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tinted window violation PA please advise


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#1 ladagosta

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 11:07 AM

My son was driving my car yesterday and was pulled over and given two tickets while one may be valid due to my memory issues and forgetting to pay the registration which would have been taken care of next month when it i due to be inspected. so i would not have gotten a ticket for that had he not been stopped for the tinted windows. ALSO i am not about to remove the tiniting as I plan to move to a state that is warmer year round and it will be needed to contend with the sun and heat. I also tend to sneeze in sunlight and have had a few close calls relating to my sneezing .
Anyway he was pulled over for tinted windows and cited : operated M/V with aftermarket window tinting on driver side front window having less than 56% transmission. required 70% Honda civic
also if anyone knows if overcast weather affects the reading of these new gadgets they use to test window tinting please through it this way. it was very overcast and at the twilight hour.

According to the
PA Motor Vehicle Code

Ch. 45 75 Section 4524 (e)(1)

(e) Sun screening and other materials prohibited.

(1) No person shall drive any motor vehicle with any sun screening device or other material which does not permit a person to see or view the inside of the vehicle through the windshield, side wing or side window of the vehicle.
this is black and white there is no guessing here no percents and there fore this is just nonsense. but i know 2 years ago my other son got a ticket for tinted windows granted they were a bit darker than mine but still you could see into the car.. he tried to fight it but the wrong way i gather he just claimed he did not know it was not factory tint as he had just purchased the car and it passed inspection. why would the inspection pass an illegal vehicle? that is another point i would like to bring up .. either it is legal or it is not legal?

It says nothing in the code about under 70% light transference being illegal most states have this at a much lower level of like 25 % or some 35 % and some even 50% There are only 4 states that take a hard stance against tinted windows and stay at the 70% that is aside from this issue as we are talking about PA law. it says nothing in there about being a certain percent.

My son called me and asked me if the car passed PA inspection I said well the sticker on the window says it did doesn't it.. he recorded the officer coming back to the car to give him a ticket and asked him could you answer one question for me. the officer was not willing to comply to his request a matter of fact it took him 5 times to ask the same question before the officer said alright. then my sons said I am going to roll my window up and answer me if you can see me in the car? the officers reply was yes I can, My son then informed him he was violating PA LAW by ticketing him for tinted windows. the officer replied well you will have to take that up in court
Honestly I have had enough and I am making plans about moving out of this state it is becoming a police state, our rights are being stepped on a bit more than they need to be.. there is little freedom especially in a certain town we live near i avoid it at all costs. the town we live in is very relaxed and friendly but not very desirable due to drugs and other issues, but hey every area has it's own issues now doesn't it..
I have hear enough people out this way complain about tinted window tickets and after reading the code i find it hard to believe that law enforcement is allowed to ticket vehicles if they can be seen into how is this the LAW?
Can someone give me case law where they have fought this sort of activity and won, I would love to present more facts to court as I plan to defend the issue, I have a degree as a paralegal but i am disabled or i would have gone to west-law to find the case law to prove this, but since i do not have access if anyone can help me here please.. and thank you in advance
LAD

#2 FindLaw_Amir

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:20 PM

You may want to visit the Traffic Laws Center: Traffic Tickets and read Window Tint Laws-The Basics as a good resource to learn more about this subject matter.
FindLaw's Legal Heads-Up! newsletter can provide you with the legal resources you need to make informed decisions when law touches aspects of your everyday life.

#3 adjusterjack

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:21 PM

You're right.

The statute doesn't specify percentages.

The PA Administrative Code does.

Scroll down to Table X - ACCEPTABLE LIGHT TRANSMITTANCE LEVELS FOR VEHICLE GLAZING

http://www.pacode.co...ubchapOtoc.html

I'm sure that, as far as PA is concerned, that's the law, although there are those that believe that the Administrative Code isn't law.

http://www.berksweb....ml#anchor982707

I doubt if you'll get very far with that argument in court.

If you go back and look at the complete statute you'll find that the statute allows for a medical exemption.

http://law.justia.co...5/section-4524/

If your sneeze thing can be medically documented, feel free to apply for an exemption.

If you think you can find another state to live in that doesn't have laws that you don't like, well, good luck with that.

Meantime, if you don't remove the tinting, you'll just keep on getting cited for it.

Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.


#4 LegalwriterOne

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 10:32 AM

If YOU weren't cited for the violation, YOU can't "defend" the matter in court. You can appear as a witness but the argument has to come from the person cited.

#5 ladagosta

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 01:18 AM

ok I was a paralegal prior to my disability and I did not want to have to do this but i put on my research cap and now this is where the record is going to be set straight!

 

case law sets precedence on this and now it is backed up here so read'em and weep.

 

read this case and it was reversed in a higher court which rules the lower courts are reading into the codes and laws to suit themselves basically:

 

http://www.leagle.co...lwar3-2007-curr

 

 

 I called pennDot and they said the statue that my son was written up for has nothing to do with window tint. my sons was written a ticket violation:

(section 4107 2 B)    (2)  Operate, or cause or permit another person to operate, on any highway in this Commonwealth any vehicle or combination which is not equipped as required under this part or under department regulations or when the driver is in violation of department regulations or the vehicle or combination is otherwise in an unsafe condition or in violation of department regulations. officer added to it / window tint:

 

so the law as it reads means what it says: not anything less so there are no loop holes and the violation of 4107b2 does not stick according to the updated law as of Oct 2011 according to PennDot who is to enforce safety on PA vehicles

 

 

TITLE 75 Section 4524 (e)(1) of the Pennsylvania Common Statutes:

 

(1)  No person shall drive any motor vehicle with any sun screening device or other material which does not permit a person to see or view the inside of the vehicle through the windshield, side wing or side window of the vehicle.

 

That is the law according to PA state!

 

these so called Table X are tech sheets which you refer to and they are for inspection stations as guidelines; not meant for law enforcement to fine people who passed inspection in pa then later to be ticketed  at their discretion.

 

this tint as been on the car since i purchased it and for all i knew it was or is factory installed as it is not that dark can easily see into the window; clearly identify anything in the car not good for thieves looking to rob people. 

 here is the case copied in case the link doesnt work:

 

 

 

 

COM. v. BRUBAKER

 

5 A.3d 261 (2010)

 

COMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania

v.

Benjamin J. BRUBAKER, Appellant.

No. 2012 MDA 2008

 

Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

 

 

Argued October 20, 2009.

 

Filed June 29, 2010.

 

Benjamin J. Brubaker , appellant, pro se.

Michele H. Sibert , Asst. Dist. Atty.,

 

for Com., appellee.

BEFORE: FORD ELLIOTT, P.J., FREEDBERG and

 

COLVILLE,* JJ.

 

 

OPINION BY FORD ELLIOTT, P.J.:

¶ 1 This is a pro se appeal from a judgment of sentence imposed upon appellant after he was convicted of violating a section of the Vehicle Code pertaining to sun screening of windows.

We reverse.

¶ 2 On March 28, 2008, shortly after 4:00 p.m., the vehicle appellant was driving was stopped by Officer Lane Pryor of the Camp Hill Borough Police Department in the vicinity of the Route 15-Route 581 interchange in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. Officer Pryor stopped the vehicle believing that the vehicle was being driven in violation of 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 4524(e)(1), relating to after-market sun screening or window tinting. After stopping the vehicle, Officer Pryor concluded that appellant was indeed in violation of § 4524(e)(1) and issued a citation to appellant.

¶ 3 Appellant was adjudicated guilty of 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 4524(e)(1) in a summary hearing in Magisterial District Court on March 28, 2008 and took an appeal to the court of common pleas. After a de novo summary appeal trial held on October 21, 2008, appellant was again convicted of violating 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 4524(e)(1).

Appellant subsequently filed the present, timely appeal in which he raises three issues for our review:

I. WHETHER THIS HONORABLE COURT SHOULD REVERSE THE ORDER ENTERED BY THE LOWER COURT BECAUSE 67 PA CODE 175.67(d)(4) IS NOT A REASONABLE INTERPRETATION OF 75 Pa.C.S. § 4524(e)(1) AND THE VEHICLE OPERATED BY THE DEFENDANT COMPLIED WITH 75 Pa.C.S. § 4524(e)(1) AND TESTIMONY OFFERED AT THE TRIAL?

II. WHETHER THIS HONORABLE COURT SHOULD REVERSE THE ORDER ENTERED BY THE LOWER COURT BECAUSE 75 Pa.C.S. § 4524(e)(1) CONFLICTS WITH 75 Pa.C.S. § 4527(B) AND

PA CODE 175.41(a)?

III. WHETHER THIS HONORABLE COURT SHOULD REVERSE THE ORDER ENTERED BY THE LOWER COURT BECAUSE THE ACT OF STOPPING THE VEHICLE [APPELLANT] WAS DRIVING[ 5 A.3d 263 ]CONSTITUTUED [sic] A VIOLATION OF [APPELLANT'S] CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS?

Appellant's brief at 5.

¶ 4 In Issue I, appellant levels a sufficiency of the evidence challenge.

Prior to addressing this issue, we will recite our standard of review:

The standard we apply when reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence is whether viewing all the evidence admitted at trial in the light most favorable to the verdict winner, there is sufficient evidence to enable the fact-finder to find every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In applying the above test, we may not weigh the evidence and substitute our judgment for the fact-finder. In addition, we note that the facts and circumstances established by the Commonwealth need not preclude every possibility of innocence. Any doubts regarding a defendant's guilt may be resolved by the fact-finder unless the evidence is so weak and inconclusive that as a matter of law no probability of fact may be drawn from the combined circumstances. . . . Moreover, in applying the above test, the entire record must be evaluated and all evidence actually received must be considered. Finally, the trier of fact while passing upon the credibility of witnesses and the weight of the evidence produced is free to believe all, part, or none of the evidence. Furthermore, when reviewing a sufficiency claim, our Court is required to give the prosecution the benefit of all reasonable inferences to be drawn from the evidence.

Commonwealth v. McClendon, 874 A.2d 1223,

1228-1229 (Pa.Super.2005).

¶ 5 Appellant was convicted of violating

 

§ 4524(e)(1) of the Vehicle Code. That provision commands:

(e) Sun screening and other materials prohibited—

(1) No person shall drive any motor vehicle with any sun screening device or other material which does not permit a person to see or view the inside of the vehicle through the windshield, side wing or side window of the vehicle.

75 Pa.C.S.A. § 4524(e)(1). With respect to the tinting on the windows of the vehicle appellant was driving, Officer Pryor testified:

A. Well, it was obvious looking at the vehicle that there was window tint on it.

 

You could—this isn't the darkest that I have ever tested. This is about a mid-range window tint, that you could see figures in the vehicle. You could see there was a driver.

Notes of testimony, 9/2/08 at 11. Later, under cross-examination, the following exchange took place:

Q. Is it true that at the District Court hearing you testified that you could see and view inside of the vehicle through the windshield, side windows, and side wings?

A. Yes. Similar to what I did today, meaning 4:20 in the afternoon, daylight conditions. I also indicated that during nighttime conditions the case may not be so, to view the inside of the vehicle . . . . The window tint that you had was of [sic] one of the lighter ones that I do— did come across or have come across.

However, during nighttime conditions seeing inside of the vehicle may not have been as advantageous as it was during 4:20 in the afternoon.

Id. at 20-21. Officer Pryor's testimony reveals that he was capable of seeing into appellant's vehicle even though sunscreening

[ 5 A.3d 264 ]material was present on the subject windows. Thus, upon its face, the terms

of § 4524(e)(1) were not met.

¶ 6 Despite the above testimony and the express language of the statute, much of the testimony offered against appellant related to a standard imposed by the Department of Transportation ("PennDOT") and purportedly referenced at 67 Pa.Code

§ 175,67 concerning the transmittance of light through the treated windows. That section of the Pa. Code provides:

A sunscreening device or other material which does not permit a person to see or view the inside of the vehicle is prohibited, unless otherwise permitted by FMVSS No. 205, or a certificate of exemption has been issued in compliance with § 175.265 (relating to exemption provisions). See Table X for specific requirements for vehicles subject to this subchapter. Passenger car requirements relating to the rear window are delineated by vehicle model year in Table X.

67 Pa.Code § 175.67(d)(4) (emphasis added). According to Officer Pryor and, more importantly, the trial court, "Table X, titled Acceptable Light Transmittance Levels for Vehicle Glazing, requires passenger cars to have a light transmittance level of 70 percent or greater." (Trial court opinion, 2/18/09 at 11.)

¶ 7 With the above backdrop, the trial court's summary of the process by which appellant was charged with violating § 4524 seems rational:To determine if the vehicle did in fact violate the Vehicle Code, Officer Pryor used a window tint and reflectivity meter to measure the percentage of light transmitted through the glass. According to Officer Pryor, the device used was calibrated upon its purchase in 1996, and was tested by him at the time of the traffic stop to ensure that the device was functioning properly. After he determined that the device was reliably measuring the light, Officer Pryor used it on Defendant's vehicle to test the level of light transmitted through the vehicle's tinted windows. He found that only 36.3 percent of light was passing through [appellant's] front passenger side window, which was much less than the

70 percent required by law. Thus, as a result of the low transmittal level of the windows on the vehicle operated by

[appellant], Officer Pryor issued

[appellant] a traffic citation for a

violation of section 4524(e)(1) of the

Vehicle Code.

Trial court opinion, 2/18/09 at 4-5.

¶ 8 Appellant argues that, as Officer

Pryor admitted that he could see into the vehicle, the explicit terms of § 4524(e)

(1) were not violated. Appellant also argues that the provisions in the Pa. Code have been incorrectly applied as a safety standard and constitute an unreasonable interpretation of § 4524(e)(1). We believe appellant is correct that the terms of § 4524(e)(1) have not been

met and, although our reasoning is not identical to appellant's, we believe

appellant is further correct in his general thesis that the terms of 67

Pa.Code § 175.67(d)(4) cannot be utilized to sustain the conviction for § 4524(e)

(1).

¶ 9 The express terms of § 4524(e)(1) prohibit a person from driving a motor

vehicle which possesses sun screening material "which does not permit a person

to see or view the inside of the vehicle through the windshield, side wing or side

window of the vehicle." Despite Officer

Pryor's and the trial court's focus upon light meter readings, the language of the statute does not prohibit a person from driving a motor vehicle which possesses sun screening material that "reduces the transmittance of light to below 70%."

Just as importantly, the statute also does not

[ 5 A.3d 265 ]prohibit a person from driving a motor vehicle which possesses sun screening material that reduces the transmittance of light to below a standard to be

determined and published by PennDOT. Such incorporation of a PennDOT regulation or

standard by reference is precedented in the Vehicle Code. For instance, in Commonwealth v. Hull, 705 A.2d 911 (Pa.Super.1998), we considered a

violation of the motorcycle helmet law, which provided:

(a) Protective headgear.—Except as provided in subsection (d) [relating to three-wheeled motorcycles with an enclosed cab], no person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle or a motor-driven cycle (other than a motorized pedalcycle) unless he is wearing protective headgear which complies with standards established by the department.

75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3525(a) (emphasis added).

¶ 10 Similarly, in Commonwealth v. Bailey, 947 A.2d 808 (Pa.Super.2008), we considered the provision in the Vehicle Code immediately preceding the one at issue here. That provision deals with exhaust systems, mufflers, and noise control and states, in relevant part:

(a) Compliance with established sound levels.—Every motor vehicle operated on a highway shall be constructed, equipped, maintained and operated so as not to exceed the sound level for the vehicle as prescribed in regulations promulgated by the department. The test procedures and instrumentation to be utilized shall also be established by regulation.

75 Pa.C.S.A. § 4523 (emphasis added). In Hull, with regard to the appellant's argument that PennDOT had failed to promulgate a list of approved helmets, we stated "[t]his provision does not make it a violation to wear a helmet that is not on the approved list promulgated by PennDOT, but rather for wearing a helmet that does not meet the standards established by PennDOT." Hull, 705 A.2d at 913 (emphasis in original). In our opinion, the key to that sentence is that the statutory provision made it a violation to fail to comply with the published PennDOT regulation/standard. No such provision can be found in § 4524(e).¶ 11 Given the lack of reference in § 4524 to 67 Pa.Code § 175.67(d)(4), we cannot see how the provisions set forth in that section of the Pa. Code represent a standard that supplants the express language used in the statute. The trial court seemingly incorporates the language of 67 Pa.Code § 175.67(d)(4) into § 4524

(e)(1) by citing to 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 4107

(B)(2). (Trial court opinion, 2/18/09 at 10-11.) That section provides:(B) Other violations.—It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

* * *

(2) Operate, or cause or permit another person to operate, on any highway in this Commonwealth any vehicle or combination which is not equipped as required under this part or under department regulations or when the driver is in violation of department regulations or the vehicle or combination is otherwise in an unsafe condition or in violation of department regulations.

75 Pa.C.S.A. § 4107(B)(2). The simple retort to the trial court's thesis that the terms of 67 Pa.Code § 175.67(d)(4) are mandated by 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 4107(B)(2) is that appellant was not charged for violating § 4107(B)(2) but, rather, was charged with violating § 4524(e)(1), which does not contain either explicitly or by reference[ 5 A.3d 266 ]the 70% transmittance standard utilized to convict appellant. Cf. Commonwealth v. Noack, 737 A.2d 1236 (Pa.Super.1999) (Driver convicted of § 4107(B)(2) for failing to maintain appropriate log books while driving a commercial motor vehicle.

The state regulation violated was found at 67 Pa.Code § 229.343, which incorporates by reference 49 C.F.R. § 395.8.). In accord, Commonwealth v. Gosselin, 861 A.2d 996, 1001 (Pa.Super.2004) ("The citation in this case charges a violation of section 2307

(a), and it is that charge which

Appellant was on notice to defend against. The trial court's incorporation of 58 Pa.Code section 137.1(a) in its order charges a new offense.. . . Therefore, Appellant's conviction also must fail on this basis.").¶ 12 Given our analysis above, and Officer Pryor's testimony that he could see into the vehicle, we conclude that the evidence produced at appellant's trial was indeed insufficient to sustain the conviction for violating 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 4524(e)(1). Thus, we reverse appellant's judgment of sentence.1

¶ 13 Judgment of sentence reversed..

 Jurisdiction relinquished.



#6 adjusterjack

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:25 AM

It's not us who you have to convince.

 

Have your son use all that information in the defense of his citation.


Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.


#7 haunt2005

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 05:22 PM

Ladagosta,

If you receive this message could you please reply or email me at ******. I am in the exact same situation as your son was/is and I'd love to know how he made out at the magistrate's level. I was pulled over for tinted windows and was cited for 4107 2b, not even the statute that mentions tinting. My hearing with the magistrate is Monday 5-20. I've been doing a lot of research, gathering info, and made a copy of the case law you posted. If any judge goes strictly by the actual law that mentions tinting, it's a no brainer, tinting is NOT illegal as long as you can see into the car. Thanks!


Edited by FindLaw_AHK, 06 May 2013 - 08:15 AM.
This post has been edited to remove personal or identifying information. -Moderator





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