stuff hanging from rearview mirror

Many of us, I am sure, have a bad habit of hanging things from our rearview mirrors. I am not talking about parking garage passes and smaller items. I mean those things that hang down a ways from the mirror itself. This can be a problem.

New Jersey Stat. § 39:3-74 states  [N]o person shall drive any vehicle so constructed, equipped or loaded as to unduly interfere with the driver's vision to the front and to the sides." In other words, you can get pulled over for hanging those beads from last Mardi Gras on your mirror. And, if you do get pulled over, it is time to contact an experienced New Jersey traffic court lawyer.

You May Face Bigger Problems Than What's Hanging From Your Rearview Mirror 

This stop, however, could lead to more significant trouble. The New Jersey Appellate Court ruled in State v. Barrow that a pair of tiny boxing gloves, measuring 3½ inches by 3½ inches hanging from the defendant's rear-view mirror, provided a police officer with sufficient reasonable suspicion to stop the defendant's car. This stop ultimately resulted in the discovery of drugs in the defendant's possession.

The irony of the case is that the court commented that the tiny gloves may not have been large enough to support a conviction under the law; they just provided enough probable cause to support the stop and the discovery of the drugs!

So What Do I Do?

Two things to bear in mind here:

  1. Be sure that your rearview mirror is clear of items that may obstruct your view.
  2. Once the police have justification to stop you for one offense, said stop may well lead to other, bigger problems for you!
Steven J. Richardson
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Bankruptcy, Collections, Student Loan, DUI and Traffic Court attorney in Woodbury, NJ.