Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Motorcycle helmet laws vary across the United States.
Some states require all motorcyclists and passengers to wear helmets at all times. Other states don’t require helmets at all.
A person who violates a motorcycle helmet law can find themselves arrested and taken to jail. This can mean a loss of liberty and interrupted plans. It can mean wondering how to get to work or take care of family members while waiting for a court date.
Why work with a bonding company
Working with a bail bonds company can help motorcyclists who face a helmet law violation charge. If the person charged isn’t in jail it’s easier to secure an attorney. A bail bondsman can help a person charged take care of family members or continue to work while they wait for upcoming court dates.
In addition, a person who bonds out of jail may be able to take remedial measures to help their case. Their attorney can talk to the state’s attorney about ways to resolve the case without a trial. They might be able to show proof that they’ve purchased a helmet. The state might want to see proof that the driver has health insurance if it’s a state that requires it.
The bail bonds process
When a person faces a motorcycle helmet law charge, the court or the jail gives them a bond amount. They can pay this amount to the court and get out of jail immediately. If they don’t show up for their court date, they forfeit the posted money.
A person who faces a motorcycle helmet charge can work with a bail bondsman if they can’t pay the bond amount. The person charged calls the bonds company from jail or a family member calls on their behalf. The person charged gives the bond company a percent of the actual bond. The bail bonds company sets the price for the bond.
Then, the bail bonds company posts the entire bail with the court. The jail releases the charged person from jail. Then, the person charged with violating the helmet law can attend to their affairs while they await their day in court.
A person might have conditions to comply with while they’re released on bond. The court might tell them not to drink alcohol. They might not be able to drive their motorcycle at all. If they violate their bond conditions, the court can revoke the bond and order them to wait in jail until the case resolves.
Helmet laws vary from state to state. That means that what’s legal in California might not be legal in Florida. In addition, motorcycle helmet laws are often nuanced. Some states require helmets only for certain types of motorcycles. Other states might require helmets based on age.
Failing to wear a helmet might be a civil infraction or a crime. If it’s a civil infraction, it’s not something that the police can arrest a driver for when they see a violation. If it’s a crime, they can make an arrest any time that they see a person without a helmet on the roads.
Motorcycle helmets aren’t required in all states
The states that don’t require helmets are in the minority. Most states have a helmet law of some kind. That’s because the U.S. government promised states federal funding in exchange for passing tough helmet laws. The U.S. Department of Transportation penalized states without helmet laws for about ten years and then stopped the practice in the 1970s.
Motorcycle helmets are the most effective tool for keeping motorcyclists safe. Motorcyclists who don’t wear helmets suffer brain injuries in motorcycle crashes at a high rate compared to drivers who choose to wear helmets. Even so, requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets against their will remains controversial.
Helmets and civil liability
Choosing to wear a helmet might also play a role in determining civil liability in the event of a crash. In some states, a court might be more likely to assign negligence to a motorcyclist who chose not to wear a helmet. In other states, the law looks only at how the accident occurred rather than whether a motorcyclist wore a helmet at the time of crash.