Silver--California Vehicle Code(CVC) Section
28150 states that it is illegal to have such a device if it is "designed for, or is capable of, jamming, scrambling, neutralizing, disabling or otherwise interfering with radar, laser, etc."
In my experience, the cops in California generally will not yank your detector if you can convince them that it is a passive device, and NOT active. If it is passive, and the cop takes it, you should also receive a citation which will permit you to discuss the matter with a judge.
If the cop takes the detector and doesn't give you a citation, I would go directly to the station and report the matter to the officer in charge. It is an unconstitutional violation to seize property without due process, and the cop most likely was intending to keep the detector for himself, or pass it on to one of his friends.
If you are given a citation, the next hurdle is to convince the man in the black dress that the detector does not do anything except enable you to be a safer driver, and particularly is not capable of "neutralizing"
the cop radar because it is an entirely passive device.
Good luck on this last item because my experience with most Muni Court judges in Los Angeles is that they are all scientific
experts who couldn't tell you the freezing and boiling points of water at sea level, let alone decide whether your detector is passive or not. But you might get lucky on this and get your property back.
If you lose all the way around, you'll pay a
fine, probably a couple of hundred dollars, maybe less.
If you have further legal questions, I suggest you search for "California Vehicle
Code," which has a complete index at the top, and a good search system.
Hope this helps, and makes some sense.
PS--To everybody else--This is California
law, and may or may not apply in your state,
so check your own state vehicle code for any
restrictions that may exist.
Silver--since I saw all the stuff on the website concerning detectors, I dug out my old Escort and put it in the car last week.
I figured a little extra protection couldn't
Anyhow, it's about 10 years old, and doesn't
seem to be working too well, so I now have a bid on eBay for a Passport 8500.
I think personally that it's an item worth
having, but it's always been kind of a pain in the ass to have to move it off the dash
when you park the car, so some idiot punk doesn't break a window just to get his hands on it.
But if it saves a ticket, I guess it's worth the extra effort.
the fcc outlawed anything interferring or jamming radar, whether it be passive or active. the reason they can't do jack to laser jammers, is because light waves are outside the fcc's area of control (radio waves) . if your state has a provision against them, than that is state specific to your state, and it looks like they do according to rseifer, but a detector is completely different from a jammer, so it doesn't look like they are illegal in CA, again according to rseifers post of the cali code, but that jammers are.
all this jammer bs hype is due to one company - rocky mountain radar, whose product is a scam, and doesn't even work (partially because it is passive), but because of all the news media it received, the fcc banned it and anything like it.