Archive for January 29th, 2011

Ask a Cop?: Window Tinting……

—–Original Message—–
From: E
Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2011 8:57 PM
Subject: laws

hi i was wondering if this is right i was pulled over on 1/11/11 by the local police department for window tint and i was ticketed a 125.00 fine but the tint has been on my car since 2002 and the window tint law was put into effect in 2004 right so i got the proof for him to see that is was done in 2002 and i know a little about the laws in Ohio and what they can and can not do and when i told the cop that is a ex post facto law witch is Latin for "after the fact," which refers to laws adopted after an act is committed making it illegal although it was legal when done, or increases the penalty for a crime after it is committed. Such laws are specifically prohibited by the U. S. Constitution, Article I, Section 9. Therefore, if a state legislature or Congress enact new rules of proof or longer sentences, those new rules or sentences do not apply to crimes committed before the new law was adopted.

and the cop some how for got to give me my window tint receipt back to me and now i do not have it and that is and was the only time iv ever been pulled over in my life thanks

Thanks for the question and here are some opinions for you:

Not sure how the ex post facto defense would work for you in court. If a law is passed it applies to everyone unless exceptions are specified in the law. In your situation, it would be too difficult for a cop to pull people over and then try and determine if the window tint was applied prior to or after the law was passed. A cop is going to write the ticket regardless and court would be the place to argue your case and bring evidence or proof.

Again, I’m not sure how that defense would work. New laws are passed all the time and they don’t say it’s legal for those "pre-law" and illegal for those "post law". Laws would be too difficult to enforce unless the exceptions are specified in the law. What about seat belts? People could say they took the seat belts out of their car before the seat belt law was passed so they don’t need to wear them now, right? Wrong, the law applies to all cars now unless exceptions are noted in the law. Just because something was legal before a law was passed doesn’t automatically make it legal for people claiming a "pre-law" defense.

I believe the Constitution section you mentioned applies more toward a criminal matter / punishment  rather than vehicle code equipment violations. For instance, if someone committed a crime that was considered a misdemeanor when it occurred but a law passed later makes the same crime a felony, the courts cant "go back" and charge that person with a felony if the crime was considered a misdemeanor when it was committed. Also, the courts cant "go back" and increase a persons sentence if a law passed later increases punishment for the same crime after the person was already charged and sentenced with a lesser sentence.   

I’m not sure about Ohio laws or how the ex-post facto defense will work for you but good luck. Bottom line for anyone who doesn’t agree with a ticket; arguing with a cop on the street usually doesn’t work, in fact, it almost always ensures a ticket. Court is the place to argue your case and try to get the ticket dismissed.     


Your argument sounds very convincing. If you feel up to the task of defending yourself in court, I would obtain another copy( call the store in Ohio) and have them fax a copy of receipt to you.

Then explain, with copies in hand of the various statutes you quoted, to the Judge as to why you should be "grandfathered" in under the law of 2004.

Good luck and please send us the a note on the outcome of your court case.


PS: The officer was only enforcing laws the California legislature enacted ( the people of California voted them into office by the way).

I cannot find any fault in him/her doing what they are required to do.