using hands-free?
If you are stopped and accused of using your mobile phone, the first thing you can do is show the officer your hands-free kit to prove you were neither holding or touching your phone.
However, should the police decide not to believe you, the prosecution will have to prove for certain that you were using your phone without your hands-free kit.
8: Why should I employ a specialised solicitor?
A specialised solicitor has experience in defending clients accused of road traffic offences.
9: How can a specialised solicitor help?
A specialised solicitor, like ourselves, deal solely with road traffic offences, which means we know road law inside out and are your best chance of receiving a reduced sentence – or having the charges dropped altogether.
Should I drive to Court?
This depends on your plea: Yes, if you are pleading not guilty. No, if you are to be sentenced for an offence that carries a mandatory disqualification.
Our advice is that anyone who faces the possibility of a period of disqualification, no matter how small, should not drive to Court.
The Police Officer said that if I instruct a Solicitor I can avoid a disqualification, is this true?
This can be true in a lot of cases, however, if it is your intention to plead guilty to an offence that carries a mandatory period of disqualification, then the Magistrates have no discretion not to impose a period of disqualification.
I really need my car for my job, will the Court let me keep my licence?
If you are facing a disqualification for accumulating 12 penalty points or more (‘totting up’) or facing a sentence that carries a discretionary disqualification, then it is possible to persuade the Magistrates not to disqualify you. However, if you are to be sentenced for an offence that carries a mandatory disqualification, like driving with excess alcohol for example, then these types of offences carry a mandatory disqualification and the Magistrates have no discretion. In those circumstances you will only avoid a ban if your case is successfully defended after a not guilty plea.
Do you cover cases on Legal Aid?
No. All our cases are on a private paying fixed fee basis. We will tell you what your exact fees will be before you engage us. We cover Courts throughout England and Wales. Only general Criminal Defence Solicitors (not road traffic specialists) based in an area close to where your Court case is, will have a Legal Aid Contract. You may not be eligible for Legal Aid in any event. The two tests for whether you are eligible for Legal Aid are
- Whether you are financially eligible
- Whether it is in the interest of Justice for you to receive Legal Aid for the offence that you are due to appear before the Court for. For almost all road traffic matters you will not be eligible for Legal Aid as for a lot of cases the Sentence is a financial penalty and either penalty points or a disqualification.
Will I have to say anything in Court?
Once we are instructed by you, we will advise you of the precise Court procedure. If you are pleading guilty to an offence, then you will only have to confirm your name and enter your plea. We will present the mitigation on your behalf.
If you are pleading not guilty, you may have to give evidence at your Trial, but you will be guided by Millars Solicitors.
What are my chances, can you give me a percentage?
We would not give a client their chance of success in a percentage. We would not give a client their chance of success in a percentage, as this is not realistic. We provide all clients with a comprehensive assessment of their case and we are instructed on the basis that the client has been advised of their chances of success.
Will the Police or witnesses be in Court?
Need advice from a motoring offence specialist?
If you’ve been accused of using a mobile phone while driving or riding a motorcycle, KeepMyDrivingLicence.co.uk would like to defend you.
We’ll look at the facts of your case, explain the possible outcomes and support you when you need it most.
From Our Clients
Place: Sheffield Magistrates Court Offence: Totting up 12 penalty points on driving licence Defence: Exceptional Hardship Carl Millar from Keep My Driving Licence part of Millar's Solicitors was instructed by Mr W who faced disqualification for a minimum period of six...
Place: Norwich Magistrates Court Offence: Driving whilst using a mobile phone Ms P contacted Millar's Solicitors having been summonsed to Court in relation to an allegation of driving whilst using a handheld mobile phone. Ms P had pleaded not guilty and her case was...
About Keep my Driving Licence
Keep my Driving Licence is part of Millars Solicitors who are a specialist firm of road traffic and drink driving solicitors who represent motorists all over the country.
Formed by Carl Millar, Millars Solicitors has adopted his dogged tenacity and exacting technical understanding of motoring law. Before starting Millars Solicitors, Carl has been employed as the Head of Department at some of the most high profile Motoring Law Firms in the country. He is a member of the Society of Motoring Lawyers and has an enviable nationwide reputation for the results he gets for his clients.
Through representing a wide range of people you will find Carl and his team very approachable and never judgemental. Their advice is straightforward and will leave no stone unturned in pursuing all available defences in presenting your case.
If you have been caught drink driving you can contact Carl today on 0800 999 5535 or you can send a confidential email by clicking here. If you need to speak to a drink driving solicitor out of office hours than please call the 24 hour emergency line on 07855 806119.