Getting a traffic ticket is never fun. However, it’s even worse when that traffic ticket comes in the mail. If you ran a red light and it was caught by a red light camera, can you fight the ticket? In most cases, yes, you can. Each case is unique and you should hire a traffic attorney to make sure that you are getting the best possible defense. However, here are some general guidelines that can help you defend yourself against a red light camera ticket.
By law, the photos taken by a red light camera must show the plates, the driver, and the driver’s license picture must match the photo taken of the driver. In other words, if you are charged with running a red light based on a red light camera photo, the photo must clearly show that you are the driver in such a way that you can compare your driver’s license photo with the picture. If the photos are unclear, you can argue that it wasn’t you driving because it’s not obvious enough that it was you. If your car is a very common car, you may even dispute the vehicle if the plates are not accurately shown or clear enough to be detected. If the photos are clear, but the driver is not visible, you can also claim that there is no evidence that you were the one driving the car. The ticket goes to the driver of the car, not to the owner of the car.
At the trial, the government or the representatives thereof must give evidence as to how the device works. These experts must authenticate with proof that the device was working properly at the day and time of the incident. If nobody shows up to explain this or if they do not give adequate proof, your case could be dismissed. Most people do not know this, though, so it is important to take a traffic attorney with you who can argue this point effectively.
The law does not require you to stop at a red light if you have to run the red light out of necessity. Running a red light out of a necessity could be as simple as the fact that you would have caused an accident had you stopped for the red light. If you had to yield to an emergency vehicle, you can also go through a red light if you’re stopping at that red light would have hampered the progress of the vehicle. Also, you can go through a red light if the police officer directed you to do so. If you have any of these situations captured on camera, that will go to help you even more. However, any evidence that you can bring to show that one of these things with the case can help you defend yourself against a red light ticket that was caught on a red light camera.
So what if the photos are clear, the photos show that you are the driver, the device was working properly and experts showed up to adequately defend that functionality, and you did not need to run the red light? Does that mean you do not have a defense? Actually, there may still be one more defense. If there was not adequate signage to indicate that a red light camera was in use and if you can document that lack of signage, you may still have a defense. It is legally required that signs are posted that clearly tell drivers that a red light camera is in use. If no such signage exists, or if it is deemed to be legally inadequate, you can still defend yourself that way in court.
Finally, if you have proof that you were not the driver and could not have been the driver, you can also defend yourself against a red light ticket that was caught on a red light camera. For instance, if you have proof that you recently sold your car, then it could not have been you driving that car. Also, if you have proof that you were somewhere else, such as on a vacation, or you have a police report showing that your car was recently stolen then you are probably not going to be convicted of that red light offense.
No matter the situation, it’s important to hire a traffic attorney in your state who has experience with red light camera infractions. Defending yourself with legal representation for a traffic ticket might seem like an extreme action. However, these traffic tickets and violations can add up. They can cost you in traffic school fees, increased insurance rates, and points against your license. Why incur all of those penalties when you can hire a reputable traffic attorney in your state and defend yourself in court? Get your legal consultation today and take the first step on the road towards protecting your rights and freedoms.