Few things cause more anxiety than seeing the flashing red and blue lights in your mirror, and for good reason. Tickets are serious in New York City, and they lead to fines, points on your license, or even the loss of driving privileges.
What should you do if police pull you over and you’re not wearing a seatbelt?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for that question, but one thing is for sure: you should get in touch with a seat belt tickets lawyer in NYC who can help preserve your rights (and help protect your driving privileges) as soon as possible.
New York State law requires all front-seat passengers to wear seatbelts while a vehicle is in motion.
Kids under the age of 16 have to wear them whether they’re in the front seat or the back seat, and kids under the age of 4 years old must ride in safety seats.
New York is considered a “primary enforcement” state. That means police can issue traffic tickets for the failure to wear a seatbelt. Unlike other states, police don’t need another reason to pull you over – you don’t have to be speeding, passing illegally or committing any other traffic violation in order to be ticketed for not wearing a seat buckle or to have a young child traveling outside a safety seat.
The person who gets the ticket varies. The adult driver will get the ticket if a child aged 16 or younger isn’t belted in; he or she will also get it if they’re the one not wearing a seatbelt.
A driver and front-seat passengers over the age of 16 can be fined $50 each for not wearing a seat belt. Additionally, the driver can be fined $25 to $100 for each passenger under the age of 16 who is not properly restrained. On top of that, the driver can receive three points on his or her license for each violation.
You are only allowed so many points (11 within an 18-month period) before the state of New York will take away your driver’s license. Because you can get three points for each violation, those can add up quickly (especially if you have other points on your license). Let’s say you have four passengers, none of whom are wearing seatbelts; that gives you 12 points on your license.
Suspension or revocation aside, you’ll still face increased insurance costs when your insurer finds out about your ticket. You’ll also have to pay those fines, which add up quickly, and you’ll have to worry about what will happen if you’re pulled over for any further driving violations, such as speeding.
Just one more ticket could result in the loss of your license.
If police ticket you for not wearing a seatbelt, you’re essentially admitting guilt for the offense. That means they can levy points against your license as well – and if you’re getting close to the maximum number of points, you could risk losing your driver’s license to suspension or revocation.
You can’t wait too long to decide whether you’ll pay the fine and admit guilt to a seatbelt ticket, though. You only have a limited amount of time to make that choice; if you go over the time limit, the state can suspend your license without any further input from you.
Your best bet may be to get in touch with a seat belt ticket lawyer who lives and works in NYC and who is familiar with our laws. Your lawyer will be able to craft a specific defense that gets you the best possible outcome in your case.
When you work with a seat belt ticket attorney, he’ll build a defense that fits with your situation. Because there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, it’s best to talk to a lawyer about what happened, why it happened and what the circumstances were surrounding the incident.
Your attorney will be able to preserve your rights and ensure that your side of the story comes out in court, which helps you get the best possible outcome.
Don’t wait, because you don’t have the luxury of time. If you miss the response deadline for your ticket, the courts can – and will – take away your driving privileges.
Call or text me now at 917-856-1247 or get in touch with me online. My cell phone is my work line, so you won’t have to worry about getting an answering service or talking to a secretary. You’ll talk to me directly, and we’ll work together to help fight the fines and points associated with seatbelt tickets in NYC.