Can I Get Out of a Red-Light Camera Ticket in California?

Posted on January 5, 2021 by John

Unfortunately, with today’s technology, the police can issue tickets without even witnessing the crime. Some of you already know we are talking about red light cameras, which issue tickets to drivers who run red lights. Luckily, we can help you get out of a California red light camera ticket, so keep reading.

California Revenue

In California, running a red light can cost you about $500, as well as a mandatory order to attend traffic school. The camera that catches you running a light is set up to take a picture of your vehicle, the driver, passengers, and license plate.

Because these pictures and cameras are automated, California can quickly raise revenue because people will pay the fine most of the time. However, if you’d like to fight it, you still have options to do so.

Illegal in Other States

Other states have attempted enforcing camera tickets, but they are soon taken away and deemed illegal. This is because while technology is mostly reliable, it is not perfect. Sometimes, the camera can only capture the vehicle and license plate, but not the driver. If a police officer manually stops you for a ticket, they can verify your identity and vehicle ownership by asking to see your driver’s license and vehicle registration. Yet on the flip side, cameras cannot verify this information.

Mail vs. Court

The State of California will try to get drivers to confess by sending them a ticket by mail and asking questions. Legally, you are not obligated to respond or say anything through the mail.

Instead, you can either:

  • Pay the fine; or
  • Beat the ticket.

But how will you beat the ticket? Well, you will first need to tell the court that you will claim you are innocent.

Obtain the Photograph

Request to see the photograph and do not admit to anything. Because the government must prove you were driving the car when the camera issued the ticket, the photograph will be their only form of proof or leverage.

Once you receive the photograph, you must carefully analyze what is apparent. While the car and license plate are typically clear, determine if the driver’s and passengers’ faces are evident.  If you can see the driver in the photo, the chances of you winning are low. But if you cannot see the driver’s or passenger’s faces, you may have a chance at beating the ticket.

Who Was Driving?

Typically, the people who win their cases avoided court altogether. This is because going to court for your ticket will require you to answer questions under oath. If you can stay away from court, you will argue that the government cannot win. In the end, you want to compel the prosecutor to believe he would lose the case if it went to trial.

Then, you can argue that other states have determined that issuing red light camera tickets is illegal. It’s important to emphasize that the government cannot (and should not) issue tickets without any proof that the owner was driving.

You may be able to win your case by making the following arguments:

  • My friend was driving while I was in the passenger seat.
  • Someone stole my car and was driving the vehicle.

If the prosecution does not have a clear photograph, they might dismiss the infraction, and you will walk away without fines or consequences.

If you received a red light camera ticket and would like to fight it, call the Law Office of David Leicht at (760)256-3104 for a free consultation today.The Law Office of David Leicht serves the California communities of Barstow, Victorville, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Adelanto, Baker, Needles, Lucerne Valley, Big Bear, San Bernardino, Mojave, Phelan, and Wrightwood.

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