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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 16840
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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CA ticket 5201.1(b) show i should i plea

Customer Question

CA ticket 5201.1(b) show i should i plea
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 4 years ago.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

Could you explain your situation a bit more? Are you being accused of selling a device or product that obscures a license plate, etc...?

ScottyMacEsq :

If so, do you have any defense that you can asset?

ScottyMacEsq :

*assert

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Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 4 years ago.
If you can answer my follow up question, I will do what I can to assist you...
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No selling it. The car was moved from Ohio where it was I stalled when I got the car in 2004. When I moved to ca it remained. I did not know it was not allowed in CA
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 4 years ago.
Thank you. Interestingly enough this law was recently amended to make the operation of such vehicle a crime as well as the sale of said device:

Vehicle Code Section 5201.1 Obscuring Readability of License Plates Prohibition Obscuring Readability of License Plates: Prohibition

5201.1. (a) A person shall not sell a product or device that obscures, or is intended to obscure, the reading or recognition of a license plate ( )1 by visual means, or by an electronic device as prohibited by subdivision ( )2 (c) of Section 5201.

(b) A person shall not operate a vehicle with a product or device that violates subdivision (a).

(c) A person shall not erase the reflective coating of, paint over the reflective coating of, or alter a license plate to avoid visual or electronic capture of the license plate or its characters by state or local law enforcement.

( )3 (d) A conviction for a violation of ( )4 this section is punishable by a fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) per item ( )5 sold or per violation.


Unfortunately a universally recognized precept in American jurisprudence is "ignorantia juris non excusat" (aka ignorance of the law is no excuse). essentially what this means is that, even though you did not know that it was against the law, and even though it has only been the law for a few months, the fact that you did not know that it was the law is not a legal defense. That is, it would not be a successful way to get the case dismissed, even if it is true (and I have no reason to doubt you in this regard, however if it was a valid defense, you could anticipate a lot more people using that defense that they did not know that something was illegal).

that being said, however, I would still suggest pleading not guilty. I like to say that pleading guilty or no contest is like paying full price for a new car. You can do it, sure, but you can get a much better deal if you hold out for a while. Personally, if it were me, I would plead not guilty, and try to work out something with the prosecutor. It's entirely possible that when you go to have your trial, that they will dismiss the case, because often in traffic cases such as these, they have so many cases that are set for trial, and they can only hear so many, that they will only hear the most severe of them. In any event, it would make more sense to at least plead not guilty and plead your case in front of the judge or jury, even though like said before you would not have an actual defense based upon your ignorance of the law.

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. Thank you, and good luck to you!h