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Easley Law Firm

Strapping Down Your Child to Avoid Charges and Costly Fines

Darwyn L. Easley
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Attorney and Counsellor at Law

When you’re accused of reckless driving or charged with a traffic violation, it is always a good idea to get the advice of an experienced lawyer. Not only will a lawyer be able to explain charges and options, but he’ll be able to help you build a strong defense. However, did you know you may need a good defense lawyer even if you’re the victim of a reckless driver?

The reason?  Your child’s safety seat.

Disobeying Child Safety Laws Could Get You in a Lot of Trouble

Laws regulating child safety seats are determined by individual states. Specific guidelines may vary from state to state, but most states require children of a certain height, weight, and age to sit in special safety seats. In Virginia, the law states the following:

  • Children under the age of 8 must be correctly belted into appropriately-sized car seats. These seats must be approved by Department of Transportation standards. The Virginia law is based solely on age and doesn’t take height or weight into consideration.
  • Between the ages of 8 and 18, children must wear seat belts while the vehicle is in motion.
  • All rear-facing car seats must be placed in the back seat of a vehicle. In the event the vehicle does not have a back seat, the seat may be placed in the front passenger seat as long as the passenger side airbag has been deactivated.
  • Children of any age cannot ride in the back or rear cargo area of vehicles without proper restraints.
  • The restraint laws are primary enforcement laws and require no other violation to be committed prior to ticketing.
  • First offense for violating child safety laws requires a civil penalty of $50. Subsequent violators will be fined up to $500. If the violation directly resulted in injury to the child, the driver of the car could also be charged with reckless endangerment, child abuse, and neglect.

This means that if you violate any of these safety laws, whether you’re driving recklessly or are the victim of a reckless driver, you could be prosecuted for child endangerment and negligence.

Your Child...Their Rules

Do you think it’s fair to be charged with negligence even when someone else caused the accident? Let us know your opinions and concerns by leaving a few thoughts in the comment section provided. You can also leave comments and inquiries about child car safety and traffic laws on our Facebook page.

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Easley Law Firm

  • 10521 Judicial Drive
    Suite 205

    Fairfax, VA 22030
  • Phone: 703-865-6610
  • Fax: 703-842-6101
  • Toll Free: 888-386-3898
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