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Using A Mobile Phone While Driving - A Large Variety Of Defences
Driving whilst using a mobile phone is becoming an increasingly common offence. There are, however, many defences that may be applicable. The following are just a few examples.
Not Communicating With The Phone
To be guilty of driving using a mobile phone you have to be actually communicating. If you were therefore just using the phone’s calculator or looking at photos you would have a defence to this allegation. It should be noted, however, that being on the internet is treated as communicating.
If You Were Not Holding The Phone
In order to be guilty of this offence you have to have been actually holding the phone. If you could successfully argue that you were not actually holding the phone, even though you were communicating with someone, for instance using a hands-free, then you would have a defence in relation to an allegation of this type. However, it should be borne in mind that if you are supporting the phone between your shoulder and the side of your head, the courts will view you as holding the phone and convict you.
If Your Vehicle Was Stationary At The Time And The Engine Was Switched Off
In order to be guilty of driving whilst using a mobile phone you have to be actually driving, therefore, if this was not the case you would also have a defence. Although, it should be borne in mind that if you are stuck in traffic and use your phone while the engine is running then you will be guilty of this offence, even if your vehicle was stationary.
If You Were Using Your Phone Whilst Driving On Private Land
In order to be convicted of the offence of using a mobile phone you must have been driving on a road or a public place. Therefore, if you were driving on private property you would have a defence. It should be noted, however, that if you were driving in a carpark then almost certainly you would be found guilty of this offence, as this is normally treated as a public place.
Using The Phone In An Emergency
If you were using the mobile phone in a genuine emergency, or to phone 999, you would have a defence to driving whilst using a mobile phone.
There are many more potential defences that may be applicable. The offence of using a mobile phone while driving carries 3 penalty points but if the magistrates decide not to impose penalty points then they will have to disqualify you. If you accumulate 12 penalty points or more on your driving licence then the magistrates have to disqualify you for 6 months or more, unless exceptional hardship is successfully argued. Speeding Law Solicitors’ leading motoring law solicitor, Philip Hatvany, has over a 95% success rate at saving people’s licences who find themselves in this situation.
If you are accused of using a mobile phone whilst driving, or any other motoring offence, then telephone Philip Hatvany now for a FREE consultation on FREEPHONE 0800 909 8110.