What is the exact definition of the term “using” a mobile phone ?
I can show that I was not making or receiving calls at the time of the alleged offence, nor did I send any text messages, however I admitted I had the phone in my hand when stopped. I told the Police I was looking at it. The phone was in my line of sight rather than looking down at it in my lap or on the passenger seat, as this seems safer to me. The Officer did not take any notes or record any of the conversation we had.
The offence is timed at 16:35
I made a call at 16:28 for 16 secs and one at 16:29 for 04 secs.
I received a call at 16:30 and 16:43 but did not answer them.
I had just set off from work (literally round the corner) from where I was stopped and so it is justifiable that I made the call whilst NOT driving.
I did categorically state I was NOT using it to make or receive calls. He did not check my call log.
I explained I found it harsh to be punished for just looking at my phone rather than if I were indeed using it, however he informed me that he “did his own” meaning he had caught and charged Snr members of x Police for the same offence and he was “merciless” in such instances however, it was now difficult to work with said individuals et al.
I declined to sign Fixed Penalty Notice.
My only concern is that if I go to court I am found guilty, I may be liable to a larger fine.
It is the 3 points I am worried about receiving as I am a disabled driver and I need my vehicle. Although, these will be my first points, in this day and age where you can easily pick up 3 points for the slightest of mistakes, it does worry me that I may get suspended and left vulnerable without a car.
Please can you advise.
Simply holding a phone is not an offence. The prosecution have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were actually using the phone at the time of the alleged offence for you to be found not guilty. If you have phone records to contradict this then you have a defence.
If you take the matter to court and lose you will be at risk of a higher fine and court costs. That’s the gamble. If you win you can get back your reasonable legal fees and you will avoid any fines and court costs.
If you want my help and you would like to challenge this matter then please comeback to me.