Most traffic tickets are straightforward, like speeding or running a red-light. We know if we get caught speeding or roll through a red-light, we will get a ticket. However, there are several traffic violations which most of us do not even know are against the law.
Although many of these ten are non-moving violations or “fix-it” tickets, some have a fine close to $500. And, if there are negligent operator treatment system (NOTS) points assessed by the DMV, your auto insurance premium will likely increase 40% or more, which could cost the average driver $1500-2000 during the three years the conviction will remain on their driving record. Major infractions will stay there for seven, while misdemeanors and felonies will languish for ten years. It is advisable to consult with a traffic ticket attorney about all tickets.
Here are ten traffic tickets which you probably did not know were against the law.
#1 Too Loud Exhaust System– Especially for younger drivers, this may seem cool or hip, but the truth is you can get a traffic ticket under CVC 27150, Exhaust Systems. All vehicles requiring registration shall have an exhaust system adequate to prevent unnecessarily loud noise, and “no muffler or exhaust system shall be equipped with a cutout, bypass, or similar device.”
#2 Loud Music– CVC 27007, Horns, Sirens, and Amplification Devices states except in emergency situation or authorized by government authorities for parades, political events, etc., no sounds shall be amplified more than 50 feet from a vehicle.
#3 Car Alarm that Sounds Like a Siren– CVC 28085, Theft Alarm System. Although having a theft deterrent system that sounds like a police siren seems like a good idea to scare off thieves and carjackers, it could get you a traffic ticket. On the other hand, at least a law enforcement officer came. Although this section of CVC allows flashing lights and blowing horns that are a part of the original equipment of the vehicle, subparagraph (c) prohibits systems that emit siren sounds.
#4 Smoking with a Minor Onboard– HS 118948, Smoking in Motor Vehiclesprohibits smoking “tobacco products” in a moving or parked vehicle with a person 17 or under onboard. If convicted, the base fine is $100 and with state and county assessments and surcharges is around $475-500. This violation cannot be the sole reason for a stop; however, if a law enforcement officer (LEO) pulls you over for another reason and you are smoking with minors in the vehicle, you will get a ticket.
#5 Rearview Mirror Ornaments– CVC 26708, Windshields and Mirrors. No one shall drive a motor vehicle with an object affixed, installed, placed, or displayed “upon the windshield or side or rear windows” that may reduce or obstruct the driver’s vision. This wouldcome as a surprise to many who hang air fresheners, religious medallions, or graduation tassels from their rearview mirror. Most LEOs will not stop you just for this violation, but if they suspect something else, an air freshener hanging from the mirror could give them an opportunity to pull you over and see what else they can find. So, don’t give them an excuse.
#6 Too Dark Tint– Also contained in CVC 26708 are the requirements for tinted windows. Completely darkened rear windows are legal, but the windshield can only have a four-inch, non-reflective strip down from the top. Factory installed tinting on the front windows must allow 70% of visible light transmission (VLT) to filter through, and after-market tint must allow 88% VLT. The driver must possess the certification of these requirements or face a traffic ticket.
#7 Colored Headlamps– Aftermarket headlights that are a different color or too bright could get you a traffic ticket. CVC 25950, Light Restrictions and Mounting state that headlights and fog lights can be either yellow or white and light visible to the rear of the vehicle, such as taillights, brake lights, and reflectors shall be red. Backup lights must be white. However, there are exceptions for older vehicles. The key is to check before adding aftermarket lights.
#8 Radar/Lidar Jamming Devices– Whereas it is legal to use radar and lidar detectiondevices in CA, it is a Federal crime to use radar or lidar jammingdevices. Any device used to interfere with radar or lidar devices are illegal in CA.
#9 Using Headsets or Earplugs– It is legal to wear an earbud or earplug in one ear while driving or biking, but wearing headphones, earplugs, or earbuds for both ears is illegal (even when resting on top of the head or no music is playing), and it will get you a ticket. CVC 27400, Headsets and Earplugs restricts their use except for construction, emergency, and refuse vehicles.
#10 Picking up or Holding a Cellphone– According to CVC 23123.5, Driving Offenses, it is unlawful to pick up or hold a cellphone while driving. It states, “A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while holding and operating a handheld wireless telephone…”The exceptions are unless the cell phone is mounted, or part of the vehicle’s communication system and it operates with a single finger swipe. Furthermore, a driver under 18 may not use even a hands-free device. A first offense conviction will cost about $150 with subsequent guilty verdicts costing around $250.
Traffic Ticket Lawyers for Mono County
When you receive a traffic ticket in Mono County or anywhere across Central, Southern or Eastern California, call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español 661.349.9755.
Bigger & Harman frequently appear in Bridgeport or Mammoth, CA, traffic courts to assist drivers with traffic tickets and protect their driving privileges. Bigger & Harman only practice traffic law, and only on a flat fee basis. Therefore, there are never surprise charges or hourly bills. You will always know how much you will have to pay.
Many fear hiring a lawyer will cost more than the fine or they will have to pay the lawyer and the fine. Whereas that is possible, there is also the more likely scenario of dismissal or a no-point infraction - which means your auto insurance premium does not go up.
Send them an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, with a photocopy of your ticket and a summary of the incident.
The 2018 CA Driver Handbook .pdf
Bigcitydriver.com article “25 Ways to Get a Traffic Ticket” as it applies to CA traffic lawCVC 23123.5, 25950, 26708, 27007, 27150, 27400, 28085, & HS 118948