The last thing you need after a long day at work is to check the mail and find a traffic ticket based on a picture taken by a red light camera. You groan, stare at it, and rack your brain trying to remember what you were doing that day, since these types of tickets tend to arrive in the mail about a month after the alleged incident.
Now what? Can you fight the ticket? Has anyone ever been successful at this? Is it even worth trying?
Red Camera Tickets
Pinellas County has three red light cameras: Facing both East and West on Gulf to Bay and Belcher Road, and a third one at Chestnut Street and Ft. Harrison. They record video 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you’re caught running one of these red lights, you’ll receive a City of Clearwater Traffic Camera Safety Improvement Program Notice, with a fine of $158. If you fail to pay the fine by the deadline included on the notice, the fine will increase to $264.
Fighting a Camera Ticket
There are some valid reasons to fight a ticket such as: The photo is too blurry to fully identify the license plate number, you can present evidence that you were elsewhere when the picture was taken, the vehicle in the picture is a car rental, the car was in the care, custody, or control of another person, or if the car was sold or stolen.
You can do this by filing a notarized Affidavit of Non-Responsibility. You will have to provide the name, address, date of birth, and driver’s license of the party whom you claim was driving the vehicle. If you sold the car before the citation was generated, include a copy of the transfer of sale. If it was reported stolen, include a copy of the police report. This Affidavit will be included in the same envelope in which you received the traffic ticket.
If you’re not sure that it was your car in the photo, you can view the video recording at www.photonotice.com. You’ll need to enter your notice number for the video to become available.
You can also request a hearing by filling out Option B from the Options Page included with your citation (Option A is to pay the fine). If you choose option B, you’ll have to submit the request by the payment due date. Do note that if you fail to appear for a hearing you requested, you will be found guilty and will have to pay the fine in full. If you have to cancel the hearing, you may do so by paying the penalty, plus a $50 administrative fee.
If during the hearing you are found guilty of running the red light, you will have to pay the original fine, plus up to $250 in additional fees.
Is a Lawyer Necessary to Fight Camera Tickets?
Lawyers are only truly necessary in criminal defense cases. That’s why the US Constitution provides for that right to be safeguarded. That being said, a lawyer who is experienced in arguing traffic tickets is well-acquainted with all applicable laws and defenses available to you.
Call Us to Discuss Your Case
At Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, P.A., we have experienced car accident attorneys who can best design a strategy to help you.
Contact us, and let’s discuss your case.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended to be for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney/client relationship.