Seat Belt Offense Goes from Low-Cost Ticket to Jail Sentence?
“Click It or Ticket” has long been understood by New Jersey drivers; wear your seatbelt or face a motor vehicle stop that yields a pricy traffic ticket. However, following a recent decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court, drivers who fail to don a seatbelt – and/or fail to require minor passengers to wear buckle up – may result in criminal charges. New Jersey’s highest court even said that an offender could face a prison sentence of up to 10 years!
Lawmakers said that if a person knowingly violates a law that is supposed to protect the public, and by doing so causes injury or wrongful death to another person, they should be forced to face criminal charges for their recklessness.
In the past failure to wear a seatbelt came with a $20 ticket. But recent cases where failure to abide by the state’s mandatory seatbelt law, which according to the NJ Supreme Court is “clearly intended to protect the public health and safety,” should be seen as a violation of criminal law.
If you or someone you love was ticketed for not wearing your seatbelt and you were involved in an accident that caused injury to another person, speak to an experienced Atlantic City NJ criminal defense attorney about the seriousness of your charges. John W. Tumelty is a skilled defense lawyer who will talk to you for free about your charges and fight for your rights in court.