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Top 5 Dumb Mistakes Sure to Get You Pulled Over

By Deanne Katz, Esq. | Last updated on

We all know you can be pulled over for a broken tail light and possibly ticketed if the cop throws the rule book at you.

Those kinds of tickets are often called mechanical violations. It's a non-moving violation but police can also use it to give you a ticket for something else. In some circumstances, what police see when giving you that ticket can lead them to search your car.

A broken tail light isn't the only thing that can get you pulled over. Here are 5 other common car defects that could result in a ticket.

  1. Broken Turn Signal. Add this one to broken tail light and broken brake light. If you make a turn without signaling, that's instant reason for a cop to pull you over. If you can prove that your turn signal is broken you might avoid a moving violation but you can still get hit with a mechanical one.

  2. License Plate Cover is Too Big. That awesome license plate cover from your favorite sports team? It might not be legal. In general covers that obscure any writing on the license plate, including the state name, aren't ok. If police notice it, that's grounds for a ticket.

  3. No side or rearview mirror. Most states have a law on the books requiring mirrors on both sides of the car and a rearview inside. It's not an option to not have one and if you're caught on the road without it someone is going to pull you over.

  4. Poorly loaded trunk or truck bed. Cars must be in 'safe condition' at all times while on the road. One of the most common ways this is enforced is if it looks like you're carrying things that could fall off the car. Securing your items in a truck bed or making sure your car trunk will close isn't just good for your belongings. It signals to cops that the contents won't fall out and hurt anyone.

  5. 'Unsafe condition.' Having a safe car doesn't just mean securing boxes and furniture when you move it. If any piece of your car, such as a bumper, is detached and hanging low that can make it legally 'unsafe.' A beat up car is more likely to be pulled over especially if heavy parts look like they might break off in the road.

If you're pulled over, the best course of action is to cooperate with police. But that doesn't mean you can't hire a lawyer and fight the ticket.

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