Common Defenses to a Red Light Ticket

Red light tickets occur on a regular basis. Often it is the result of running a red light (RRL). A red light ticket can have serious consequences to the offender. Although it is usually a minor misdemeanor, a red traffic ticket can create problems for the driver charged with the offense.

Consequences Of A Red Light Ticket

The actual penalties of incurring a red light ticket depend upon the state and the severity of the offense. A red light ticket falls under the category of a "moving violation". As a result, traditionally, RRL is a misdemeanor or traffic violation. This may alter in accordance with the impact of the accident. If the incident involves damage to property or personal injury to a pedestrian or another vehicle, the resultant penalties will be more severe. In general, a red light ticket involves:

  • A monetary fine – this ranges from $75 to $500. The latter amount is the cost for this crime in California
  • Possible revocation or temporary suspension of your license
  • Definite removal of your license for a minimum period of 6 months if this is the 3rd such traffic violation within an 18-month period
  • Affects your points
  • Changes in your insurance rates

These are the major reasons why you should challenge the ticket for running or failure to stop at a red light.

What Defenses Against a Red Light Ticket Are Common?

There are several different approaches to take when faced with a red light ticket. Do not be proactive – unless you wish to hire a lawyer. Wait until you receive the necessary summons or paper work. Then you can adopt one of several approaches.

  • Ask for proof, you actually committed the offense. The bench court must provide evidence you were the driver. This includes camera stills and video evidence
  • Challenge the photo evidence
  • Make an informal discovery request. This is a substantial delaying tactic asking for a multitude of information pertaining to your case. This includes photo, records, maintenance records for the red light camera if there was one, etc.
  • If there is a stipulation concerning your admittance of the photo evidence, do not stipulate

Hiring An Attorney

Your best offense is to hire an experienced attorney. He or she will talk to you about your specific situation. The lawyer can then implement the best approach to resolve the situation in your favor.

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