Watch CBS News

Judge: No Cell Phone For Two Years

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A Michigan woman killed a cyclist while she was driving and texting. She received six months in jail plus probation, community service, and in addition, lost the right to use a cell phone for two years. The judge in the case said that use of a cell phone is a privilege, not a right, and told her she'd lost that privilege.

But the legal question arises: if you own property, can you lose the right to use it?

If you have had your due process - that is, gotten your day in court and lost - the answer is yes.

The punishment for some crimes is forfeiture of property. People have lost houses, vehicles, and other property they owned because of drug crimes committed in them.

Loss of use of a cell phone is a novel punishment but forfeiture is not a new concept. In this case, the defendant's lawyer said she's not going to appeal so she will be without use of the cell phone for two years.

But it's a lesson for kids and adults alike: your parents and the law have the right to take away your phone when you misbehave.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.