Texting While Driving in Florida: What Are the Laws, and What Do You Need to Know?

  • Jan 20 2019

For most of us, cell phones are within arm’s reach at all times. Those who have texted while driving may wonder whether this is a traffic violation in Florida. Texting while driving laws have gotten attention the state legislature recently attempted to pass stronger texting while driving laws. In any event, if you have been charged with texting with driving, it is critically important to have proper legal representation.

Texting While Driving in Florida

What are the texting while driving laws, and when can you be pulled over for texting while driving? The law in Florida states:

“A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data in such a device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging.”

This means that when you are driving you are not allowed to type and send text messages to others, and you are also not allowed to read text messages that others send to you.

It is important to note, however, that texting while driving is considered a “secondary offense” in Florida, which means you cannot be pulled over by law enforcement merely for suspicion of texting while driving. Instead, you may be charged with texting while driving if you are stopped for another offense, such as an expired plate or speeding, and the officer notices that you were also texting while driving.

Being convicted of texting while driving in Florida will add three points to your license point totals, however, with two points added to the primary offense, such as speeding if you were texting while driving in a school zone. Further, if the texting offense resulted in a crash, six points will be added to your license. Obviously the penalties for texting while driving can be significant and could jeopardize your driving privileges.

Why This Matters

What may look like texting while driving to law enforcement can often be something entirely different. Map and other navigation apps are incredibly popular, and many people use them on a daily basis to get them from A to Z in a fast and efficient manner.

Nonetheless,  law enforcement often use texting while driving as a pretense to view citizens’ cell phones, revealing private conversations and potentially opening citizens up to allegations of wrongdoing.

In other words, texting while driving isn’t just a matter of public safety: it’s also a matter of your rights and privacy. If you are trying to navigate this situation, the best decision you to make is to call experienced Miami criminal defense attorneys who can help defend you and your rights.

Posted in: Personal Injury