Cell Phone Ticket | Distracted Driving

Ontario Distracted Driving Ticket

The era of smartphones created one the most significant dangers on the highways – distracted driving.

We’re sure each of you has ever been texting SMS or changing your route on GPS while driving. But did you know that 26% of all car accidents involve the usage of cell phones or handheld devices? Being distracted while driving means you are up to 4 times as likely to be involved in a collision.

Did you know that when using a cell phone while driving your motor vehicle, you’re losing almost 50% of the information in your driving environment? Statistics are quite impressive, right? That’s why the Ontario government always improves and implements new careless driving and distracted driving laws.

But we’re not here to moralize you. We’re about to explain what it all means and how to proceed if you’ve been caught by the police and received a cell phone ticket.


What is Distracted Driving in Ontario

Distracted driving is not a criminal offence. It is a provincial offence under the Highway Traffic Act 78.1(1), (2), (3).

According to Ontario’s distracted driving law, no person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway while holding or using a hand-held wireless communication device or other prescribed device capable of receiving or transmitting telephone communications, electronic data, mail or text messages.

Moreover, no person shall do the same things when stopped in traffic or at a red light. The only exception is calling 911 in case of an emergency. 

If you want to make a call, text, program your GPS device, use your tablet, etc., you should park in an appropriate area and proceed with all the necessary actions. Otherwise, you’ll be penalized.

Please note that a driver can drive a motor while using the abovementioned devices in hands-free mode or may use hands-free devices.

Ontario’s distracted driving laws don’t cover such actions as eating while driving, drinking, smoking, making make-up, etc. Still, all those things are related to careless or dangerous driving, so be cautious. 


Penalties for Hand-Held Device Ticket Ontario

Once you’ve got a cell phone ticket in Ontario (this is the same as a handheld communication device ticket), you can face the following penalties (A to G drivers):

Type of penaltyFirst convictionSecond convictionThird conviction and subsequent offence
Demerit points3 demerit points6 demerit points6 demerit points
Fine*minimum $615minimum $615minimum $615
Mandatory licence suspension3 days licence suspension7 days licence suspension30 days licence suspension

*fine includes a victim surcharge and the court fee

Penalties for novice drivers convicted of distracted driving

According to Ontario’s distracted driving laws (Ontario Highway Traffic Act, section 78 (1)), there are no demerit points for novice licences (upon conviction), but suspensions are much longer.

  • minimum fine of $615 (incl. victim surcharge and court fee);
  • 30 days driver’s licence suspension (first conviction);
  • 90 days driver’s licence suspension (second conviction). 

Also, your insurance company can use your driving record with a handheld device ticket in Ontario, and your insurance premiums may be increased for up to 3 years. Demerit points remain on your driving record for up to two years. A conviction for handheld device ticket Ontario stays with you forever.

Actually, fighting distracted driving ticket in Ontario is a very delicate issue, because it’s strictly controlled by the government. Thus, prosecutors were instructed not to let cell phone tickets go. It means your chances of reducing demerit points or charges are pretty low.

Even if one of your friends has already successfully beaten the texting and driving ticket, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll have the same result. That’s why the best option here is to get legal advice from a distracted driving ticket lawyer. 


How to Fight a Distracted Driving Ticket in Ontario in 2023

Basically, hiring a professional distracted ticket lawyer or paralegal, who has great experience in fighting handheld device tickets, will significantly increase your chances of withdrawing your charge and keeping your driving record clean.

But if you decided to fight your cell phone tickets alone, here are the steps to be done:

  1. File your distracted driving ticket with a court within 15 days.
  2. Get the meeting date with a prosecutor or a trial date depending on a court location. Sometimes even if a trial option is selected a court will arrange an early meeting to ensure there is a good reason to go to trial to fight distracted driving charges. At this stage, you also need to prepare questions to ask a policeman about the details they saw.
  3. Before your early meeting with a prosecutor, you should try to get the evidence of the police officer that will be used in court to prove your guilt in actually using the cell phone while driving your motor vehicle.
  4. Show up at trial and be ready to answer any question about every little fact from the day you were caught using a phone or another type of electronic entertainment devices while driving.
  5. You can cross-examine a policeman in front of the judge and present your personal story of what happened when the police officer alleges you were breaking the law. 

Don’t use common excuses like “It was an emergency, and I needed to use my cell phone to call my mom/dad…” – it was heard by the judge so many times! Here it’s better to develop your defence strategy according to Ontario’s distracted driving laws’ peculiarities.

Important: traffic ticket paralegals can save you time and money by handling your issues with hand-held communication device tickets without going to court.


Peculiarities of Handheld Device Ticket Ontario Early Resolution

Early resolution meetings – these are meetings with a provincial prosecutor. They’re designed mainly to urge the driver to plead guilty with the help of reducing the charge or demerit points. But still, the driver will have a conviction and fine for their offence.

This means that if you plead guilty and get your charge reduced, it’ll affect your insurance rates because any resolution still goes on your driving record.


We understand that not all of you are lawyers and can deal with some legal technicalities. X-COPS knows how to fight a cell phone ticket in Ontario, so we are ready to help you.

X-COPS specialists pride themselves on the success rate we demonstrate when fighting traffic ticket charges in court – 98%. First of all, it’s possible due to accumulated over the years knowledge, hard-earned experience and a bespoke approach to each and every case we’re dealing with. If you value your time and money, call us now!

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    FAQ

    Here we've prepared a short list of frequently asked questions in order to provide quick answers to anyone who's looking for information associated with the topic. If you need more clarification, please don't hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

    👉Do I really need to fight my cell phone ticket?

    Generally, it's highly recommended to fight a ticket and not just plead guilty and pay it. Fighting is the only way to increase your chances of getting rid of the ticket. If you don't try, you won't really know if you had a chance to win your case. You only have 15 days to decide.

    👉How many points is a cell phone ticket in Ontario?

    First conviction: 3 demerit points. Second conviction and subsequent offences: 6 demerit points.

    👉How long does a cell phone ticket stay on your record in Ontario?

    The record of conviction remains forever. Demerit points remain on your driving record for a maximum of 2 years. Insurance company can see convictions on your driver's licence abstract for up to 3 years.

    👉What's the best way to beat a handheld device ticket in Ontario?

    There are 2 ways to fight your traffic ticket: 1 - you go to the court alone and try to fight it by yourself. Here results are unpredictable, and you should also study the peculiarities of the traffic laws related to your ticket and prepare everything by yourself. 2 - The second and the best way is to hire a professional traffic tickets paralegal and they'll do everything instead of you with much better results and fewer expenditures.

    👉What if I can't be present in court during a hearing associated with my case?

    If you decided to fight your ticket by yourself it's better to attend the hearing associated with your case. Otherwise, you WILL be convicted while being absent. In case if you're resorting to the help of a traffic tickets lawyer your presence in court isn't always needed. Should your attendance be needed as a witness you will be advised way in advance about your hearing.

    👉Do you really intend to go in court and fight a ticket? Or do you just plan to plead guilty on my behalf?

    We go to court to fight your ticket and get the best possible result with minimum losses. Pleading guilty is not our speciality.

    Don’t just pay the fine or go to court alone

    CALL US NOW

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