Scary Legal Truths: What Happens When You Do Not Use A Booster Seat With Your Child

15 April 2015
 Categories: Law, Blog


Studies by the CDC in 2011 showed that more than one third of all child passengers in a vehicle were not buckled up, and more than six hundred thousand children rode without a booster seat or car seat part of the year. Although the fatalities were far less, almost one hundred fifty thousand kids were severely injured. Regardless of these scary facts, there are some scarier legal issues if you do not use a booster seat with your older child.

Facing Charges of Reckless Endangerment

Even if you do not get in a car accident and you are pulled over by a police officer, you could be facing charges of reckless endangerment of a child. You could be arrested on the spot, and your children could be handed over to social services who would place them in foster care if there is no other adult at home to look after them. While you are processed and arraigned, you would not be allowed to see your children. Depending on how a judge views your case, you may or may not be allowed supervised visits after your hearing.

Tickets and Fines

If all you walk away with is a ticket or fine for not having a booster seat for your child, you could be looking at ten to five hundred dollars, depending on the state in which you live. These fines are just for first time, non-DUI, non-accident offenses. They increase significantly if you are driving intoxicated or get into an accident and cause your child serious harm. Then you are looking at hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Adult Court and Juvenile Court Fees

Undoubtedly, your children would have a guardian ad litem assigned to your case to protect them and represent them in juvenile court. You would have to go to juvenile court to argue that you need some sort of help caring for your children, and that is why you neglected to have them buckled into safety seats. You would be charged court fees for the guardian ad litem, as well as the juvenile court lawyer and the legal fees for your own case in adult court.

One Error in Judgement Should Not Define You

With all of the horrific things that could go wrong to you and your children in a car accident without booster seats/safety seats, you need to double-check your kids before you drive. Things can happen and you can make a momentary error in judgement, but do not let that moment define the rest of your life. Seek out help from a car accident attorney right away if your child was injured and there was no safety seat or lack of restraints to prevent it.