Can you park your car in a public place sitting in the driver’s seat and take a picture with your cellphone through your car window?

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Can you park your car in a public place sitting in the driver’s seat and take a picture with your cellphone through your car window?

I was parked at a public boat landing and had my car in
park and had on my seat belt sitting in the drivers
seat. I opened my window to take a picture through my
car window with my cellphone and a deputy came and told
me it was illegal to take a picture from my cellphone.
He said I had to physically leave my car to take a
picture with my cell phone. Is it legal to take pictures
with a cell phone through the drivers window in a parked
car in a public place?…this was like a park.

Asked on April 27, 2018 under General Practice, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Laws that prohibit use of handheld phones or cellular devices in cars can restrict all use of--i.e. calls, texting, taking photographs, etc.--and can apply to use when the car is parked as well as in motion (just like laws against drinking alcohol in cars apply to drinking in parked cars or as a passenger only, and not just to when driving). While this officer was arguably taking an overly strict approach, in many states, the laws against using phones in cars would technically have supported him ticketing you.


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