With red light cameras becoming increasingly popular across the country, many drivers find themselves receiving tickets in the mail for various red light infractions. Since the camera captures a photograph, most recipients assume that there's nothing they can do to fight those tickets. The truth is that you do have some legal options to contest a red light photo ticket. Here's what you need to know.
The Quality Of The Picture Matters
When you receive a red light camera ticket in the mail, it typically comes with a printout of the photograph captured by the camera. In most cases, the car that is moving through the intersection and captured by the camera is in motion. Depending on the shutter speed of the red light camera, that can sometimes result in a blurry picture. If the picture is unclear and it's not perfectly evident that it's you behind the wheel, you may get the judge to dismiss the ticket on the grounds of reasonable doubt.
The Condition Of The Camera Must Be Validated
Another thing that many people don't realize is that they can contest the condition of the camera itself. If the camera isn't working properly, it may trigger a photo when one wasn't legally necessary. In most cases, the court hearing for these tickets will require the presence of a technician from the camera company to testify to the operational condition of the camera. If that individual doesn't show up in court, you may be able to have the ticket dismissed on the grounds that there's no proof that the camera was functioning correctly.
The Reason May Be Relevant
Sometimes, a red light camera will capture drivers making a legal right turn on a red light. If your ticket was issued for driving through a red light, but you were making a legal right turn, your traffic ticket lawyer may document the intersection and use this as proof that you did not, in fact, violate any traffic laws.
In addition, if you had to run the red light to avoid an accident, such as a semi-truck driving up behind you and unable to stop, or to move out of the way of an emergency vehicle, such a reason may be enough to have the ticket dismissed.
If the issue was an out-of-control vehicle, you may need to have your attorney subpoena further images from the camera at the time to prove it. If you were moving out of the path of an emergency vehicle, you can obtain dispatch records from the agency to show them in court.
Hello, I'm Christina Miller. Have you ever been fascinated with why the law works the way it does? Ever since I was in junior high, I had an intense interest in anything related to our legal system, whether it be a crime drama on television, a judge show or a legal case covered on the news. I followed it all. As time progressed, I began learning about how the actual legal system worked and not just the fictionalized version of our legal system. This has lead me to start writing my own blog posts about law that I hope will help others.