Modified Exhaust Ticket in Phoenixville! - Page 2
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This is a discussion on Modified Exhaust Ticket in Phoenixville! within the Tri-State forums, part of the Regional Discussion category; I looked into this myself. Legally, there is a set decibel range and a laundry list of specification which must ...

  1. #16
    Vez
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    I looked into this myself. Legally, there is a set decibel range and a laundry list of specification which must be met for an officer to legally measure it. So, right out of the gates, it's BS. It would be like saying that he's giving me a speeding ticket because he -felt- I was going too fast. There are set parameters for noise as there are for speeding. He thought my exhaust sounded too loud? There's no law for changing your muffler as long as it passes emissions and doesn't exceed the decibel level threshhold. There's no possible way this legally holds water.

    To answer a few questions:
    -it's the Invidia N1 Race....so yes, it CAN be loud...(if I drove around in 2nd gear...which I don't) or if I didn't shift until 4-5k. However, driving around normally, it's sounds a little throatier (a change in pitch but no louder). I was driving very calmly...shifting around 3.5k.
    -I never go down through Phoenixville...maybe a couple times a year.
    -I was driving very calmly in the midst of traffic. There was a line of cars in front of me and behind me.
    -I do have tinted window: 35% and in PA, legally, they need to be 70%. You can easily see into the car. They obviously look tinted, but not dark enough to cause a problem. However, he never mentioned the windows. At least that would have been a valid citation.

    If they want to do the decibel test, I'm, very confident I would still pass without any problems. They measure your decibel level at a certain height, from a certain distance. There are two groups of measurements referring to the composition of the driving surface (e.g. a paved road is a hard site) The "soft site" parameters: 76dbs under 35mph, 82dbs over 35mph...and "hard site" parameters: 78dbs under 35mph, 84dbs over 35mph. I can drive by in 6th gear (since RPM is not a parameter for testing) and it'll be as quiet or quieter than every other car on the road. So even if they want to test me after the fact, I wouldn't worry whatsoever about passing.

    Pennsylvania Code
    Last edited by Vez; 10-27-2008 at 06:18 AM.
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  3. #17
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    Man you did some homework.

  4. #18
    Registered User wrx wagone's Avatar
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    Go get em Vez!
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  5. #19
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    It seems like you got pulled over only because the officer wanted to check you out. He finds out you're legit and not impaired and then gives you a bs ticket to justify pulling you over in the first place. Very typical scenario in this area. Usually the fine is small with no points so that people will just pay it. I would take it to court based on principle though. Looks like you've done good research to back up your case. Let us know how it turns out.

  6. #20
    Vez
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    Thanks... I'll keep everyone updated. BlueHeavenWRX also talked to a (lawyer) friend and said there's some specific cases I could use to cite precedence (not that it should be needed, but I've proven cops wrong, in court, on two separate occasions, and STILL lost, so I want to make sure all of my bases are covered. I have 10 days from Friday to call/send in my plea, so I'm going to use my time to prepare as much as possible. The thing that gets me the most is I shouldn't have to waste my time with any of this.
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    make sure you review the specific law he wrote you up for. although an officer can't give you a "speeding" ticket without measurement, he can give you "driving too fast for conditions" if you appear to be driving too fast.

    i hope to hear about how you won this case! i am extremely frustrated over hearing about all of these car exhaust tickets when they almost never ticket bikes. saying that the bike came like that is a cop out (hmmm...wonder how that term came to be?), since many harley owners go catless even before riding their bike home from the store.
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  8. #22
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    I LOST! ...I'm appealling it.

    Complete BS. So thanks to BlueHeavenWRX, I have a PA case citing precendence where an officer gave a modified exhaust ticket saying the exhaust was too loud, but he never measured it so the defendant won.

    In the case it establishes that an exhaust system "can be so loud it shakes you out of your boots" but without any proof (i.e. official decibel readings performed by an officer trained to conduct such a test) it is a subjective opinion and can't be cited for it. It further establishes that up until 1977 it was legal for a cop to call in another cop for a second opinion. If he agreed, the fine was valid. In 1977, the PA General Assembly repealed this law because there is no way for a person to determine noise level beyond a reasonable doubt and eliminated this option of asking another officer. In its stead, the PA General Assembly established strict and definitive parameters to measure noise from a vehicles exhaust system. A cop can't just say it -sounds- loud. ...Title 67 Chapter 157 Established Sound Levels
    Last edited by Vez; 11-18-2008 at 04:20 PM.
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  9. #23
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    The problem....

    The judge said that its a DISORDERLY CONDUCT citation, not a citation of the PA Vehicle Code and therefore the aforementioned case is irrelevant as well as all of the parameters needed to make this a legitimate violation of the law. The officer admitted he never tested the levels and also admitted he is not trained to administer the test but the justice said it didn't matter since it was DISORDERLY CONDUCT(DC). I pointed out that it was a DC citation specifically stating that my exhaust was too loud and that an officer's discretion in this matter was specifically revoked in 1977 and the subsequant vehicle codes were put in place. Again, he said this isn't a Vehicle Code (VC) violation and it didn't matter. I said that it was directly relevent because he gave the reasone for the noise violation to be my exhaust in which case PA has specific laws to determine when an exhaust is loud and STILL he said it didn't matter. He basically refused to acknowledge that there are laws already in place which directly contradict the ticket.
    Last edited by Vez; 11-18-2008 at 03:37 PM.
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  10. #24
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    More details...

    BlueHeavenWRX took the stand as a witness for me (and did an outstanding job) verifying what I had previously said. I had told the justice that the PITCH of the car was lower than the stock pitch but pitch and loudness are mutually exclusive and therefore a low pitch does NOT equate to an increase in loudness... i.e. decibel levels. I said that unlike the majority of cars on the road which have a 1-2" exhaust, a my stock STI had a 2.5" exhaust causing it to be louder (decibels) than more common cars but still met the legal parameters to be sold and operated in the US, PA included.

    The justice said lets go start your car and listen. Again, by doing this he completely ignored the established laws for exhaust loudness determination. He had me rev my engine and determined himself that it was too loud. He said I put that on to get attention. I said, no, I put it on to improve performance and since putting it on, I have increased my MPG by 2 in both city and highway travels. He said, no, you did it to get noticed so now you did. If i wanted to get noticed, my car would look and sound cvery different than it currently does. Not that age is directly relevant, but I'm 34...I'm not trying to impress the girls on study break behind the school. I just want to enjoy my car and get the most performance I can out of it while staying within my budget. He said that since we established that it is no LOUDER than the stock exhaust, but a different pitch, the option of swapping the exhaust that he would normally give to a defendant is not an option for me since it would be just as loud.

    Fine: $172.00

    By making that statement which acknowledges it is no louder than a stock STI and finding me guilty, he's intimating that the stock exhaust on an STI would be a noise violation and can result in a DC citation. How do these people sleep at night?
    Last edited by Vez; 11-18-2008 at 04:27 PM.
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  11. #25
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    The appeal...

    BlueHeavenWRX and I drove straight to West Chester to get the appeal documents (getting them online or mailed to me was not an option, I was told I had to physically pick them up myself.) The cost of an appeal is $44...non-refundable. If found guilty during the appeal, an addition $17 will be added for court fees. If found innocent, all monies previously submitted, not including the $44, would be refunded to me within weeks of the verdict. I have 30 days to submit my appeal.

    I'm appealing it. The cop knowingly and intentionally sidestepped the PA Motor Vehicle Code criteria for how loud an exhaust can be and what he needed to do to prove it, by making it a DC citation and the justice didn't want to hear a single peep about the PA VC.
    Last edited by Vez; 11-18-2008 at 03:42 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by idipskoalmint View Post
    Pissing on a cop car when you're drunk gets you public indecency and disorderly conduct - just letting you all know
    I'm right there with you! I got out of it with 40 hours of community service.



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    Help: Any would be greatly appreciated

    What I need to do is now build a case specifically against the charge. I must combat the wording of the DC citation: "The defendant did create unreasonable noise by having a modified exhaust/muffler on his vehicle."

    Since he specifically cited the cause of the noise, my muffler, they should have been obligated to honor the PA VC parameters that specifically address this charge but disregarded them instead. If he didn't cite that it was because of my exhaust, I don't think I'd have a case, but he did.

    Does anyone know where I can get an offical and legally submissable decibel reading? (Aside from a properly trained cop?) Once I get this, I can use the VC to define what is deemed too loud in PA. This path does not argue that it should be looked at through the PA VC but establishes that my exhaust does not "create unreasonable noise" according to what the Commonwealth of PA deems as unreasonably loud for an exhaust and therefore innocent of the charges.

    Any other helpful suggestions are welcome. I plan on waiting 2-3 weeks before mailing in my appeal to maxamize my preparation time.
    Last edited by Vez; 11-18-2008 at 03:44 PM.
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    Sorry to read this.

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  15. #29
    Registered User wrx wagone's Avatar
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    From my searching it looks like this is the Disorderly Language:


    5503. Disorderly conduct.
    (a) Offense defined.--A person is guilty of disorderly
    conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance
    or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof
    , he:
    (1) engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or
    tumultuous behavior;
    (2) makes unreasonable noise;
    (3) uses obscene language, or makes an obscene gesture;
    or
    (4) creates a hazardous or physically offensive
    condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of
    the actor.
    (b) Grading.--An offense under this section is a misdemeanor
    of the third degree if the intent of the actor is to cause
    substantial harm or serious inconvenience, or if he persists in
    disorderly conduct after reasonable warning or request to
    desist. Otherwise disorderly conduct is a summary offense.
    (c) Definition.--As used in this section the word "public"
    means affecting or likely to affect persons in a place to which
    the public or a substantial group has access; among the places
    included are highways, transport facilities, schools, prisons,
    apartment houses, places of business or amusement, any
    neighborhood, or any premises which are open to the public.

    Cross References. Section 5503 is referred to in sections
    3573, 8902 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).



    It looks to me that any cop can site you for "unreasonable" noise, but I think their argument that you intentionally caused public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm is very questionable. I'm sure the judge probably sees it differently than I do.
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  16. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrx wagone View Post
    From my searching it looks like this is the Disorderly Language:


    5503. Disorderly conduct.
    (a) Offense defined.--A person is guilty of disorderly
    conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance
    or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof
    , he:
    (1) engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or
    tumultuous behavior;
    (2) makes unreasonable noise;
    (3) uses obscene language, or makes an obscene gesture;
    or
    (4) creates a hazardous or physically offensive
    condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of
    the actor.
    (b) Grading.--An offense under this section is a misdemeanor
    of the third degree if the intent of the actor is to cause
    substantial harm or serious inconvenience, or if he persists in
    disorderly conduct after reasonable warning or request to
    desist. Otherwise disorderly conduct is a summary offense.
    (c) Definition.--As used in this section the word "public"
    means affecting or likely to affect persons in a place to which
    the public or a substantial group has access; among the places
    included are highways, transport facilities, schools, prisons,
    apartment houses, places of business or amusement, any
    neighborhood, or any premises which are open to the public.

    Cross References. Section 5503 is referred to in sections
    3573, 8902 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).



    It looks to me that any cop can site you for "unreasonable" noise, but I think their argument that you intentionally caused public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm is very questionable. I'm sure the judge probably sees it differently than I do.
    Thank you for checking. While you were posting this, I came across the same thing. In court, the officer admitted that I had stated at the time of the citation, that prior to purchasing my exhaust, I told him I had researched PA laws to see if there was any possible violation if I installed that particular exhaust. I said I found no such violation and using this exhaust was legal. He asked why I would research if it was illegal if it wasn't louder? My reply was that I know officers like to cite people for AEM exhausts and that I wanted to make sure I was breaking no laws. I installed it once this was verified. All true. So, in this trial, I have already established that I had no "intent" to cause public inconvienience...so that is definitely an angle I plan on pursuing.

    Thanks for the support, guys.
    Last edited by Vez; 11-18-2008 at 04:30 PM.
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