Author: Marianne S. Rantala
A decade ago, many Americans still did not own cell phones, and most of us had no idea that “text” could be a verb. These days, texting is practically our national pastime. We text message during class, while we eat, when we watch television, and even while we drive. Studies actually show that texting while driving is more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol.
Texting while driving, also known as distracted driving, has become such a problem in New York State, especially amongst teenagers, that in July of this year Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that increased the penalties for these offenses. And just this week, Governor Cuomo announced that there are now “texting zones” on New York highways —areas designated for drivers who need to text or make a phone call, rather than doing so while driving.
Of course, if a driver is pulled over and charged with distracted driving, the penalties are limited to fines, points on their license, and/or suspension of their license. But what if, instead of being pulled over, a driver who is text messaging or otherwise distracted by their cell phone actually causes an accident? What if that accident results in a fatality? Suddenly that driver is facing criminal charges.
When criminal charges are filed against you, consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney is vital to the outcome of your case. Call (631) 864-1144 to speak with New York criminal defense attorney Marianne S. Rantala.