Have Legal Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Hello again, please make sure your statute comports with mine, so we are on the same page.
If your caps are tinted, you need to show that the caps do not restrict (in any way) the light output. My concern here is that tinting that is customized (not as per manufacturer) - if this is the tinted tail light cap that came with the vehicle, you can be fairly assured that it is in compliance, so check that out. If it is direct from the manufacturer, I woujld get my documentation, take a photo to show it is the same as was provided when new, and you can likely win this case. If you did change it, you likely have a problem, if not under 321.404A but under 321.387 (see below), which requires identical replacement.
321.404A LIGHT-RESTRICTING DEVICES PROHIBITED.
1. A person shall not operate a motor vehicle, motorcycle, ormotorized bicycle on the highways of this state if it is equippedwith a device that restricts the light output of a headlamp requiredunder section 321.385 or 321.386, a rear lamp required under section321.387, a signal lamp or signal device required under section321.404, or a directional signal device as described in section321.317.
2. A person who violates this section shall be subject to ascheduled fine under section 805.8A, subsection 3, paragraph "c".
321.387 REAR LAMPS.Every motor vehicle and every vehicle which is being drawn at theend of a train of vehicles shall be equipped with a lighted rear lampor lamps, exhibiting a red light plainly visible from a distance offive hundred feet to the rear. All lamps and lighting equipmentoriginally manufactured on a motor vehicle shall be kept in workingcondition or shall be replaced with equivalent equipment.
There is little you can probably do about the written warning - just make sure you didn't jazz up the vehicle to be louder than original.
As for windshields:
321.438 Windshields and windows. 1. A person shall not drive a motor vehicle equipped with a windshield , sidewings, or side or rear windows which do not permit clear vision. [Your officer may be asserting this is the case - it is your job for yourself to prove that the vision was still clear, despite the tinting. He may argue that 'tinting' be definition is not clear.] Again, if the manufacturer sold it this way from the factory, it will likely be helpful. If you decided to customize, more difficult.
2. A person shall not operate on the highway a motor vehicle equipped with a front windshield , a side window to the immediate right or left of the driver, or a side-wing forward of and to the left or right of the driver which is excessively dark or reflective so that it is difficult for a person outside the motor vehicle to see into the motor vehicle through the windshield , window, or sidewing. The department shall adopt rules establishing a minimum measurable standard of transparency which shall apply to violations of this subsection. [You need to get your hands on this - and if you do or don't, I would argue at trial that the state has the burden of showing what that min. is and proving via a measurable standard of transparency that you were in violation.] 3. Every motor vehicle except a motorcycle, or a vehicle included in the provisions of section 321.383 or section 321.115 shall be equipped with a windshield in accordance with section 321.444.
Thus, as you can see, whether you are in violation depends on these laws, whether your vehicle was customized such that it can be said to be outside the parameters here, etc. If you don't think the state can win, don't be shy about fighting it. The officer may have been citation happy out of jealosy of you new fun vehicle.
Hope this helps to clarify. If it does, please click ACCEPT and follow up if needed after you do so. If you need more detail, please click Reply, not ReList and I will gladly respond. Also, if you exceeded the one question one answer standard, and the expert provided you with answers to your additional questions, BONUS is an appreciated way of saying thank you! This expert's credit proceeds go towards providing volunteer provisions for the disabled. Thank you for helping!
I believe I have answered your question and I hope you a better understanding of your legal issue as a result. As you know, I am only the messenger, not your attorney, nor can I create favorable law if it doesn't exist, so please don't hold it against me if the legal result is not what you wish. ACCEPTING the Answer a so ensures I will be able to assist your with your future legal question. In addition, Positive "FEEDBACK" and BONUSES are also appreciated. If you would like my assistance in the future, just put my name, STEPHANIE JOY, in your title or first sentence of a new post. Please keep in mind that I can only respond to your post and the information contained in it, as I do not know what you know unless you describe it fully. Also, due to site tech reasons, oftentimes I am initially only able to see the first part of your post, so I apologize in advance if it means more interactions between us. At times, there can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break, or if it is late at night, I may have to go get some shut eye til morning, but rest assured, I'll be back for you. Thanks
S. Joy, Legal Expert
My Standard and Required Legal Disclaimer. The information given by me here is not legal advice. You should not and may not rely on anything on this website as legal advice and you agree that the nominal price you may voluntarily pay for information here clearly does not pay for any legal advice. I am neither establishing nor accepting an attorney-client relationship with you. You must hire an attorney in your state as a matter of law, in order to receive legal advice and attorney/client relationship and rights. I do not claim to be licensed to practice in the state where this information is being provided or whose law would apply, if any. My licensing credentials are noted in my profile, which you have full access to. As law is always changing, you are recommended to consult with the appropriate legal counsel in your jurisdiction for accurate and complete information. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX a great day.
Hi and thanks, XXXXX XXXXX that there are 2 requirements here:
321.387 REAR LAMPS. Every motor vehicle and every vehicle which is being drawn at theend of a train of vehicles shall be equipped with a lighted rear lampor lamps, exhibiting a red light plainly visible from a distance offive hundred feet to the rear.
 All lamps and lighting equipmentoriginally manufactured on a motor vehicle shall be kept in workingcondition or shall be replaced with equivalent equipment.
Try to show that the customization (if that is what you are dealing with) is "equivalent" equipment. As you can see, 'equivalent' may not be defined, but will then generally be as commonly used.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).