Virginia No Seat Belt Ticket Defense Lawyer
If you’ve been issued a citation in Virginia for not wearing your seat belt, you may be inclined to pay the ticket and move on. But before you do so, you should talk to a Virginia traffic defense attorney. Samantha Upton has helped thousands of drivers deal with traffic violations, including cases involving drivers or passengers cited with a seat belt violation.
With help from a traffic defense lawyer like Samantha, you might be able to have the no seat belt ticket dismissed and avoid the potential penalties that come with a seat belt violation. Samantha exclusively handles criminal and traffic citation defense cases. She is ready to review your situation, explore your options, and fight for the best outcome for you.
For more information, contact Upton Law, PLLC, for a free, confidential consultation today.
What Are Virginia’s Seat Belt Laws?
Virginia’s seat belt law is Section 46.2-1094. It says all drivers and anyone in the front passenger seat age 18 or over must wear a seat belt. Furthermore, Section 46.2-1095 requires all passengers in a vehicle under age 18 to wear a seat belt or child safety seat.
Not only does this mean that all minors must be buckled up, but it effectively means anyone sitting in the front seats must wear a seat belt or some other restraint system.
A few exceptions to the driver seat belt requirement include:
- Drivers with a note from a doctor saying that wearing a seat belt would be unsafe or impractical
- Police officers transporting a suspect or in other circumstances in which wearing a seat belt would be impractical
- Rural mail carriers working for the United States Postal Service
- Drivers working on a rural newspaper delivery route
- Drivers and passengers in taxis
- Garbage truck drivers
- Commercial or municipal vehicle operators who frequently have to leave their vehicle
Virginia’s child seat laws also fall under the category of seat belt laws. Section 46.2-1095 says children under age 2 must be secured in a rear-facing child safety seat, and the seat must be placed in the rear of the vehicle unless the vehicle does not have a back seat. If the vehicle does not have a back seat, the child safety seat can only be placed in the front passenger seat if the passenger and side airbags are deactivated.
While Virginia does not require child safety seats for children over age 2, it is generally a good idea for children to be secured in restraint systems more appropriate for their age and weight until they reach age 13. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued recommendations on what safety restraints children should use according to their age and size. We strongly recommend that you follow these guidelines.
No Seat Belt: A Secondary Traffic Offense
One important thing to know is that failure to wear a seat belt is a secondary offense in Virginia. That means a police officer cannot pull you over just for not wearing your seat belt. They must have some other cause to pull you over, though they can cite you for not wearing your seat belt once you have been pulled over.
One of the most common ways to get a seat belt citation dismissed is to show that the officer who initially pulled you over had no cause to do so, meaning there are no grounds for the citation.
How Much Is the Fine for Not Wearing a Seat Belt in Virginia?
The base fine for not wearing a seat belt in Virginia is $25. However, if a passenger under age 18 is not wearing a seat belt or using a child safety seat as required, you could be cited multiple times for each individual infraction.
Passengers over age 18 in the rear of a vehicle are not required to wear a seat belt, while passengers over 18 in the front seat will receive their own citation, meaning the driver will not have to pay their fine.
What to Consider Before Simply Paying the Ticket
According to Virginia’s driver seat belt law, you will not receive any demerit points on your license if you are cited for not wearing your seat belt. In that case, why not just pay the ticket and get it over with?
There are a few reasons you should speak to a lawyer before paying a ticket for a seat belt violation. First, depending on how many people in your vehicle were not wearing their seat belts at the time, you could be facing multiple citations, in which case the fine will be much higher than $25.
Second, your auto insurance company could learn about a seat belt violation, which means your premiums could increase when your policy is up for renewal, and your insurer examines your driving record. If you can avoid having the seat belt violation on your driving record, your insurance premiums should stay the same.
How a Traffic Ticket Defense Lawyer Can Help with Your Case
If you have been cited for not wearing your seat belt in Virginia, talk to traffic defense lawyer Samantha Upton right away. She can review your case and determine if you could have the ticket dismissed, which will keep the citation off your driving record and help you avoid a potentially costly insurance premium hike. Since a seat belt violation is a secondary offense in Virginia, Samantha may be able to demonstrate that the officer had no cause to pull you over, which could lead to the charge against you being dropped.
Contact Attorney Samantha Upton Today to Receive a Free Consultation About Your Situation
Samantha Upton is an experienced Virginia traffic defense attorney who can help you if you’ve been cited for not wearing a seatbelt. Contact Upton Law, PLLC, today for a free case review.