officer giving a citation

Texting and Driving in California

Texting and driving is one of the most common forms of distracted driving. It may seem like you are looking down to send a text in only a few seconds, but it only takes those few seconds to cause an accident. Texting and driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving because it not only takes your eyes off of the road but your hands off the wheel and mind off of driving as well.

California Texting and Driving Laws

California's texting and driving laws don't solely prohibit texting. It also pertains to GPS, web browsing, or any other distracting cell phone features.

In California, all motorists are prohibited from using cell phones while driving. There are exceptions for using hang-free alternatives when talking on the phone behind the wheel, but they apply specifically to drivers over the age of 18.

Fees and Penalties

When cited for using your cell phone while driving, fines can vary depending on how many offenses the driver has. A convicted motorist could face anywhere from $20 to $50 base fee on their first and second offense along with a point on their license for any citation that happened within a 36-month range of their last offense. In addition to the base fine, assessments are added afterward, resulting in a citation total of $50 to $250.


There are a few exceptions to California's texting and driving laws. In this state, the law doesn't apply to:

  • Use of hands-free devices, or voice-operated modes
  • Any driver who must use their hand to turn off a mounted GPS (as long as it only requires a single tap or swipe)
  • Any driver who uses a manufacturer instilled system embedded in the vehicle

Emergency vehicles are also an exception to the law's restriction when operating an authorized emergency vehicle.

Contact An Attorney

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a texting and driving-related accident, please get in touch with the personal injury attorneys at Vahdat & Associates. We can help you fight for your rights and pursue financial compensation. We have the experience to fight distracted driving cases just like yours. Let us be your voice.

Contact our firm to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys and discuss the details of your case!