Unlawful Tag Tickets in Tampa FL
To begin with, a police officer pulling you over for an unlawful tag is often a pretext for a brief investigation of a driver. So, they can check whether he or she might be under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both. Regardless, if a driver hasn’t been consuming alcohol, or he or she hasn’t committed any moving violations. Since a police officer began observing their vehicle, any traffic stop is something more than a mere annoyance.
Swapping Plates or Stickers
Furthermore, in cases involving illegal tags, there be a violation of the letter of the law. Yet, there’s the gray area. And, it involves the spirit of the law and the subjective observations of the police officer who made the traffic stop.
Hence, Florida Statutes 320.261 makes it a criminal offense when any person attaches any license plate or validation sticker to any motor vehicle or mobile home that it was not issued and assigned or lawfully transferred to such vehicle. Actually, you are guilty of a misdemeanor of the second-degree. Not to mention, a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $500.
Conviction Issue of Unlawful Tag Tickets
Still, it’s unlikely they will impose anything approaching a maximum penalty. Therefore, a conviction of the offense is going to result in a permanent criminal record. So, that record can interfere with your job, educational and housing opportunities. At any rate, defenses to section 320.261 exist. Thus, it is in your best interests to contact us if they charge you with a violation of the statute. Especially, if you expect to have a security check coming up.
Unknowing Unlawful Tag Violations and Getting Framed
As a matter of fact, a lot of people have border frames around their license plates. While, some of these might advertise the dealership that you bought your car at, show logos of sports teams, or messages. And, some of them even have clear or lightly tinted covers that go over license plates.
Notably, Florida Statute 316.605(1) states you cannot place anything upon your plate that interferes with it being clear and legible. And, that includes your sticker too. However, what might be clear and legible to one police officer might not be to the next officer. So, that’s when we get into the spirit of the law and the subjectivity of a police officer. Granted, a judge may or may not agree with an officer.
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