Carseat safety laws

I was pulled over by a sheriff. He told me that his reason for stopping me was because my child’s car seat was strapped in to the middle section of the back seat. I told him that my daughter wasn’t in the vehicle and he stated that it didn’t matter, that it was illegal for a child’s car seat to be strapped into the center section. When it was all said and done, I was ticketed for driving with a suspended driver’s license only, not a car seat violation. What with my being a first time parent I didn’t know if he was right or wrong. After getting home, I did some research on state child safety laws, spoke to my pediatrician and to several child safety specialists and was told by all of them that the middle of the back seat was the safest place for my child to be as long as the car seat was correctly installed (and it was). Since his reason for stopping me was invalid I feel like the ticket should be invalid.

Asked on July 10, 2018 under General Practice, Louisiana


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

As long as the officer issuing the ticket had a reasonable belief that the stop was warranted, then any other tickets subsequenty issued are valid. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Generally, even if the initial underlying stop later turns out to be invalid, the law will not throw out other tickets issued or evidence found during the stop so long as the officer acted in good faith on a reasonable belief that the stop was proper when made.

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