Will my son spend time in Jamaica jail for just a seatbelt ticket?Published Apr 9, 2012
QUESTION: Dear Legal Wiz,
My son who lives in Saint Andrew, telephoned me to ask for a lot of money. He is worried that he will go to jail in Jamaica. He says he did not pay his seat belt ticket, nor go to court because he misplaced the ticket. His friend who operates a bus service from Constant Spring told him that he would have to spend time in jail and pay a lot of money if he is arrested for not going to Court. His friend told him to go by Elleston Road and pay the police a lot of money and he will get through. Can this really happen?
RESPONSE: Dear Lois,
First of all, always recommend against trying to 'buy your way out' with the police, by offering them sums. This is referred to as bribe and trouble will set in greater than you can imagine. Tell your son to go to Elleston Road in Kingston, and explain that he has misplaced the ticket. A print out of the ticket could be available and then he would be advised on how to get a new court date. If he by now has found the ticket, please tell your son to go by the Room #2 of Traffic courthouse along South Camp Road. He is to show them the ticket as quickly as possible. A new court date will be arranged. It is possible that he can have court appearance with the judge on the day he goes in, so advise him to go between Tuesdays and Fridays.
The fine on the originally issued ticket for a seat belt is to date J$500. However on appearing before the judge once payment date has passed, the new fine will be maximum J$2,000 and he can get 2 demerit points on his liscence. On appearing before the judge he can and should explain himself - if he has a good story he just might only pay the minimum on the ticket or be forgiven. He will not be thrown in jail unless he cannot pay the fine or if he waits until the police gets him by warrant before turning himself in. Please ask him to make sure he has no other outstanding tickets also.
All the best