Sending a text message while driving may be a convenient way of getting the word out. You might be running late to work, in the midst of a minor emergency, or trying to respond to an urgent message when you decide to pull out your phone. But driving and texting in Michigan is prohibited by law. A fast text response could result in an officer pulling you over for texting—and, if you were found to be texting while driving, you could face a civil infraction and at least $100 in fines.
3 Types of Texting and Driving Prohibited In Michigan
While using a cell phone while driving is permissible in Michigan (except for novice drivers), texting while driving is strictly prohibited. This texting includes texting from a cell phone located in a person’s hand or lap and comprises:
- Reading a text message — simply glancing at a text message you received could result in a civil infraction if you are found to have been reading a text message.
- Typing a text message — even if your eyes are on the road as you type, you can still face a civil infraction for texting while driving
- Sending a text message — regardless of whether a text was written before you got in the car, simply hitting “Send” could result in a civil infraction for texting and driving.
Types of Fines
If you’ve been pulled over for texting and driving, you may be charged with a civil infraction and ordered to pay civil fines. These fines are hefty and worsen with subsequent violations.
- First violation: $100
- Subsequent violation: $200
Because fines get worse as violations compound a record, it’s important to fight your first violation by proving that you weren’t texting while driving or that you were texting for an exceptional reason. Contact a Lansing criminal defense lawyer for more help in handling your texting and driving case.
When it OK to Text and Drive?
There are certain circumstances where texting and driving is acceptable. These occur in specific, specially defined cases, most often involving an emergency. Under Michigan Law it is OK to use your phone to report:
- A traffic accident
- A medical emergency
- A roadside hazard
- A situation where one’s own life is in jeopardy
- A criminal act that’s about to take place
If you were pulled over for texting and driving while reporting any of the above emergency situations, contact a Michigan criminal defense attorney today. At DeBruin Law today, we have experience helping clients who were wrongfully penalized for their emergency texting.
How a Lansing Criminal Defense Attorney Law Can Help You
If you were accused of texting while driving, call DeBruin Law for a free consultation. Lansing criminal defense attorney Tiffany DeBruin can help you to avoid or reduce the penalties you face for texting and driving. We will fight to show that you were texting and driving for a legal reason, that you weren’t actually texting or driving, or that you weren’t actually driving. For help with your texting and driving case, call us at (517) 324-4303 today.