Can you get a ticket for flashing your headlights to warn other drivers?
Are you protected by the 1st amendment if you receive a traffic citation for flashing your headlights to warn other drivers of a speed trap? Watch as Attorney Tom Olsen answers this question and more!
Donnie: I got pulled over for flashing my headlights to other motorists to warn them of law enforcement speed trap and I got a ticket for failing to dim my high beams under Florida Statue 316.238. Should I fight the case in court?
Attorney Tom Olsen: Donnie, that's a fascinating question. There was case law in the last year that said that officers of the law cannot ticket you for flashing your high beams to warn other drivers of a speed trap. But I think that they have come up with a way around that by now giving you a ticket for failure to turn off your high beams.
Donnie: That's what the officer stated, and I have a video camera in my vehicle, and it's recorded. He stated that to flash my headlight, I was misinterpolating the law, flashing my headlights means turning them completely off and turning them back on even while driving at night time.
Attorney Tom Olsen: Well Donnie, first of all, I think you have a great case and I am so sorry that you're going to have to go through this. I think that a traffic ticket attorney could beat this thing in a heartbeat, and the good news for you is, we have a great traffic ticket attorney. His name is Robert Hidock, and you can reach him at http://www.thetixteam.com/. Do not play guilty to this ticket. Do call a ticket Attorney Robert Hidock at TheTixTeam.com. Hey Donnie, when this all shakes out, I would love it if you would call back to this radio show and tell us what the outcome was.
Donnie: Oh, I will do. I appreciate it. Thank you so much.
Attorney Tom Olsen: Chrissy, do you remember that case?
Chrissy: I do.
Attorney Tom Olsen: There was a statute that said you cannot flash high beams at somebody to warn them of a speed trap?
Chrissy: No, I think that it was interpretation. There was not a specific statute, but that it was interpreted that way, that you couldn't and ultimately it was decided that it is free speech and that you are able to flash your lights to warn other people.
Attorney Tom Olsen: Well, that part I get. It is free speech, yes, and right on, I agree with that. The question is, what were they being ticketed for before this all came to pass? That I'd like to know. If there's any ticket attorneys out there, we would love to know. They were being charged with something, but what were they being charged with? That's what I want to know.
Chrissy: As far as the exact statute, I don't know off-hand.
Attorney Tom Olsen: They were being charged with interference with a law enforcement officer investigation.
Attorney Tom Olsen: So interfering with a law enforcement investigation for flashing your lights has now been all the way to the Supreme Court and the court said, "No way, that's not going to be enforced anymore. Police officers quit issuing those tickets, but now they're charging you with failure to turn off your brights." That sounds like harassment to me.