Using a Cellphone While Driving in Violation of 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2(b)
Can You Use Your Cellphone While Driving?
Drivers are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle while using an "electronic communication device." An "electronic communication device" includes cell phones and computers. A navigation or GPS system built into your car is not an "electronic communication device." 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2(a)
Under 19 Years Old- if you are under 19 years old and driving on an instruction permit under Section 6-105, or 6-107.1, or a graduated license under Section 6-107, you may not use a wireless phone while driving except for emergency purposes. 625 ILCS 5/12-610.1(b)
When Can You Use a Cell Phone When Operating a Motor Vehicle?
Use of a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle is allowed in the following circumstances 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2(d):
Hands-Free Mode- a driver using their cell phone in hands-free or voice-operated mode.
Parked on the Shoulder- a driver using an electronic communication device while parked on the shoulder of a roadway.
Obstructed Traffic and in Neutral or Park- a driver who is stopped due to normal traffic being obstructed and their car is in neutral or park.
Reporting an Emergency- a driver using their phone for the sole purpose of reporting an emergency and continued communication with emergency personnel.
First Responder- you are a first responder operating your personal motor vehicle while using a cell phone to receive information about an emergency while en route to performing your official duties.
What are the Potential Penalties for Using A Cell Phone While Driving?
Using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle in violation of 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2(b) is a petty offense. However, you could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor or Class 4 felony for Aggravated Unlawful Use of an Electronic Communication Device if your cell phone use leads to an accident that causes great bodily harm or death.
Possible Sentences: Court Supervision, Conditional Discharge, or Probation
If you plead guilty or are found guilty of this offense, you can receive up to six (6) months of conditional discharge or probation or up to two (2) years of Court Supervision. 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-75.
Your driving history, age, and the facts of your case may preclude you from receiving court supervision. Even if you are eligible for court supervision, you are not guaranteed to receive court supervision as a sentence. Contacting an attorney to ensure you qualify for and receive court supervision is essential.
What Could Prevent Me from Getting Court Supervision?
Too Many Moving Violations- You can receive court supervision for moving violations a maximum of two (2) times within one year. 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1(k).
Under 18 Years Old- If you are ticketed for speeding when you are under eighteen (18) years old and are eligible for court supervision, you cannot receive court supervision unless a parent appears with you in court and gives written consent. The Judge can waive this requirement upon a showing of "good cause." 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1(n).
Caused Death- If your traffic violation was the proximate cause of death for another, and you have either:
-(1) Any previous traffic violation (excluding equipment violations); Or
-(2) Your license has previously been revoked, suspended, or canceled,
then you cannot receive court supervision. 730 ILCS 5/5-6-1(j)
Do I Have to Complete Driver Improvement School?
A judge can require you complete driver improvement school, a defensive driving class, or even a victim impact panel if they feel it would be an appropriate condition of your sentence.
Under 21 Years Old- If you are under twenty-one (21) years old and receive court supervision, you must complete a driver improvement course. Failure to complete the driver improvement course will cause a conviction will enter. 720 ILCS 5/5-6-1(h)(1)
Could I be Sentenced to Jail?
A Judge cannot sentence you to jail for a violation of Unlawful Use of an Electronic Communication Device in violation of 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2(b)
How Much Could I be Fined?
Unlawful Use of an Electronic Communication Device in violation of 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2(b) carries the following maximum fines:
First Offense- seventy-five dollars ($75.00)
Second Offense- one-hundred dollars ($100)
Third Offense- one-hundred and twenty-five dollars ($125)
Fourth or Subsequent Offense- one-hundred and fifty dollars ($150)
You may be assessed court costs in addition to a fine.
Collateral Consequences of an Aggravated Speeding Ticket
In addition to any criminal penalties, you should consider several other factors:
Secretary of State Suspension or Revocation- Anytime you commit a traffic violation, the Illinois Secretary of State may suspend or revoke your driving privileges based upon the facts of your case and your driving history.
Commercial Driver's License (CDL)- If you have a Commercial Drivers License (CDL), a traffic ticket could lead to suspension or revocation of your CDL privileges.
Insurance- Your insurance company may consider your traffic offense and driving history when assessing your insurance rates.
Unlawful Use of an Electronic Communication Device may seem like an innocuous offense, but it carries some potentially severe penalties. For example, a finding of guilty for Unlawful Use of an Electronic Communication Device can lead to suspension or revocation of your driver's license, CDL, or changes to your insurance rate.
Every case is unique. It is essential to consult with an attorney who can help you determine your best options moving forward. An attorney can review the facts of your case and the evidence against you to help determine the best course of action for you and your case.
If you have received a traffic ticket, we can help. Our firm has defended traffic tickets in the Chicagoland area for over 30 years. Call our office for a free consultation if you have received a ticket in DuPage, Cook, Lake, Kane, Will, or Kendall County.