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Is it Illegal to Look at Your Cell Phone while Driving?

Posted by Robert Berglund | Jun 26, 2023

Yes.  Even if a driver is only holding the phone and not typing, he or she can still be cited for violating Vehicle Code Section 23123.5.  This section prohibits drivers from holding a cell phone or other electronic wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle.  Even if the driver is only reading a message or looking at a maps app, he or she can receive a traffic ticket.  To avoid a violation, it is best to mount the cell phone on the dashboard or center console and in a manner not to obscure your view of the road.  

The fine for a violation of Vehicle Code Section 23123.5 is $20 + penalty assessments (approximately $150-$200) for a first offense and $50 + penalty assessments for repeat offenders (approximately $250-$300).  The exact total amounts vary by courthouse.  Moreover, conviction of a second violation within 3 years of the first violation is considered a "moving violation" which results in one point being assessed to your driving record.  If you are traffic school eligible you would need to attend traffic school to avoid the point.      

If you received a traffic ticket for a cell phone violation in Los Angeles County, call our traffic ticket law firm today at (877) 667-1205 or submit the CONTACT form to schedule a free consultation. 

About the Author

Robert Berglund

Attorney Robert D. Berglund is dedicated to handling any and all traffic violations, including traffic infraction tickets, as well as misdemeanor criminal traffic violations, such as driving under the influence (DUI), driving on a suspended license, and reckless driving.


Our office specializes in representing individuals facing traffic violations. We represent our clients in both court and at DMV hearings. Your case will be handled with the personalized attention and expertise that it deserves.

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There is no charge for the phone consultation. Our office specializes in representing individuals facing traffic violations. Attorney Robert D. Berglund will personally speak with you about your case and provide you with an honest analysis. Contact us today.