I was driving down the road and I passed a police car facing the same way I was driving. He pulled me over shortly after I passed him and told me that my lights were blinding him and gave me a warning that reads: HID CONVERSION BRIGHT BLINDING UNABLE TO DIM 361.238 1A. The car does have a HID kit, but is it legal for him to pull me over only because he thinks the lights are too bright. I have been driving unstopped for a year.
Second, both my windows were down but he told me to raise up my window to test for window tint. I politely informed him that I didn't consent to that search; however, the officer insisted that it was illegal to refuse so I raised the window. The windows was in violation, but would illegal stop and illegal search be any defense for window tint. If not, what would?
Speeding / Traffic Ticket Lawyer
Aftermarket HID headlight conversions may or may not be illegal depending on the hue and angle of the light. Generally, these kits are made for "off road" purposes only and people will often put them in headlight housings that were not originally designed to handle the high intensity discharge, which will often result in the light pattern dispersing in a manner that is blinding to other drivers. Any modifications intended for off road use only that alter the original manufacturer's specs cannot be sold for use on public roadways unless the the product is of a type that has been submitted and approved for use by the Department (FLDHSMV) -Fla Stat. 316.241(1).
While the officer could technically cite you under the failure to dim statute, he could also have cited you under Florida Statute 316.220(1) Headlamps on Motor Vehicles, which states that headlights "shall show a white light." If your HID kit displays a purple or blue hue, the officer could argue that the lights violated this statute.
Contact a local ticket attorney to discuss your options.
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Real Estate Attorney
Yes, an officer can stop you in that situation. You may want to consult a traffic attorney if you still wish to fight the citation. They will be able to evaluate all your potential defenses.
This is general advice and not intended to form an attorney-client relationship.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Everything was legal.
Driving is a highly regulated activity - you consent to certain intrusions when driving a car that would not be tolerated in other situations. Checking equipment for safety is one of the primary functions of driving regulations and enforcement.
The warning is just that, a warning. Take it to heart and realize that in the future you may be stopped for this again, perhaps cited, and should you be engaging in any illegal activity when stopped that may come to light as well.
The tint issue is a trickier one. The test, the equipment, the wording of the statute can all be argued...but what really would be the point. Probably better to trade off the risk of loss against a known withhold and costs and be done with it. But in the end, that's always your decision to make. Either way, you'll need an attorney to stand a chance. Good luck.
The above is provided for educational purposes only and is not legal advice nor makes you a client of the Mosca Law Firm, PA. Please consult with a lawyer in order to obtain confidential legal advice that is tailored to your specific situation and facts.
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