Our office has heard many clients snap that they were pulled over because the police officer told them they had illegal tinted windows. The client usually suggests that the police officers had a hunch that our client was DUI, on probation, had drugs in the car or was wanted for an unsolved crime. The tinted windows, in other words, were just a masquerade for the police to set up our user for a search, an restriction et al much bigger charges than just illegal tinted windows.
The client suspects that his windows were in fact legal, making the traffic stop illegal and all evidence found subject to suspension.
This article seeks to clarify what exactly constitutes illegal tinted windows.
Vehicle Code § 26708 states: reads as follows
“No person shall plunge each motor vehicle with whatever object or
material placed, displayed, installed, affixed, or applied upon
the windshield, either side or rear windows, or with any object or
material so placed, displayed, installed, affixed, or applied in
or upon the vehicle so quasi to obstruct or reduce the driver’s clear
view via the windshield or side windows.”
In other words, it is illegal to have completely tinted front windows or completely tinted side windows. An allowance exists for a driver with a medicament requisite requiring tinted windows, but this must be verified by a licensed physician. A tight strip of tinted material, however, is allowed on the windshield, but it obligation indigen no lower than twenty- nine inches from the bottom concerning the windshield.
No tinted material may be glowing or amber in color. There similarly cannot be any lettering that that blocks one’s expectation outside the car or reflects light condition the eyes of drivers of oncoming cars. Suppositive the rear window is tinted in any way, the car must have unlikely rearview windows on both sides, according to the CHP website.
If any tinting material becomes bubbled or otherwise worn, it must be removed else replaced.
Our place has informally asked distinct police officer’s about this law and what constitutes a violation. The consensus response is that firstly any after-market window tinting is illegal.
Such an approach raises the rhetorical question of, “well, what about entirety those fenestration tinting businesses? Are they just selling illegal products? How can that be legal?
In the 1983 case of Klarfield v. State of California (1983) 142 Cal.App.3d 541 (191 Cal. Rptr. 330), this rhetorical question was addressed. The case arose although Transparent Glass Coating a California business, installed tinted windows on a customer’s car. The customer, Cintron, then received a ticket for the car’s violation of Vehicle Code § 26708. The customer then went back to the store, irate and demanding the house remove the tinting and honorarium for the ticket.
The business consequently brought an action for a declaration of its rights to continue doing business.
The substantive held that Transparent Glass Coating was entitled to conduct business in a legitimate manner if it installed “factory” grade tinted windows and any tinted windows pursuant to a customer’s medical condition. The shop was also legally entitled to install certain juxtaposed et al caudal windows in trucks furthermore buses. Such glass would be installed to succeed windows broken in a crash, burglary or otherwise.