How to Beat the Most Common CA Cell Phone Ticket

California Cell phone violation

Cell phone traffic tickets are on the rise in California – and they can be really expensive! 

The state of California has passed laws to permit police officers to issue drivers over the age of 18 tickets if you are caught talking on a cell phone while holding it in your hand. Drivers ages 18 and under will be ticketed if they are using a cell phone at all, even in a hands-free fashion. 

But what happens when that important call comes in and your Bluetooth headset has just died? What about when you are too busy to get out your earbuds, untangle that pesky long cord, plug it in, stick one bud in each ear and then talk? You answer your phone – that is what happens!

And on some days, as bad luck would have it, that is at the precise moment a traffic officer with nothing better to do happens to glance over and see you talking with your phone in hand. 

You weren’t cutting anyone off, tailgating, running a red light (or even a yellow light). You were just talking on your phone while driving in a perfectly safe fashion, but you got a ticket anyway. So now what? Is your only option to pay the ticket? Thankfully, the answer to this question is no. 

You absolutely have options. One of the best options is a little-known ticket-dismissal strategy called Trial By Declaration. Learn about how Trial By Declaration can help you get the most common CA cell phone ticket charges dismissed from your record.

The Most Common Cell Phone Related Traffic Ticket in CA

What Are Your Options to Fight a Cell Phone Ticket in CA?The three most common types of mobile device ticket in California include these:

1. Talking on handheld mobile phones (without a headset) while driving.
2. Manually texting on mobile phones while driving.
3. Holding mobile phones for any reason while driving (including to map directions).

While these two ticket types arguably make less of a lasting impact on your driver record than do other types of traffic violations, they can make a lasting dent in your wallet!

As of June 26, 2019, Assembly Bill 47 is currently making its way through the California legal system on its way to becoming law. 

If AB 47 passes, it will take effect in 2021. Drivers will then be subject to a point on their license if convicted of two mobile device ticket charges (texting, talking, mapping, et al) within 36 months. 

As California traffic law continues to get stricter, you have more to lose by getting cited for any type of mobile device ticket.

What Are Your Options to Fight a Cell Phone Ticket in CA?

You may have discovered this blog because you just got a cell phone traffic ticket and you are trying to figure out what your options are for addressing it.

If this describes your current situation, we have good news for you. You have more options than just using your hard-earned cash to pay the fine. As you will notice, some options are more advantageous than others, but before you can decide how to proceed, you have to know your choices!

1. Pay the fine.

According to the State of California Department of Transportation, the fine is set at $20 for a first offense and $50 for each additional offense.

So basically, paying the is the least attractive option for every reason. Not only are you out the amount of the fine, but if AB 47 passes and you get another similar citation within the next 36 months, you may have a point go on your license. 

Paying the fine might be the first option that comes to mind, but it should be the last option you seriously consider.

2. Go to court and fight the ticket yourself.

Your second option is to represent yourself and go to court to fight the ticket. Here, you have two main possible defenses. The first is that you weren’t using your phone in an illegal manner. The second is that there is an inaccuracy on your ticket that renders it invalid. 

Facing a judge in traffic court can be nerve-wracking even for a seasoned pro, so you can certainly expect that choosing this option will add quite a bit of stress to your life up until and on the date of your trial. And there is no guarantee you won’t freeze up in front of an unsympathetic judge and end up paying the ticket anyway. 

Even worse, then you will be out the time you spent on your defense, taking time away from work and the cost of the ticket.

3. Hire a traffic attorney to fight the ticket on your behalf.

A third option is to hire a traffic attorney to fight your citation for you. Here, there is still no guarantee of dismissal and now you are out the cost of the attorney as well as (potentially) the cost of the fine.

4. Use a ticket dismissal service like TicketBust to get your ticket dismissed.

TicketBust has been serving clients just like you for more than 15 years by successfully getting a wide variety of traffic tickets dismissed. The process we use is called Trial By Declaration and it is very effective. 

In fact, if you turn your traffic citation over, you will see the option for Trial By Declaration outlined right on the reverse side!

But too many people don’t read the fine print and even discover this option exists. 

Unfortunately, completing the form on the back of your citation is just one step in a successful Trial By Declaration defense. The second part is building your specific case and that is the part we excel at.

About TicketBust

TicketBust will get you your bail refunded and get your ticket dismissed or we will refund your service fee and send you to traffic school on us! Trial By Declaration is fast and easy.

Learn more and get started by visiting us at

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TicketBust is ready to fight your ticket from a desktop, laptop, or any mobile device.

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