I was ticketed for Failure to Excercise Due Care (violation of code section 40-6-241) and Failure to Obey Traffic Control Devices (violation of code section 40-6-20) in Dekalb county, Georgia.
The red light ticket I will pay without question; the officer said I failed to stop for the red light. I honestly did not even see a traffic signal, it was the first time I have ever been on that road and I am completely unfamiliar with the area. My issue is with the Failure to Use Due Care. The officer stated he issued that citation because I was on my cell phone. It is my understanding that it is not illegal to use your cell phone while driving in the state of Georgia so how can I get ticketed for it?
I was only on my cell phone because I am unfamiliar with the area; I transport foster children to and from visits with their parents and I was speaking with a foster parent in order to get easy directions to her home to return the children.
Do I stand any chance of getting the Failure to Use Due Care citation thrown out if I plead not guilty? I am also concerned that it says I could face fines of up to $1,000 and up to 120 days in jail if I plead not guilty and am found guilty. Am I better off to pay the $178 in fines and take the points or risk a not guilty plea?
If someone could explain the legalities of issuing a ticket for a non-illegal offense (talking on a cell phone while driving) I would appreciate it. As a note I am not under 18 and I have a Class C license in Georgia.