Red Light cameras are becoming more and more common. In the past, you were able to speak with a policeman after allegedly going through a red light — you had an opportunity to discuss and argue your case. Nowadays you not only have to aware of police officers, but also the red light cameras that have been installed all over the Miami area.
About two-thirds of people accused of light-running by a red light camera had their cases dismissed, or were not found guilty. A good number of the accused received an “adjunction withheld” decision, which meant that they were to attend driving school so their driving records remained clean, or the initial fine was decreased to a smaller, more manageable amount.
How do Red Light Cameras Work?
Photographic Automated Enforcement Systems, more commonly known as red light cameras, are trigger based. When a car drives over the trigger on the ground, it activates the red light camera, and a picture is taken. It usually takes several photos of the car from different angles, getting a photo of the license plate. Private companies send these photos in a letter to the owners of the vehicles, and the registered owner has 30 days to pay the ticket. These tickets can be extremely high, upwards of $250 dollars.
While this method may catch more light-runners (as opposed to the solitary use of human efforts) there’s a lot of room for error. For instance, if a red light camera is malfunctioning, it may take numerous photos of people who aren’t breaking the law. Also, police officers have to identify the driver as the one who the car is registered to. Using the red light camera photo and comparing it to the driver’s license of the accused may determine that the driver is not the registered owner of the car. A person is able to fill out an affidavit if they have been wrongly accused.
Fighting a Red Light Camera Ticket
1) Is the picture in the photo you?
While these pictures are able to capture evidence of a person running a red light – that doesn’t mean the evidence is always correct. Unlike having a police officer pull you over, a camera isn’t able to properly assign liability to the registered vehicle owner. Often cases where it can be demonstrated that the driver in the picture isn’t you, the case will be dismissed.
2) Is the footage clear?
As its common for technology to malfunction, there is a possibility that the pictures taken of you are either fuzzy and aren’t clear enough to be used as evidence. If the red light camera photos are incomprehensible, they cannot be used as evidence and likely your case will be dismissed.
3) State must present Evidence
The state must provide evidence that clearly displays that the red light camera was working properly when the registered driver was accused of running the light. They must bring clear photos of the license plate and the driver, and the registration of the car’s tag to prove the light-runner is indeed the owner.
4) Were there signs notifying drivers of the red light camera?
The state must post the appropriate signage up at every intersection there is a red light camera installed. If not, your case most likely will be dismissed due to the error of the state.
5) Can you argue necessity?
Necessity is a legal defense that can be made when a driver explains that they ran the red light for good reason. Common reasons for pleading necessity are if the driver was trying to avoid an accident, or that a passenger in the vehicle needed emergency medical attention. While this strategy doesn’t always work, the judge may find your reasons to be honorable, and may dismiss your case.
6) Contact a Miami Traffic Attorney
Running a red light can be a very simple offense to commit, but often it’s more complicated than that. Red Light Traffic cameras are saving lives and making drivers more aware of their actions, yet relying on cameras for evidence can cause more problems and lead to wrongful accusations. Having a Miami Traffic attorney working with you, discussing your options, and finding the right solution for you, can make the difference in paying a large fine, and being found innocent.
If you have received a red light camera ticket, you will have the option to go to court and fight the ticket. If you choose to challenge the ticket and go to court, you should be prepared to fight the charges. The South Florida red light camera ticket defense attorneys at Pessin Law can help. Call us today at (305) 476-7767 for help defending these charges.
We will review the video taken during the violation and present evidence in court to support your case. If you feel you have been wrongly charged with fines for traffic violations seek the assistance of traffic ticket lawyers in Miami, Florida at Pessin Law. Call today!