The Great Hashbrown Defence

A man in the USA is fighting police after being ticketed for driving while using a cellphone, arguing that he was actually eating a McDonald’s hashbrown. Jason Stiber of Connecticut has spent over $1,000 on legal costs to contest a $300 fine.

“I have never in my 21 years as a criminal defense lawyer — and that’s all I do — I have never seen such a minor case engender such disproportionate attention,” Stiber’s lawyer, John Thygerson, said. “It’s a big deal to my client, but small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.”

The officer that pulled him over denies any error, saying that he “clearly” saw Stiber speaking into a cellphone, holding an illuminated object up to his lips. However, Thygerson argued that as Stiber’s phone and car have Bluetooth capabilities, there was no reason for him to hold his phone to his mouth.

“There is no reason for him to hold a phone to his mouth to talk when he has the hands-free device to turn it on automatically,” he said. “Even if you were to think he was on the phone, he wouldn’t need to hold a cellphone because his car is Bluetooth-enabled, and was on the date in question.”