Toll-Free : 800-310-9769
Main Phone Number : 214-219-9900
Fax Number : 214-219-9456

We Know Texas | We Know Business

At The Bassett Firm, we provide peace of mind. We are trial attorneys. Not litigators, but attorneys who try cases. Our years of trial experience protect you and your company.

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Firm News


On Behalf of | Feb 6, 2018 | Firm News

On September 1, 2017, Texas H.B. Bill No. 62 took effect, which is a new law that prohibits texting while driving.1 Under the new Texas law, texting while driving and the use of a portable wireless device to read, write, or send an electronic message, while operating a vehicle, is now prohibited. Violations are punishable by a Class C misdemeanor. The fine for first time offenders is $25-$99 and $100-$200 for second time offenders. The new law does not preempt the existing state laws. ALL Texas drivers must comply with the new law.

Importantly, if a person violates the new law and causes the death or serious bodily injury of another, then he or she can be cited with a Class A misdemeanor, a fine not exceeding $4,000, and a jail sentence no longer than 1 year.

What usage is permitted:

Using cell phone and electronic devices with a hands free device is allowed. Such use includes using speakerphone capability, a telephone attachment, and a wireless communication device attached to the vehicle that allows usage without the use of the operator’s hands. Notably, drivers are still allowed to use their phones for:

· Using GPS;

· To report a crime;

· For emergency calls;

· To read a message that a person reasonably believed to be related to an emergency;

· To play music; and

· To enter information into a software application that provides information relating to traffic and road condition to users of the application.


To be prosecuted for using a cellular device to read, write, or send a text while driving, the use must be in the presence of or within the view of a peace officer, or established by other evidence. Typically, officers will seek an admission of portable wireless device use from an offender or look for some indication that a person is texting. For example, an officer might look for a person with his or her head down and swerving while operating a vehicle as probable cause to pull the person over for violation of the new law.

However, a peace officer who stops a vehicle for an alleged violation of the law may not take possession of or otherwise inspect the device in the possession of the driver without a subpoena or unless authorized by a code or other law. If a person attempts to fight the ticket in court, records of the person’s texting history can be subpoenaed.


Certain portable wireless device use, although imprudent, may allow a user to avoid prosecution. For example, texting at a red light is not unlawful since a person is not “operating” a vehicle at the time. Using a phone to make a call is also allowed under the new law. The intent of this new law is to reduce driver distraction and increase public safety.


The Bassett Firm