Most people in Jackson can probably agree that distracted driving is a bad thing. But is it really bad enough to land someone in jail? This is the question lawmakers in Mississippi have been debating for many years. Some people wish to make distracted driving a criminal offense, while others agree that it should only be a ticketable offense.
If you have been accused of distracted driving in Jackson, you should understand the extent of the legal consequences you may face. While it’s true that distracted driving definitely isn’t the worst traffic offense you can commit in Mississippi, it can lead to serious penalties under certain circumstances. To approach this situation in an efficient manner, you should get in touch with a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney in Jackson at your earliest convenience.
What Constitutes Distracted Driving?
There are a number of actions that can be classified as distracted driving. These include:
- Making adjustments to a music player
- Doing your makeup
- Playing mobile video games
- Talking to passengers
Virtually anything that takes your attention away from the road is considered a distraction, although texting and driving is probably the most prevalent issue on today’s roads.
Mississippi’s Texting and Driving Laws
If you are caught texting and driving in Mississippi, you face a fine of $100. If you have a temporary or learner’s license, you face fines up to $500.
Legal Consequences Become Much Worse if You Cause an Accident
Although you might not be too worried about a $100 traffic ticket, you face much greater consequences if your distracted driving results in an accident. In this situation, you may face fines of up to $1,000. In addition, you may be charged with a felony if you cause a serious injury or death due to an accident. Specifically, you may face a vehicular manslaughter charge. In addition, you could be charged with reckless driving, which is another serious offense.
Mississippi’s Hands-Free Laws
It might sound a little old-fashioned to the younger generations, but you’re much better off making an actual phone call. Compared to texting and driving, you face virtually no consequences for making a traditional phone call while behind the wheel. Mississippi is one of only a few states that have essentially zero hands-free laws, although this may change in the future.
In 2021, it was reported that State Representative Jill Ford tried once again to create a hands-free law, but it was shut down. If the law passed, it would have resulted in a misdemeanor charge for calling and texting behind the wheel. At least for the time being, if you want to avoid criminal charges, dial a number instead of writing a text.
Reach out to a Qualified Attorney Today
If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney in Jackson, look no further than Ballard Law, PLLC. We have helped many individuals defend themselves against a wide range of criminal charges in the past, including traffic offenses. Book your consultation today, and we’ll make sure your defense strategy is up to par.
Ballard Law, PLLC
108 S President St.
Jackson, MS 39201