A cell phone ticket can be a hefty violation if not handled the right way. Lets first consider what the law says constitutes Use Of Mobile Telephones, VTL § 1225-c.
A non-commercial driver is in violation of the law when he or she is operating (driving) a vehicle while using a mobile telephone (“cell phone”). The law says a person is considered to be “using” a cell phone when he or she holds the phone to, or in the immediate proximity of, his or her ear while the car is in motion. Basically, a person must 1) be actively driving and 2) have a cell phone either to his ear or near his ear. The only exception to this law is when a person is using his or her phone in an emergency situation like calling the fire department, police, or 911. There are also exceptions for persons who use a cell phone while in the performance of their official duties (i.e. police officer).