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Received a seat belt ticket while wearing a seat belt in NJ

Garfield, NJ |

I was on my way to school and upon coming to a blocked off road I put on my seat belt so not to run into any trouble. Upon driving approximately 1/4 mile down the road I was stopped by an officer who told me he was giving me a ticket for not wearing my seat belt, which I was at the time. I hadn't taken it off when he pulled me over either. I promptly showed him I was wearing my seat belt and he said "well you weren't wearing it when I saw you." Can I legally receive a ticket if the officer says I wasn't wearing a seat belt but then admits while speaking to me that I do in fact have one on? (N.J.S.A. 39:3-76.2f)

I also received a ticket for having an air freshener hanging from my rear view mirror, and a ticket for non production of an insurance card. Now, my car is well insured but I was not able to produce the card fast enough for the officer's liking nor was he willing to listen to anything I said.

Attorney Answers 6

Posted

The ticket you received is absolutely legal, it is a moving violation that causes an insurance increase, and in court it will be your word against the officer. Who do you think they will believe? This is why you need to retain counsel to protect your interests. If you want a referral on a great NJ traffic court lawyer give us a call 1-877-996-6849.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

How is it a moving violation, I had already put my seat belt on BEFORE I came into contact with the officer. That is, when I put my seat belt on there was no police presence in the area. He stopped me at least 5 minutes after the fact.

Michael J Palumbo

Michael J Palumbo

Posted

This is a counter productive rhetorical comment. It is a moving violation because that is what the State of NJ deems a seat belt conviction to be. Arguing with me or anyone else will not help your situation; the only thing you can do to help yourself would be to retain counsel.

Posted

Yes. The statute does not require that your seatbelt remain off until you are stopped by an officer, only that you were in operating the vehicle without the belt on. It does not matter how long you had it off or if you subsequently put the belt on.

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Asker

Posted

But the fact of the matter is I DID have it on when he saw me. I'm sure of it. Like I stated below, when I put my seat belt on there was no office presence in the general area. It wasn't until maybe 5 minutes later that I was stopped while WEARING the belt.

Posted

You received multiple traffic tickets. If you wish to contest these tickets you will be required to appear in Municipal Court. It would behoove you to schedule a consultation in person with an attorney to discuss this legal matter further and in a more confidential setting before you are scheduled to appear in Court.

If you choose not to retain counsel, be careful of what you say to the prosecutor as what you say can and will be used against you. Good luck.

DISCLAIMER This answer is provided for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you agree and understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site cannot be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices law in the State where this offense is charged; and, who has experience in the area of law you are asking questions about and with whom you would have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question, or in the State where this charge is filed. I am an attorney licensed to practice in the State of New Jersey. Consult a local attorney if your case arises outside the State of New Jersey. If you found this answer to be HELPFUL then you can vote that this answer was helpful. If you found this answer to be the BEST ANSWER of all those presented, then you can vote that this answer was the best answer presented. Also, please be advised that any response to any comments made by the asker do not create an attonrey client relationship.

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Posted

Who knows what the cop saw. He will be believed. These are all 0 point tickets. Try to get the prosecutor to drop 1 or 2 and just pay on one.

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Posted

Based on the info you provided, you are in violation of operating a vehicle without a seat belt, obstruction of your view (air freshener), and possibly not producing insurance documentation upon request. Your best bet is to try to negotiate an agreement with the prosecutor to drop 1-2 of the tickets in exchange for pleading guilty to 1. Unfortunately, many prosecutors wont plead it down if you dont have an attorney.

Alternatively, hire an attorney to review the discovery/paperwork and advocate on your behalf. Depending what is documented, you may be able to get some of the tickets dismissed. Many attorneys, such as myself, offer free 30 minute consultations. Good luck.

The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney until we sign a retainer agreement.

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Posted

All of the answers are correct. The easiest one to convert is the one concerning insurance, which can be amended to a simple offense of failure to produce a card. Make sure to have your current insurance card available if you go it alone and meet with the prosecutor.

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