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What You Need to Know About Red Light Camera Tickets in California

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No matter where you receive a traffic ticket in California, you need to be able to respond promptly. Ignoring a traffic ticket taken by a camera could lead to further consequences- and the same goes for getting a red light camera ticket. Many locations throughout California now have cameras placed to capture law violators.

Law enforcement officers have taken enhanced regulatory action by using numerous street intersections to install red light cameras. Numerous different intersections have had red light cameras installed so that officers do not have to be present on the scene while still enabling them to give out tickets where necessary. The purpose of these red-light cameras is to decrease the number of deaths associated with unsafe driving and people running red lights.

How Most People Get Red Light Camera Tickets in California?

A red-light ticket in Los Angeles and in most cities in California becomes triggered if a vehicle passes above a sensor when the light is red in the intersection. The camera will then snap a photo of the vehicle’s license plate and of the driver. If you are caught running a red light when a camera is present, you are most likely to notice this because of the flashes that go off as you run through the intersection. If you are the registered owner of the vehicle, a traffic ticket is then mailed to you.

Within that envelope is the dollar amount that must be paid in terms of the fines, the attachment of the photo evidence and a copy of the citation. This also gives you further information about how to challenge this ticket. If you’ve already received a notice like this in the mail, you need to react quickly by hiring a California traffic ticket attorney.

Are Red Light Cameras Legal in California?

If you’re like many California drivers who have been cited by a red light camera, you may wonder if they’re even legal. Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Fortunately, because these cameras are so inaccurate, the state has stipulations on what does and does not constitute an enforceable ticket. For instance, according to California law, you only face the penalties of a red light traffic ticket if the camera captured a clear photo of both your face and your license plate.

Even if the camera did happen to catch an accurate photo, you may be able to get away with nothing but a warning. Enforcement of red light traffic tickets is difficult, and many drivers find they’re able to get away with not paying their tickets without repercussions.

What Happens if You Run a Red Light and Get Caught? 

If you happen to receive an enforceable red light traffic ticket, you may have to pay up—a lot. Red light traffic tickets are often more costly than standard traffic violations. The base fines for common violations run anywhere from $35 to $100 but come with exorbitant fees. Once surcharges are tacked on, you’re looking at paying anywhere from $100 to $400 for making a mistake as innocent as making an illegal right turn at a red light.

In addition to costly fines, a red light traffic ticket can result in points to your driving record. Depending on how many points your record currently boasts, additional marks may result in license suspension. More points on your driving is almost guaranteed to drive your insurer to increase your rates.

What Are the 2019 Red Light Camera Laws? 

Are you curious what’s in store for red light camera citations in 2019? To date, not much has changed regarding these laws. The Superior Court of California does state on its website that the citation you receive will include a date to appear in court. You have until that date to either protest the citation or resolve your case. Failure to do so, and failure to appear for the court hearing, may result in the suspension of your driver’s license.

Do I Really Need a Lawyer for a Red Light Camera Traffic Ticket?

You should hire a lawyer to assist you if you intend to fight the ticket. California law stipulates that the driver who is cited for a traffic violation is the one liable for the ticket, not necessarily the vehicle’s owner. However, if the ticket is mailed to your address if someone runs a red light and is caught by a red-light camera in your car.

You should hire a traffic ticket attorney to challenge the ticket if you were not the person driving it at the time. The judge might ask you to identify the person in the photograph, but you are not typically legally required to do this. A traffic ticket attorney should advise you of your rights and how you should proceed so your ticket could be dismissed.

Many drivers assume that because a picture has been taken that it is impossible to fight a red-light ticket. However, with a skilled traffic ticket attorney in California, you may be able to beat a red-light ticket. Three of the most common defenses associated with beating a red-light camera ticket in California include:

  • Whether or not the camera machine was functioning properly. If your attorney can identify evidence that the red-light camera was malfunctioning on the day the photo was taken, this evidence could be thrown out. Given that this is likely to be the only evidence used to force you to pay the citation, this can be important.
  • Whether or not the images are clear. If the photo’s clarity is not enough to convict you because of poor image quality or weather conditions, your attorney may be able to illustrate that it cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that it was you behind the wheel.
  • You ran the red light to avoid the greater harm in an accident. Your attorney can also argue that you ran a red light to avoid greater harm to another person or to yourself or to avoid a serious accident. A judge can also identify that you acted out of necessity and therefore, you may not be found guilty.

The photos that are taken of you can be used against you in court even if you are never cited by an officer. You should never attempt to fight any traffic ticket on your own, but this is even more important in the event that you get a ticket from a red-light camera.

A knowledgeable California traffic attorney knows the laws and procedures necessary to fight your case and can craft multiple legal arguments against the photo evidence being used against you. Furthermore, your lawyer can advocate in court on your behalf, meaning that you do not have to miss time at work or school because of this serious situation. Talking to a legal assistant at The Ticket Clinic immediately will give you a better understanding of what is involved in protecting your interests and why a lawyer hired immediately can be a major benefit to you.  Call 1-800-CITATION for a free consultation.

Contact Us For Free

Give us 5 minutes before you pay your red light ticket. For a free, no obligation consultation call 1-800-248-2846 today. What do you have to lose? We have office through out California and have over 30 years of experience in fighting traffic tickets. Our real lawyers will go to court for you.

 

                                                                                                                            

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