Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

I Was Pulled Over for Tinted Windows in Boston: Is That Even Legal?

If you have been driving in Boston for a few years, you are probably aware that police pull people over for minor violations. This might be nothing more than an inconvenience for some. But what happens if this traffic stop leads to something much worse? What happens if the police discover evidence of a much more serious crime? Suddenly, you are facing serious consequences for a traffic stop that probably should not have happened in the first place. But is this even legal? What does the Constitution say about these situations, and how can you defend yourself against criminal allegations? 

Three Arrests Made After Suspects Stopped Due to “Excessively Tinted Window”

On May 25, three individuals were arrested in downtown Boston. They had been pulled over for driving in a car with what police called “excessively tinted windows.” After the traffic stop, the vehicle and the suspects were searched – and an illegal firearm was allegedly found in their possession. 

According to United States and Massachusetts law, the reason for the initial traffic stop matters a great deal. For the traffic stop to be justified, there must be some kind of law being broken, something that is serious enough to put other people in danger. You might argue that a broken tail light affects traffic safety, especially at night. But even then, the argument is rather thin. When dealing with tinted windows, on the other hand, it is obvious that police are simply searching for an excuse to pull people over and search them. 

Can Police Legally Pull Me Over for Tinted Windows?

First of all, it is worth mentioning that tinted windows are legal in Massachusetts. The law states that as long as these windows allow 35% of light to pass through the glass, they are fully acceptable. The fine for this violation is $250 – making it a minor offense that is far less dangerous than driving drunk or even having a broken tail light. 

Furthermore, one has to wonder how a police officer can detect whether a window allows more than 35% of the light to pass through. They are simply relying on their best judgment, and it is obviously impossible for a human being to detect the difference between a 34% tint and a 36% tint with their naked eye. In addition, you should know that a traffic stop does not automatically give police permission to search you or your vehicle. Ask for a search warrant before consenting to any searches. 

Where Can I Find a Criminal Defense Attorney in Boston?

If you have been searching the Boston area for a qualified criminal defense attorney, look no further than Edward R. Molari, Attorney at Law. We know that many of these traffic stops are completely unconstitutional, and we can push to have your charges dropped due to these obvious constitutional violations. Settling for a public defender may leave you with a lawyer who is not prepared to fight for your rights. Contact us today to immediately get started with an effective action plan.