You could face criminal charges for failure to wear a seat belt or to require child passengers to wear one under a recent New Jersey Supreme Court decision. The State issued that opinion last month in a Sussex County case.
In the case recently decided by the Supreme Court, the attorney for the defendant, Kirby Lenihan, argued that the state’s seat belt law did not fall into the category of violations that could be used as an element to proceed with such a criminal prosecution. An attorney argued the criminal law only intended to include violations of fire and building codes, pollution controls or other laws designed to protect the community at large from harm.
The Supreme Court unanimously disagreed. It held the state’s seat belt law is “clearly intended to protect the public health and safety,” and a violation of it can be used to support a criminal conviction under the other law.
For more information, please read: http://www.thedailyjournal.com/story/news/local/new-jersey/2014/10/13/nj-court-seat-belt-can-crime/17204875/