Window Tint Ticket in Florida


Just got a ticket sat night for windows being too dark. Can I fight this or what? I live in Orlando FL.


First of all, is your window tint too dark? Florida enacted a very specific window tinting law in 1984 that imposes a non criminal non moving violation against violators. Window film is legal, if it meets the criteria established in the Florida Statutes. I think that you know if your tint is too dark, let's be realistic. A violation of law is just that. Nobody said it is right, but it's the law (don't get me started..)

Can you fight it? Yes. Can you win? Maybe. It is not a simple matter of tearing the film off in front of the officer as a friend of mine had to do in California (his car had Florida plates), or taking the car to a police station (or whatever) to prove it has been corrected. Florida does not treat window film as like a burned out headlight or bad windshield wiper blades (where you can "provide evidence" of correcting the problem and avoid a ticket). There is no provision in the Florida Statutes for inspection of windows following a ticket. The matter goes directly to the courts where you are expected to settle it, either with a plea of innocent or guilty (pay it or fight it). The ticket for the film is what, about $30?

How did you get the ticket, did they (the cops) have a device that measures the total amount of light that passes through your glass? Did they physically place such a   device on your car's window and measure the light that passed through the film? Was this a city cop, a deputy, or a state trooper. Smart money says that the law enforcement officers to fight in court get harder to win against in the order I presented them here.

Are we talking driver's windows (front doors), or behind the driver? Florida has a different standard for transmission for glass behind the driver.

If you decide to fight it, you need to get a copy of the Florida Statutes, and review chapter 316.2951-316.2954. Remember, you are in Florida, laws from other states do not apply here, even if your car is registered in another state. If your film is indeed legal (as mine is, I have a certification that attests to this inside my driver's door, as per Florida

Statutes), by all means fight it. Be prepared however to spend some money to find somebody with a light meter, and can certify the results to the court, and I bet they don't come cheap. If your film is indeed too dark, just pay the ticket. The worst they can do is ticket you over and over again, if you don't fix it. If you do, hey, problem solved, now get it tinted legally by a shop that has the right film.

FWIW, I had a friend get a ticket about a year ago (he smart assed off at the deputy who was writing him for speeding, so they "found" a light meter - real one too) for way too dark film. Paid it, and never took the film off. If they happen to stop him again, and happen to find the light meter, all they can do is reticket him. No provision for further harassment from the law.

Personally, I think the law sucks. I drove my last car for 8 years (90-98) with WAY too dark film without any problems from the law. I knew it was too dark, I tinted it myself. I guess with age comes, uh, understanding... My 240 is legal. Now, my '97 has to sit in a parking lot all day in the Florida sun.... with legal film. So much for the interior...

Hope this helps,
Bob Crawley