View Poll Results: Does a police officer have the right to take you to jail for having an anti-photo license plate cove

37. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes

    6 16.22%
  • No

    28 75.68%
  • If you want to get techincal - Yes.

    3 8.11%
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Results 1 to 10 of 16
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Los Angeles


    I was just involved in a fender bender appx. 2 hours ago.

    When the police officer showed up he claimed he did not have to write a police report because "California is a no fault state" and because "the accident occured on private property" (a shopping mall parking lot). I insisted that we do things by the book and that he take an accident report. I just wanted to do things the right way. He didnt want to take the report.

    Things went downhill from there. He became very agitated and upset stating it was not needed etc etc. On and on, insulting me, and talking down to me personally. The the focus of his conversation quickly switched away from the accident an onto my photo-reflector license plate cover.


    "You have that on there because you are trying to evade our laws and deprive CA of revenue, in effect you are a stealing money from the state and are therefore a criminal and are subject to arrest, and I will take you to jail right now."

    I told him I researched the DMV regulations BEFORE I purchased the cover and was unable to find any such claim. Photo cover is a fix-it-ticket and that is the extent of it.

    This really made him agitated. He continued saying he was correct and could "show me the regulation", but if he had to - I was going to jail. I thought 1) Maybe they changed the law recently? or 2) It doesnt matter because he would take me to jail anyways because he can do whatever he wants.

    At that point I remembered.. I saw on TV the obsene condition of the Los Angeles "jailhouse" and the booking situation and it was scary as _____ with tranvestites, crackheads, illegal immigrants, gang members etc. They just throw everyone together with no supervision. It looked like a 3rd world jail situation. Here I am in a nice shirt and tie, just off work.

    I tried to change the subject back to the accident. But the focus continued away from the accident and and over to the Photo Reflector / plate cover. He would not stop talking about it. Then he calls up other police officers to tell them about it, and kept saying the word jail jail jail over and over again.

    He tells me "take that off your car or I'm taking you to jail right now"

    "Are you seroius?" I asked. "You cannot take me to jail because of that. I know the regulations".

    "Take it off your car or you are going to jail now"

    "I'm not taking it off"

    "Take that off your car or you are going to jail now (in a last chance tone)"

    "Ok, ok I'll take it off"


    "When do you want me to take it off... right now?"


    "Ok, ok" (I take off cover and put it in front seat).

    "Give me that cover. It's illegal. I'm going to confinscate it and book it as evidence"

    "You cannot confiscate that. It's my personal property"

    "It's the property of the state. Get it out of the car and bring it over here"

    "Sir what authority do you have to confiscate it?".

    At this point two other officers showed up. They all start talking. Then the other officer lectured me about the cover.

    The first officer is from the little beach town over where I am always hanging out all the time. He says:

    (finger pointing)

    "I know what you look like and I know your car. If I ever see you driving with that license plate cover on your car I WILL ARREST YOU AND TAKE YOU TO JAIL" and "YOU HAVE MY PROMISE, YOU HAVE MY WORD, I SWEAR TO YOU" "DO YOU UNDERSTAND?".

    He said that twice.

    Guys. This really scared me. I did extensive research on this cover before I purchased it and could find not ONE REGULATION ANYWHERE saying that it was an arrestible offense. Goodness sakes, even the laser jammers are a fix it ticket here in CA.

    Have the codes changed? If not then I'm going to put that cover back on my car asap. I'll just keep paying the $30 tickets. Not worth it to get an unfair $500 fine. They just want your money.

    Does anyone know of any new developments on the Photo-Reflector? Can this police officer take me to jail when he sees it on there next time? It's a small town. I'm going to see him again.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Somewhere In Between Right And Wrong


    I think this is the reason Its good to drive with a video camera.

    Anyhow did he write you a property receipt when you surrendered your plate cover? Probably not huh?

    I would have made him seize it personally and then demanded a property receipt.

    Cops can do whatever they want to unfortunatly and 99% of the time they get away with it...

    Why this LEO would want to criminalize an average Joe citizen while turning a blind eye to illegal immigrants is beyond me....

    For stealing Revenue from the state? Gimme a break!

    What the hell are all those illegals taking from the state in CA? A hellavah lot more than you but he turns a blind eye to them. That isnt right or fair.

    Sorry to hear of your experience. I dont know the law in California just voicing my opinion. I like camcorders.

    I gotta hook up my vehicle with a maxima lover setup. You never know when your gonna catch something good on tape.

    Sounds like you may stand to benefit from doing the same if you are in a small town.

    Get it on tape

    Good luck

  3. #3
    Old Timer
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Great Lakes

    Default wow

    Wow surfermsc123, I'm so sorry you had to deal w/ yet another member of law enforcement who feels the need to take out his/her problems on a motorist just trying to get to and from work. That police officer had NO RIGHT TO TALK TO YOU LIKE THAT MAKING THOSE THREATS! A video camera would have been a great tool for you during the traffic stop. And as far as the Laser Jammer law in CA, this is what a kill switch is for. Laser Jammer starts going off, you kill the power, then the LEO gets his speed reading. Ahh, there is a way around laws now isn't there?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Grosse Pointe, MI


    He's not talking about a jammer. He is talking about a simple license plate cover.

  5. #5
    Street Lawyer
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    719, Colorado


    you are correct it is an infraction, however if you continue to neglect the law AFTER 1 or more fix-it tickets have been issued you can receive a misdemeanor citation for continued negligence (i.e. window tint fix-it tickets, if you take the tint off just to put it back on when you KNOW it is illegal, they can cite you with this)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    St. Louis, MO


    Here in my wonder state, you can be arrested for any moving violation or any infraction. Of course, the LEOs would have to hate you for that to happen...which is why I check my bulbs everytime I start the car and go 5MPH under the limit.

  7. #7
    Good Citizen
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Queens NY


    Wait you were on private property right? as he said it you are allowed to have a licenseplate cover on private property But I don't blame you I would have given it to him. It is not the time to play "lawyer" cops hate that and the last thing you want is an angry cop. By the way what is a "fix it ticket" thinking of getting a plate cover and just want to know what a fixit ticket is

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Los Angeles


    Hi Guys. Thank you for the supportive words. I just talked to a lawyer who was telling me about a company called "Redflex" that has the contracts for the camera's. I'm thinking about just getting the Nav Alert. There seems to be a couple of different companies making them now. I'm trying to see which one is the "best". The Nav Alert does not protect you if you get "clipped" though. That's why I'm seroiusly considering just putting it back on my car. Better yet I'm gonna get a spectreguard instead of a photo-reflector. Not even the lawyer I spoke to said he thought the cop could arrest me for that. I mean, I suppose you could arrest someone for J-walking, right? But seroiusly, who would actually do that?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrandCentral
    Wait you were on private property right? as he said it you are allowed to have a licenseplate cover on private property But I don't blame you I would have given it to him. It is not the time to play "lawyer" cops hate that and the last thing you want is an angry cop. By the way what is a "fix it ticket" thinking of getting a plate cover and just want to know what a fixit ticket is
    Yes I was at the mall. Private property. A fix it ticket is a ticket the cops give in CA for equipment violations, things like having a missing rearview mirror, or having dark tint, or a broken window etc. They are usually $30.00. It's really easy. You take it to the police office, pay $30, then the police officer comes out and looks to see that it is "fixed", and you are done.

    So you get a ticket for the cover, take it off, pay $30, show the cop and thats it. Then you go home and put it back on.

    You might get pulled over once a year (at least here in Los Angeles - for now). The tickets of the rigged cameras (they shorten the time from yellow to red by 1 - 1.5 seconds to "clip" you) can be up to $500. They are putting them EVERYWHERE now over here. Even on the highway on ramps. Anything to get more money for this bankrupt city.

    So for me, to pay $30 year for total protection is worth it. However the police officer promised me that I was going to jail if he saw it again. The thing is, how can a police officer, any police officer, take you to jail without proper authority to support the arrest? It makes no sense to me. Somthing might be "wrong" but if there is no regulatory authority to support the charge....

  9. #9
    Speed Demon
    Join Date
    Jul 2007


    That officer acted unprofessional. Too bad you didn't have a camera.

  10. #10

    Default File a complaint with the city against the officers involved

    If I were you I would definately file a complaint with the city of the officer's involved that said they would take you to jail if you didn't remove the photo reflector cover on the license plate. For one reason you were in private property (isn't that why the officer didn't want to take the accident information) and second it doesn't sound like the officers know the laws. You might even politely call the city managers and ask them to explain to you the laws that the officers said could take you to jail over a plate cover. Many time city managers will be helpful if you are polite and explain you are just trying to learn about the laws. Then when you get the informaiton you need and find out the officer(s) were incorrect in their handling you then file a complaint. That way if said officer in your city hassles you there's a complaint on file and you can present that in court if you had to if he should give you a ticket say for not signaling when you actually signaled, etc.

    BTW: Plate covers really don't help much in reducing laser locks as the laser will lock on your lights and grill work and your turn signals. This has been proven over and over on myth busters and many other shows debunking plate covers, plate sprays, etc.

    Although, from what I have read and see on the online tests the Veil paint on liquid does a fair job of reducing the reflectivity thereby giving the officer less of distance before the laser locks on. My problem is I never see the officer until I'm on top of him/her if they are using laser as I rarely get a laser warning due to the nature of how laser works VS radar which at least will give you some advanced warning so you can quickly slow down. :P



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