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Window Tint Violation Arrest

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On my way to Paris Island SC for Fort Benning, GA, I was stopped in Reynolds GA for window tint violation. The trooper was going to write me a citation until he discovered my insurance was bad and my registration suspended. It was my husbands car that was taken out of storage a week prior due to his deployment and upon military (army) regulations you cannot drive the car on the base without proof of registration or insurance. I called the insurance company (****) who verified full coverage and no lapse in coverage! I then called the tag place and they verified that the reason the registration was suspended was because of insurance but now that insurance was showing the car was back active. (it was an obvious system error) They said that stuff happens all the time to military families because we move around so much and explained that to the officer. The officer proceeded to get the car towed because the tint was in violation of the law and that his system was not showing that the suspension had been lifted. They put my 3 children (10,6,3) in the back of one police car and me in another, took us to the police station where I was finger printed and they took a picture of me. I was then told i needed to pay 1600 bond, FOR WHAT? To bail out? What am I being arrested for, window tint violation and at the time that I stopped you your registration was suspended. I thought i was like a practical joke but was told it was a class c misdemeanor for window tints. They took me and the kids to the trailer, I mean jail that was in a trailer. I was never told I was under arrest, I was never told what I was arrested for. I was never hand cuffed or read any rights. My kids were hanging out with me the whole time crying and tramatized because we have never been to jail. Im not from GA, just stationed here with my husband, my husband is deployed and pissed because he cannot do anything to help. Was there anything wrong in how they proceeded to take care of the issue??? Can you be arrested for window tints? Did they have a right to take minor children to the jail? In order for it to be an arrest dont i need to be detained and read my rights and informed of what I am being charged for?? HELPPP..

Edited by FindLaw_AHK
This post has been edited to remove personal or identifying information. -Moderator

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Can you be arrested for window tints?

Yes. Under GA Code section 40-8-73.1, it is a misdemeanor offense to operate a motor vehicle in the state of Georgia with windows that are tinted in violation of that section. The officer clearly may make arrests for misdemeanor crimes. Part of the problem here was that citing you and letting you drive off (which he might have done) would mean letting you to continue to drive a car that is tinted in violation of the state law and letting you drive without valid insurance and registration (which is the information that he had at the time.)

Did they have a right to take minor children to the jail?

Yes. While the kids were not under arrest, you were, and the cop couldn't just leave the kids on the side of the road. The alternative would have been to call children and youth services to put the kids in the care of that agency. That's typically something you really don't want to occur.

In order for it to be an arrest dont i need to be detained and read my rights and informed of what I am being charged for??

Obviously, you were detained and taken to jail. The officer doesn't have to use the words “I’m placing you under arrest” for an arrest to take place. As for reading you your rights, I assume you are referring to the Miranda warning, which advises you that you have the right to remain silent, have the right to an attorney, etc. Many TV shows and movies show the Miranda warning being given the moment the cop puts the suspect under arrest. That makes for great drama, but doesn’t reflect what the law requires. The Miranda warning is only required when both of the following circumstances exist at the same time: (1) you are in custody (e.g. under arrest) and (2) the police are going to interrogate you. You were under arrest, but if the cop asked you no questions after the arrest concerning the alleged criminal activity, then the Miranda warning was not required. Note that even if the warning was required but not given, the remedy is simply suppression of the statements you made so that those statements cannot be used against you. It does not require that the charges against you be dismissed.

You need not be informed at the time of arrest what the charges are against you. You do have to be brought before a judge or magistrate shortly after arrest for arraignment and bail hearing. At the arraignment you’d be advised of the charges against you.

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Can you be arrested for window tints?

In addition to what Tax Counsel has posted, GA entails this;

O.C.G.A. 17-4-20 (2010)

17-4-20. Authorization of arrests with and without warrants generally; use of deadly force; adoption or promulgation of conflicting regulations, policies, ordinances, and resolutions; authority of nuclear power facility security officer

(a) An arrest for a crime may be made by a law enforcement officer either under a warrant or without a warrant if the offense is committed in such officer's presence or within such officer's immediate knowledge;

The warrantless arrest seems proper as the crime was committed in the officer's presence.

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