Some people purchase cars and leave them just the way that they came. Other individuals, on the other hand, like to spruce them up a bit. However, there are some modifications that people make to their cars that are highly illegal. For the current generation, here are three car modifications that could land you in jail and in need of a criminal law attorney:
1. Radar Jammers
It isn't uncommon for people to have radar detectors in their cars to inform them when police area in the area using their radars. That way, if they're speeding, they can slow down and hopefully avoid getting a ticket. These are legal in passenger vehicles except for in D.C. and Virginia. However, radar jammers are an entirely different concept and are completely illegal. A radar jammer has the ability to neutralize, disable, jam or otherwise interfere with a law enforcement radar. In California, it is considered an infraction to purchase or be found in possession of one. If you are found in possession of four or more jammers, you can be charged with a misdemeanor.
2. Strobe Brake Lights
When you hear the term "strobe," you probably immediately think about the lights at a night club. You aren't far off actually, but strobe brake lights aren't nearly as blinding. However, they may be a bit distracting on the road, which is probably one reason that they aren't allowed in the U.S. yet. Ultimately, the law requires that vehicle brake lights be steady burning, and strobe brake lights flash or pulsate in proportion to how hard you are pushing down on your brake pedal. So, if a deer ran out in front of you and you had to slam on your brakes, the brake lights would flash warning the drivers behind you. To most, this seems beneficial. To safety regulators and lawmakers, not so much.
3. Whistle Tips
Whistle tips are pieces of exhaust pipe that are modified to fit onto the end of your existing exhaust and are designed to generate a sound that mimics whistling as your vehicle is in operating. It is often very loud and can be heard a significant distance away. Depending on the noise ordinance in your state, county and city, these may be illegal. Whistle tips have been outlawed according to 27150.3 of the California Vehicle Code Section 27150-27159.
If you have been pulled over, arrested and charged with a crime related to the illegal modification of your vehicle, you may want to consider speaking to an experienced criminal law attorney who can explain your rights to you and help you navigate the court system.