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Worker's Compensation

FAQs: Florida Texting And Driving Laws

Trial Pro P.A. is proud to advocate for accident victims all over the state of Florida, including from our Central Florida office in Orlando. Our dedicated experienced personal injury attorneys handle a range of legal matters, from employment disputes to auto accidents claims. We can use our knowledge and legal skills to help you not only achieve a favorable outcome, but relieve the legal burden from your shoulders as well. Our entire team understands how challenging and confusing litigation can be, which is why we are here for you through every step of the process.

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Frequently Asked Questions - Florida Texting And Driving Laws

Have you ever grabbed your phone to type in and search for a new song on your music playlist while driving? Or grabbed your phone just to send a quick yes or no reply to someone while attempting to simultaneously pay attention to the road ahead of you?  Or how about opening an Instagram or any other social media notification to send a quick “like” or reply?

Well not only are these seemingly quick actions extremely dangerous, with the new Florida Ban While Texting and Driving Law, they can also now cost you a fine and can affect your driving record.  Which can, in turn, raise your auto insurance rates.

Hasn’t it been illegal to text and drive in Florida for several years now?

Texting while driving in Florida has been illegal since 2013.  However, it was only considered a secondary offense.  This means that a law enforcement officer could have only issued you a ticket, fine, or citation for driving while texting if the officer stopped you for a primary offense, such as failure to stop at a stop sign, running a red light, swerving, or speeding.  Before the new texting and driving law, if an officer saw you texting while driving, the officer could not pull you over unless you were committing a primary offense.  This may have led some drivers to believe that they could get away with texting while driving since citations for texting and driving were extremely uncommon.  But for the safety of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, this has now changed.

What has changed?

Since the number of Florida automobile accidents and deaths caused by texting while driving continues to climb, Florida Law makers decided to impose stricter penalties on those caught texting while driving.

As of July 1, 2019, texting and driving in Florida was changed from a secondary offense to a primary offense.  There was a warning period from this time until January 1st, 2020.  As of January 1, 2020, law enforcement officers can now issue you a fine for driving while texting.  This means that if an officer sees you with your phone in your hand and sees you texting or typing on any hand-held device while driving, the officer can pull you over and issue you a fine for texting while driving. 

There are some exceptions to the Florida Ban While Texting and Driving Law

These are some of the exceptions:

  • Calling 911 in the event of an emergency.
  • Using a device for navigational purposes, such as a GPS.
  • Using wireless communication that does not require you to type in letters, numbers, or symbols. You may only use the keys needed to activate the device.
  • Receiving messages that are related to the operation of the vehicle, such as, traffic alerts, weather alerts, emergency alerts, and radio broadcasts.
  • If you are using your phone to report criminal activity or suspicious activity to law enforcement.
  • If you are a law enforcement, fire service, or emergency medical services professional who is performing official duties while operating an authorized emergency vehicle.
  • If you are operating an autonomous vehicle with the automated driving system engaged, also known as a self-driving vehicle.

What happens if I am pulled over by a police officer for texting while driving?

First and foremost, it is always a good idea to know your rights.  If you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer for texting while driving, the officer must inform you of your right to decline a search of your cell phone or wireless communication device. The law enforcement officer cannot search through your phone without a warrant nor can the law enforcement officer hold your phone while he or she attempts to obtain a warrant to search your phone.  The law enforcement officer does not need proof that you were texting and driving.  If the law enforcement officer sees you texting while driving, the law enforcement officer can issue you a fine or penalty.  If the law enforcement officer issues you a fine or penalty, he or she must record your race or ethnicity.

What are the penalties for texting and driving?

According to The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, you will be issued a $30 fine on your first offense of driving while texting and there will be no points assessed on your driver’s license.   If you commit a second offense within 5 years from your first offense, you will be issued a $60 fine and you will receive 3 points against your driver’s license.

Penalties are stricter for those caught texting and driving or operating a wireless communication device in a school zone or a work zone

Texting and driving or operating a hand-held wireless communication device while driving in a school zone or in a work zone will automatically cost you a $60 fine and 3 points will be assessed against your driver’s license.  The three points against your driver’s license will be assessed even if this is your first offense.  Since the risk of injuring or killing someone at a school or work zone is much higher, the penalty is stricter.

Can I dispute my texting while driving traffic violation?

You can only dispute your texting while driving violation if you were involved in a crash that resulted in a death or injury.  If so, you can dispute the violation by providing your cellular billing records or the testimony of or written statements from appropriate authorities receiving such messages as evidence.

Texting while driving can also affect someone’s bank account in other ways

Besides putting their own lives and the life of others at complete risk, points assessed on a person’s driver’s license can seriously impact a person’s car insurance rates.  When you apply for or go to renew your car insurance, the insurance company will research whether you are considered a high-risk driver or not.  If they discover that you have points assessed on your driver’s license for texting and driving, you will unquestionably be deemed a high-risk driver and your auto insurance rate can increase to an unaffordable monthly premium.    Additionally, if you cause an accident while texting and driving, the victim can make a civil claim against you if you do not carry adequate auto insurance coverage.

The benefits of putting your phone down obviously outweigh the repercussions of texting while driving.  So put your phone down, save lives, and save money!

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If you or somebody else you love has been impaired due to someone else's negligence or neglectfulness, you need a renowned attorney by your side who is familiar with the statutes and regulations in Florida.

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FL Drivers Involved in Accidents in 2017

Annually millions of americans are injured, in many instances fatally, in car accidents. In 2011 only, more than 2.2 million people were hurt in the estimated 5,338,000 police-reported car accidents and 32,367 killed in traffic accidents involving automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicycles.

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Each Trial Pro attorney and staff member is determined to see your case as far along as necessary to get you every cent that you deserve. Our friendly staff is always accessible to meet or speak with you 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. If you or a loved one has been injured, please call Trial Pro immediately to speak with one of our Florida attorneys today. Remember, don't just hire any attorney, hire a Trial Pro!

Piercy Stakelum Personal Injury Attorney

Piercy Stakelum

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Piercy Stakelum, originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, is the senior attorney at Trial Pro., P.A. Mr. Stakelum carries a zealous nature and his motor is fighting for those who have been compromised. Ask him what his heart yearns for and he’ll summarize it in one word: justice.

Andy Rariden Personal Injury Attorney

Andy Rariden

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Andy Rariden is a leading civil trial lawyer that adds to the collective legal expertise at Trial Pro, P.A. Although he is originally from Charleston, S.C., Mr. Rariden was raised in Florida. He carries over 20 years of civil trial experience and is committed to defending each of his clients.

Brian Davis Personal Injury Attorney

Brian Davis

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Mr. Davis has built up over two decades of extensive experience trying and disputing cases for clients. Over time, the proficient lawyer has handled a wide range of cases, obtaining successes in lawsuits involving car accidents, medical malpractice, and more.

Don Williams Personal Injury Attorney

Don Williams

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A native of Orlando, Don Williams has provided commitment and dedicated legal representation to clients throughout the area. The proficient attorney has a keen heart for helping others which is one among many attributes that distinguish him as a leader.

Tyler Nicoll Personal Injury Attorney

Tyler Nicoll

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Born in Ohio, Tyler Nicoll is a dedicated personal injury attorney and an integral part of the Trial Pro, P.A. team. Mr. Nicoll was raised in Coral Springs, Florida. Mr. Nicoll's primary areas of practice include personal injury accidents, overtime disputes and other related matters.

Mike Davis Personal Injury Attorney

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Mike Davis holds over twenty years of professional legal experience under his belt and he is always ready to utilize it in favor of his clients. He is an established professional in the industry, uniquely qualified to provide legal counsel to individuals who have been compromised.

Steve Johnson Personal Injury Attorney

Steve Johnson

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At the beginning of Steve Johnson's legal career, he advocated for clients such as General Motors and Ford Company. As time went by, the attorney realized he held a special interest for insurance disputes and decided to join the team of Trial Pro law professionals.

Marc Williams Personal Injury Attorney

Marc Williams

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Marc Williams is an invaluable member of Trial Pro. P.A., dedicated to handling first party insurance claims arising out of Southwest Florida. He has been recognized as a professional in the field, becoming a recipient of the Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers Bronze Eagle Award.

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Our team at Trial Pro, P.A. doesn’t just glance over your case and throws it to the side. We don’t see you as just another number. In order to obtain victory on your behalf, our personal injury attorneys take a closer look at the details. We believe that quality legal representation is tied to full commitment – not a job that’s done halfway. When you choose Trial Pro, P.A., we prove that mediocrity isn’t in our DNA.

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At Trial Pro, P.A. We're expert Personal Injury Attorneys. Our trial lawyers in Fort Myers specialize in all types of personal injury claims. Trial Pro, P.A. was founded in 2001 and has grown to include five class A offices across Florida staffed with expert personal injury lawyers and support teams. Trial Pro and its expert Personal Injury Attorneys have been selected to Best Law Firms in America, Lawyers of Distinction, America's Top One Percent, Top 100 U.S. Law Firms, The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers, The Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and received many more distinctions and awards.

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At Trial Pro, we don't sit back, cross our fingers, and hope for our case to settle. Our Personal Injury Attorneys in Naples aggressively bring the fight to the insurance company. We'll leave no stone unturned in our effort to maximize the value of your case because we know that the only number that matters to you is the amount of money that you get in your pocket at the end. We fight for your harms, losses, pain, suffering, inability to enjoy life, disability, inconvenience, lost earnings, mental anguish, scarring, medical bills, and so much more. We understand how your injuries affect you and your family. We'll work hard for a fast recovery for you. But getting you the right money is much more important that just getting you fast money.

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While Trial Pro has the resources to fight the biggest companies, we're not a law factory and you're not "just another number." Our expert Personal Injury Attorneys in Tampa are much more than experienced, aggressive personal injury specialists. We're advocates for our clients in Tampa. We care deeply about you and your recovery, which is why the majority of our clients are referred to us by former clients, doctors, and other attorneys.

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Former Trial Pro, P.A. clients constantly testify of how happy they were when we resolved their case. This is our main priority – to go above and beyond their expectations. Yes, we measure our success by the number of court victories we’ve attained. However, we also measure effectiveness by our clients’ satisfaction and experience with Trial Pro, P.A. Most of them come from other firms feeling ignored and rejected. When they transfer over to us, we work hard to radically change their situation and win their litigation case.
If you are in one of these former clients’ shoes and find yourself strongly dissatisfied with your current car accident attorney or firm, we want to represent you!
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The Trial Pro, P.A. reputable attorneys genuinely care about their clients. They don’t see them as just another number or face. Neither are they more interested in money than obtaining quality results. Our attorneys are honest, compassionate and work hard to go above and beyond expectations.

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I’ve partnered with this reputable law firm for legal representation two times and both instances were victorious. Trial Pro P.A’s chief attorney, Piercy Stakelum, always took the time to sit with me and provide undivided attention.

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Our main priority is our clients’ healing and recovery process. While you focus on getting better, we focus on achieving quality results and obtaining victory for your car or truck accident lawsuit. Our attorneys carry over 100+ years of collective legal experience and have represented thousands of clients. We’ve also acquired millions of dollars in compensation on their behalf.

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A car accident can be scary and frustrating. When you experience a personal injury accident, the last thing you need on your plate is a law firm that can’t rightfully represent you. If your attorney’s firm is too small and consequently, it is getting pushed around, it’s time to reconsider your choice of legal representation. On the other hand, you do not want to have a fully loaded firm that is too busy to give you a call. The trial attorney’s at Trial Pro, P.A. carry credibility and reputation. We don’t ignore our clients or skip phone calls. Neither are we controlled by insurance companies.
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When you need expert legal counsel for your case, turn to the firm that has more than a century of collective legal experience and insight. At Trial Pro, P.A., we have put that experience to good use, advocating for thousands of clients over the years. In that time, our team has obtained millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements. As seasoned Florida personal injury lawyers and wage and hour attorneys, we know how to handle a comprehensive range of legal matters.

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Ever since 2001, the practice has held an exceedingly significant track record of successes. Every year, our reputable law firm is awarded for its impressive mark in the legal field. Trial Pro, P.A. has been recognized by Lawyers of Distinction, Florida Justice Association, Better Business Bureau (BBB) and more. Chief attorney Piercy Stakelum is a proud member of The National Trial Lawyers Top 100, an invitation-only organization compromised of highly regarded and credible lawyers. Trial Pro, P.A. has also been acknowledged by Super Lawyers. They recognize outstanding lawyers who have acquired exceptional professional achievement.

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ATTORNEYS PROUDLY SERVING THE INJURED AND THEIR FAMILIES

Trial Pro, P.A. is a proud advocate for personal injury clients throughout the State of Florida. The DNA and foundation of our law firm is passion. While we are passionate about the law, we are even more zealous about fighting for those who have been hurt due to the negligence of others. Our trial attorneys fully embrace authenticity and integrity. With over 100+ years of collective legal experience, our reputable law firm has become a trusted choice for injured individuals. Trial Pro, P.A. has a remarkable reputation for winning. After experiencing a car accident, the last thing you desire is to have an attorney that doesn't know how to adequately represent you. You want a trustworthy and reliable law firm that will walk you through every step of your case. You want a group of attorneys that will pursue justice on your behalf and acquire the maximum compensation. At Trial Pro, P.A., we don't see you as just another case number on our list. We don't turn our backs on you half-way throughout the process. Our former clients can testify that they've truly experienced the Trial Pro, P.A. difference. Quite frankly, most of them have pursued our representation because of others that have recommended us. There are a handful of characteristics that distinguish us from other lawyers but our credibility is the best one amongst all.

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We put into action our knowledge and legal abilities to assist you, not only to attain a positive outcome, but ease the legal stress from your shoulders simultaneously. Trial Pro, P.A. holds a reputation for achieving real success for clients. Leave it to us to fight wisely but aggressively.

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Expering a car accident can be frustrating and scary but our promises to you are fully authentic. Trial Pro, P.A.'s personal injury legal attorneys do not under-deliver. Instead, we do everything in our capabilities to go above and beyond your expectations.

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You shouldn't have to beg for a call back from your attorney. You shouldn't have to beg for an update on your case. At Trial Pro, P.A., we don't operate in that manner. We constantly call our clients to give them updates on their claim. If we miss a call, we promise to always return it.

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Our objective is to enable our clients to relax and concentrate on healing, recognizing that the legal professionals at Trial Pro, P.A. holds the knowledge and resources to adequately tackle all the legal and financial specifics associated with their dispute.