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How Much Is A Cell Phone Ticket In California?

The cost of a cell phone ticket in California varies and depends on a number of factors such as the specific violation, the driver’s history, and the jurisdiction in which the citation was issued. In general, a first offense for using a hand-held device while driving can result in a fine of around $20 to $50, but this amount can increase significantly with subsequent offenses or if there are any additional charges involved. It’s important to note that fines may also vary based on local or state laws, so it’s best to check with the specific court where the citation was issued for the most accurate information.

What Are the Laws against Cell Phones While Driving in California?

In California, it is illegal to use a hand-held cell phone while driving. This includes using the phone to talk, text, browse the web, or use any other type of applications. There are some exceptions to this law for certain types of vehicles and specific situations, such as when using a hands-free device or when pulled off the roadway.

California’s cell phone law is a “primary enforcement” law, which means that law enforcement officers can stop and cite drivers solely for using a hand-held cell phone while driving, without having to observe any other violation.

Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using any type of cell phone while driving, regardless of whether it is hand-held or hands-free.

Fines for violating California’s cell phone law can range from $20 to $50 for the first offense, and can increase for subsequent offenses. Repeat offenders can also face additional consequences, such as points on their driving record or increased insurance rates.

It’s important to note that these laws can change over time, so it’s always a good idea to check for updates and to follow the most current regulations to avoid potential fines and other consequences.

Are There Any Exceptions to a Cell Phone Ticket in California?

Yes, there are some exceptions to the law prohibiting the use of hand-held cell phones while driving in California. Some of these exceptions include:

  1. Emergencies: If you need to make an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, medical provider, or other emergency services, you may use a hand-held cell phone while driving.
  2. Hands-free devices: You can use a hands-free device, such as a Bluetooth headset or speakerphone, while driving.
  3. Pulled over: If you are safely pulled over to the side of the road, you may use your hand-held cell phone.
  4. Certain vehicles: The law does not apply to drivers of emergency vehicles, such as police officers, while they are performing their official duties. Additionally, the law does not apply to commercial truck drivers who use CB radios.


Yes, a cell phone ticket in California can result in a point on your driving record. The number of points added to your record depends on the specific violation, and having too many points can lead to increased insurance rates, license suspension, or other consequences.

Here are some ways you can try to get out of a cell phone ticket in California:

  1. Attend Traffic School: If you’re eligible, you can attend a state-approved traffic school to have the citation removed from your record.
  2. Challenge the Citation in Court: You can contest the citation in court and argue that you were not using your cell phone while driving, or that you were using it for an allowed purpose.
  3. Plea Bargain: If the citation is a moving violation, you may be able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution, such as paying a reduced fine in exchange for having the violation removed from your record.
  4. Provide Evidence: You can provide evidence to the court or the prosecution to support your case, such as witness statements or photographs.

Yes, a cell phone ticket in California can potentially result in an increase in insurance rates. Insurance companies use driving records to determine premium costs, and a cell phone ticket can be seen as a negative factor and result in higher insurance costs.

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