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Seat Belt Tickets

Now and then potential clients tell me they got a ticket for not wearing their seat belt and they wonder if there is anything I can do for them.    Unfortunately,  I almost always say no.  Why?  First, by statute, conviction of a seat belt violation does not cause one’s insurance to go up nor does it result in any driver’s license points. N.C.G.S. Section 135-2A(f).  That’s what most folks are interested in, so there is nothing that we’d have to “reduce it to” to keep their insurance from going up.   Second, I have observed over the course of almost 29 years of practicing law that when people plead not guilty to seat belt charges, they are almost always found guilty.  In fact, as I sit here writing this, I cannot remember the last time I saw a judge find someone not guilty in a seat belt case.  I have seen many people found not guilty of more serious cases, such as DWI, but not seat belt violations.

About the only way I can get a seat belt charge dismissed is if the person is charged with something in addition to the seat belt charge. In such a case, the D.A.’s office will sometimes dismiss the seat belt charge if the client will plead guilty to the other charge.

 

About ken

I've been practicing law in Durham, NC for 30 years now. I focus on traffic cases, personal injury and workers compensation. I graduated from Wake Forest University in 1980 with a BA in political science. I went to Mercer University for law school, graduating in 1983. I began practicing in Durham the next year, and I have been here ever since.

Initially, I did just about any kind of case that came in the door. However, it's hard to get good at any area if you're trying to do them all. So, I settled on personal injury, workers compensation and traffic cases.

I am married and have two sons (ages 20 and 16). My wife is a physical therapist. My older son is a college sophomore and my younger is a high school sophomore. We also have three pets -- a Havanese dog named Blitzen, a tabby calico cat named Donner, and a black cat named Olive. (I'll let you figure out those names. . . )

I hope to hear from you!

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