• Were You Stopped For Dark Car Tint That Led To Further Charges in St. Petersburg, Florida?

Were You Stopped For Dark Car Tint That Led To Further Charges in St. Petersburg, Florida?

The St. Petersburg Police Department frequently pulls over vehicles for car window tint violations, using it as a convenient reason to initiate a traffic stop. However, following such stops, the situation can quickly escalate. If you had a window tint-related traffic stop that went south quickly and brought on further charges, don’t fret—you may be able to beat the charges with an experienced St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney on your side.

Why Car Tint Regulations Exist In St. Petersburg, Florida

Car tint laws are put in place to prioritize the safety of drivers and pedestrians on the road. By regulating the darkness of window tint, these laws aim to prevent accidents that can occur due to reduced visibility caused by excessively dark tints or distractingly reflective films.

Also, restricting overly dark tints helps maintain visibility for law enforcement officers who rely on being able to see into vehicles. If an officer can’t see into a car during a traffic stop they can’t ensure their safety or detect suspicious activities.

Can You Be Pulled Over For Tinted Windows?

Yes, any officer can legally pull you over for having tinted windows that do not comply with the regulations set by the state. If your tinted windows do not meet these requirements, law enforcement officers have the authority to pull you over and issue a citation or require you to remove the illegal tint.

What Are The Fines For Illegally Tinted Vehicle Windows?

If you receive a citation for illegal Visible Light Transmission (VLT) window tint in St. Petersburg, expect a fine of around $116 per ticket. It is important to note that a police officer has the discretion to issue a separate ticket for each car window found to have illegal VLT tint levels.

Can Being Stopped For Window Tint Bring On Further Violations?

Oftentimes, an officer uses tinted windows as an excuse to look for other violations. This is how law enforcement looks for further charges using what’s known as “reasonable suspicion,” a crucial component in lawful traffic stops. A traffic stop for your dark tint may lead to a search or you being breathalyzed. If you end up with a DUI, drug charge, or other criminal offense, that’s a whole other ballgame.

Occasionally, when officers stop individuals for minor infractions they may infringe upon one’s rights during the stop. They may trump up their suspicions of window tinting. But this doesn’t mean they are in the right.

Contesting the validity of the traffic stop can potentially prevent a DUI or drug conviction. If law enforcement fails to demonstrate reasonable suspicion, there may be an opportunity to effectively challenge the charges. Seeking advice from a knowledgeable St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney well-versed in traffic stop regulations can significantly benefit your legal situation.

Here’s How To Comply With Car Window Tint Regulations In St. Petersburg, Florida

In Florida, the laws regarding car window tint are regulated under Florida Statutes Section 316.2954. According to these laws, all vehicle windows must meet specific requirements for darkness or they can receive a traffic citation. A simple way to look at this is in terms of how much light can pass through the window and into your car. This is known as “visible light transmittance” or VLT.

Permissible levels for automobile window tinting in Florida:

Front Side Windows: Tint with at least 28% VLT

Back Side Windows and Rear Window: Tint with at least 15% VLT

Mirrored or Metallic Tint: Tint that has a mirrored or metallic appearance is limited to 25% for front side windows and up to 35% for back windows and rear windshields

Avoid the four illegal kinds of window tinting in Florida:

1. Window tint that is any other color tan shades of black, such as purple or green

2. Reflective tint over the acceptable limits reflected light

3. Black tints over the acceptable percentages of VLT

4. Windshields can not be tinted in Florida

Medical Exceptions for Car Window Tint

If you have certain medical issues like Lupus or melanoma and need limited light exposure, you can get an exemption from the tinting law. This exemption allows you to tint your windshield, side windows, and rear windows for medical reasons.

To get this exemption, you’ll need to obtain a medical certificate. You’ll also provide details about the vehicle you drive, such as the make, model, and year. It’s worth noting that this privilege is specific to you and your current vehicle. If you sell the car, the tint will have to be removed as it cannot be transferred to another driver.

Understanding the Different Kinds Of Window Tint

There are several types of car window tint available. When choosing your car window tint, ensure it complies with the local guidelines. Additionally, consider your priorities, such as heat reduction, UV protection, or maintaining visibility when selecting the type of window tint for your vehicle.

Factory vs. After-Market

Factory tints are usually very light, as the car manufacturer made them. They are made by putting pigment into the glass as it is formed.

Aftermarket tint is a coating that gets applied to an existing window, usually by a specialty car glass shop. Additionally, sometimes people buy kits online and try to install tint themselves. Be very cautious if you want to go the DIY route and make sure your kit is at the legal levels of darkness.

Dyed Window Tint

Dyed window tint is one of the most affordable options. It consists of a layer of dye between an adhesive layer and a protective coating. Dyed window tint helps reduce glare and can provide minor heat rejection. However, it isn’t very durable and can fade over time.

Metallic Window Tint

Metallic window tint contains small metallic particles that reflect heat and UV rays away from the vehicle. This also means it can create reflections that can be distracting and dangerous for other drivers. Another problem is that it can interfere with electronic signals like cell phone reception or GPS.

Carbon Window Tint

Carbon window tint is durable and provides excellent heat rejection while maintaining visibility. It does not contain metal particles, so it does not interfere with electronic signals like metallic tint.

Ceramic Window Tint

Ceramic window tint is the highest quality option available. It consists of ceramic particles that are non-conductive and non-metallic, allowing for maximum heat rejection without interfering with electronic signals. Ceramic tint is also fade-resistant and offers excellent clarity.

Eight Steps To Take If Stopped For Dark Car Tint Or Involved In An Accident Related To Car Tint Violations

If you are stopped for having dark car tint or if you are involved in an accident related to car tint violations, here are some steps to consider:

1. Stay Calm: If you are pulled over or involved in an accident, remain calm and cooperative with law enforcement officers or others involved in the situation.

2. Provide Information: Be prepared to provide your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance information if requested by law enforcement.

3. Understand Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with the tinting laws in your area to know whether your tint complies with regulations.

4. Cooperate: If you receive a citation for illegal tint, follow the instructions provided by the issuing officer and comply with any required actions.

5. Seek Legal Advice: If you are unsure about the legality of your tint or if you feel you were unfairly cited, consult with a St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney specializing in traffic laws for guidance. In many cases, you can beat a window tint citation with proper representation!

6. Document the Incident: If involved in an accident related to car tint violations, take photographs of the scene, gather witness information, and obtain a copy of the police report for documentation purposes.

7. Have Your Tint Inspected: Even if your vehicle is impounded, have the VLT professionally inspected ASAP. There are tools to measure this specifically and the cop may have just cited you based on them thinking your tint was too dark. A qualified St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney can help make this happen.

8. Rectify the Issue: If your tint is found to be illegal, consider having it removed or replaced with a compliant tint to avoid further violations or potential accidents.

Ten Ways A St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You

Here are the ten ways a St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney can help you if you were stopped for tinted windows and it led to further criminal charges:

1. Offer legal assistance and representation in the courtroom

2. Assist in understanding the charges and potential outcomes

3. Conduct an investigation into the stop and subsequent criminal charges

4. Challenge the legality of the stop, especially in relation to tinted windows

5. Negotiate with prosecutors for potential reductions in charges or penalties

6. Ensure the protection of your rights throughout the legal proceedings

7. Gather evidence and witness statements to strengthen your defense

8. Create a strategic defense plan tailored to your specific circumstances

9. Advocate for alternative sentencing options or diversion programs

10. Provide guidance and support in getting through the complexities of the criminal justice system

Contact a St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney Today For Your Free Consultation

If you have been stopped for a tint violation and have received additional charges in St. Petersburg, we’re here to help. Schedule a FREE consultation to discuss the specifics of your situation. We work tirelessly to protect your rights and get you the best outcome even if drugs or alcohol were involved. Remember, your consultation is entirely free so don’t delay!

Sean McQuaid