How do I fight a red-light camera ticket in California?

Posted on January 25, 2022 by John

You get a ticket in the mail with the picture of your car at a red light, or more accurately, your car going through a red light. You’re puzzled. You don’t even remember being on that street much less going through a light. But there you are, in grainy black and white. You now owe a California traffic violation court $490+!

Penalties in California

If you’re considering not challenging a red-light ticket, think again. While in many states penalties for a camera ticket are generally lighter than others, this is not the case in California, where penalties come with heavy fines and the ominous points on your license.

Basis for Dismissal

These tickets can be challenged in much the same way as other traffic violations. The only difference is the basis for such challenges is actually more rigorous than other violations where a law enforcement officer is physically involved.  After all, you are dealing with potentially faulty mechanical equipment. Reasons to contest:

  • Poor photo quality.
  • The car is yours, but you weren’t driving it.
  • Dubious offense (going through or making a turn on a yellow).
  • Mistaken Identity (photo taken of the wrong vehicle).
  • The photo does not show a clear violation.
  • Inappropriate placement of red-light photo sign warning.
  • Signs do not clearly state the caution.
  • The red-light camera was falsely triggered.
  • Is it a valid ticket or a “snitch” ticket? (Ticket issued by a camera not authorized by the state)
  • What triggered the photo (movement of another vehicle?)
  • Cameras are installed by private companies designed to increase the number of tickets for profit.

Basic Penalties for Infractions

  • Making an illegal right turn at a red light: $35
  • Going right through a stop sign without stopping: $35
  • Going right through a solid or flashing red light: $100

But don’t let these stated penalties fool you. By the time the state is finished with you, your bill can be upwards of $400, plus you will get points against your license.

Call Us Now

If you want someone on your side whose only focus is to fight for you, the Law Offices of David Leicht will be with you all the way. If you live in Barstow, San Bernardino County, or Mojave and want to fight a red light ticket, call us now @ 760-256-3104 for a free case evaluation.

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