Select Page

California’s Hands Free Law

(Effective July 1, 2008)

California’s Hands Free LawIf you’ve been cited under the California hands Free law (California Vehicle Code 23123, 21323.5, 23124, 23125) you were probably surprised that you were given a ticket for something that you’ve seen others do countless times that day. With the 2 year old law in full swing, police officers are citing more people than ever which means that traffic courts are experiencing extremely high volumes of these violations translating into extended wait times for those who have to appear to settle their tickets. At SD Ticket King, our attorneys can help you through the process of appearing for the violation and advocate your position if your ticket was issued in light of an exception. Here is a breakdown of the sections that a driver can be cited for if they were using a wireless device while driving.

Under California Vehicle Code 23123, all persons above the age of 18 are prohibited from using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving. The base fine for a first offense is $20 and $50 for each subsequent offense, but additional penalty assessments and fines could more than triple that amount.

Under CVC 23123.5, the text messaging section of the hands free law, a person over 18 is prohibited from driving a motor vehicle while using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication. This includes communications sent by text message, instant message, or electronic mail. However, if the person reads, selects, or enters a telephone number or name on wireless device for the purpose of making or receiving a telephone call, this will not be a basis for violation of this section. The fine schedule is the same for that of CVC 23123.

Under CVC 23124, all persons under the age of 18 are prohibited from driving a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone, even if equipped with a hands-free device, or while using a mobile service device. A “mobile service device” is defined as, including but is not limited to, a broadband personal communication device, specialized mobile radio device, handheld device or laptop computer with mobile data access, pager, and two way messaging device. Essentially, any device that allows you to communicate to another person in any form while driving is strictly prohibited for those under 18. However, an officer cannot stop a vehicle to determine if that person is under 18 and using a wireless device, but can only be stopped for violating CVC 23123. Basically, if you are using a wireless device without a hands-free feature, you run the risk of being stopped. The fine schedule is the same for that of CVC 23123.

And finally for those entrusted in driving a vehicle used for public transportation, including school buses, under California Vehicle Code 23125, drivers of these public transportation vehicles are prohibited from driving while using a wireless telephone. However, a driver under this section may use their phone for work-related purposes. Exceptions

The biggest exception among all of these sections if making a call related to an emergency. These would be calls to police and fire department, an emergency room, or other emergency service agency or entity. This list is not exhaustive and many emergency related situations could potentially fall into this category.

Also, drivers of tractor trailers or motor trucks over the age of 18 are permitted to use a digital two way radio that utilizes a wireless telephone that operated by pressing a push to talk feature and does not require immediate proximity to the ear of the user.

Emergency service professionals using wireless telephones while operating an authorized motor vehicle are also granted an exception.

Finally, if you’re driving on private property, you’re granted an exception from CVC 23123.

The information provided by California Ticket King is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is intended to be used as a starting point for further discussion between you and an attorney at California Ticket King. 


  • Sign up online and tell us about your ticket. Starting at $99.

Our California Traffic Attorneys

Scott Hullinger, Esq.

Scott Hullinger, Esq.

San Diego Traffic Attorney


Rowland Dinkins, Esq.

Rowland Dinkins, Esq.

Riverside & San Bernardino Traffic Attorney


Manny "Lee Buck" Rios, Esq.

Manny "Lee Buck" Rios, Esq.

Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Mono & Riverside Traffic Attorney


Sherrett Walker, Esq.

Sherrett Walker, Esq.

Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo & Santa Clara Traffic Attorney


Attorney Advantage

Hiring an attorney to defend your traffic ticket may mean the difference between a conviction and a dismissal. With high fines, DMV points and your license at stake, you need an experienced traffic law firm to handle it. Our traffic attorneys are the best in the business because:



We know the law and procedure that govern traffic law and traffic courts. We use the knowledge we've gained to get an advantage in court. Knowing the right legal maneuvers may mean the difference between a conviction and a dismissal.


We go to court for you

Under Penal Code 977 we can make all your court appearances without you having to be present. In most cases, you will never have to go to court. We appear on your behalf and represent you to the fullest extent of the law.


Cost effective

Hiring an attorney doesn't have to be expensive. Our fees are reasonable because we have designed our business to be efficient. Many clients actually save money because they have hired our law firm.

  • 5 star review  Have been using there services for 4 years now 3 tickets later & still no points on my record all tickets dismissed!

    thumb Anthony Mac Wyte

    5 star review  Great price, perfect result. Thanks so much.

    thumb Joseph Charles Crudo

    5 star review  Used ticket king a year ago for a speeding ticket and they got it dismissed!! Love ticket king! Saved me $300!

    thumb Brittanee Lee

    5 star review  I got a speeding ticket and called California Ticket King to take care of it. Not only did it save me saved me money and my ticket was dismissed. I would recommend them to anyone...I would use them again in a minute. Hope I don't have to but you never know. They are the best and worry free. Thanks California Ticket King..... Janest

    thumb Janest Cornell
  • 5 star review  without a doubt, these guys are the best... another speeding ticket dismissed.. highly recommend SD ticket king.. very cost effective solution.. don't just pay the ticket, CALL THEM

    thumb Kip Lee

    5 star review  These Guys are Awesome. my Tix dismissed today.... purely professional every step of the way.....thank You

    thumb Bruv Chadwick

    5 star review  $532.00 red light camera ticket DISMISSED, incredible.....

    thumb Rick Pedro

    5 star review  the best, would not use or even recommend anyone else....

    thumb Ramesh Calalay Shrestha
  • 5 star review  California Ticket King went above and beyond to help me with my issues. Highly Recommended. Extremely Professional.

    thumb RaFa EnriQuez

    5 star review  Speeding ticket DISMISSED for only $99... The best hundred bucks I ever spent! Wooohoooo. Thanks again San Diego Ticket King!

    thumb Tammi Palmer Wedertz

    5 star review  Saved me time and money. Hopefully I don't need to use this service again but if I do I will be a happy returning customer.

    thumb John Garcia

    5 star review  Luv these guys got my speeding case dismissed my GO TO people!!!

    thumb El Primo
  • 5 star review  Amazing! San Diego Ticket King got my $500 red light ticket dismissed! Thank you!

    thumb Anthony D. Bruno

    5 star review  Not sure how you guys did it. I was doing 86 in a 65 going north on the 15. Motorcycle Cop busted me on radar. Pretty clear if you ask me. $450 ticket. This process couldnt have been simpler. Didn’t have to do anything other than scan the ticket and give a brief description of what happened and email it. Got this today in my email 🙂 ---------------------- Dear Kenan, I am pleased to inform you that we successfully dismissed your ticket. I've attached a copy of the court docket for your records. You don't need to do anything further. Thank you for using our services. Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns. Sincerely, Pablo Fabian -- Hullinger, Speredelozzi & Fabian, APC ----------------------

    thumb Kenan Alkadi

    5 star review  I would definitely recommend Scott and I hope I won't get another ticket but if I ever do, I will hire him immediately he's not only polite, dedicated but very professional. I am really happy with the results of my traffic violation ticket. Thank you Scott

    thumb Alma Lazar

    5 star review  When you slip in life, they're there to catch you.

    thumb James Benavente
  • 5 star review  Had two redlights turn tickets in vista about a week apart from eachother, they ended up getting both dismissed 2 thumbs up ++++ i would have ended up paying 1,000

    thumb Chase Olivas

    5 star review  Can’t emphasize how much Scott Hullinger, Attorney at Law does for his and her customers. He is professional and top notch. I highly recommended his services.

    thumb Alan Gabaldon

    1 star review  Keep shopping, this "service" will not help u save one single dollar. U will lose time, energy, & $ with these guys. I provided dash cam footage on a special Zip drive and he didn't even use it. I could've asked the officer that wrote my ticket to dismiss it and asked my judge for leniency/a reduction, without paying $149. I still owe the full fine $401. I should've just set the 149 dollars that Scott charged me on fire. Even after years of law school, my representation put in as little effort as humanly possible. Waste of so much time, energy, & money.

    thumb Val Moser

    4 star review  I received 2 tickets in one month. One for illegal u-turn and the second for speeding on the freeway. ( bad month) I was going to fight them myself but hired SD ticket king instead. They got both dismissed! I paid $198 instead of $1100+

    thumb Sarah Moke