Orlando Red Light Camera Traffic Tickets
Last Updated: July 8, 2014
Update: A new appellate ruling came out of the Ninth Circuit Court in April. This ruling directly affects Orange and Osceola counties. It allows the red light camera enforcement officer the ability to go straight to the introduction of the photos and videos. We have been, up until now, successful in keeping those items out and that has been how we have beaten these tickets over the last three years. Now we are done to very few options. If you get a red light camera ticket call when you get the Notice of Violation so that I can update you on the current state of affairs with this issue. That will keep open your option to pay the notice amount if the fight is going poorly or to fight the ticket if we are back on track.
Red Light Cameras and the New Evidence
At a hearing in Orange or Osceola County the state will be able to publish the photos and the video without establishing authentication. The rules of evidence do not apply for that introduction of that evidence. This is found no where else in the law.
The Last Defense
When establishing an infraction the state must prove jurisdiction. Establishing the date and place of the offense is done by the enforcing officer. On a normal traffic stop this is done through the testimony of the officer. He was there and has personal knowledge of those facts.
In a hearing for a red light camera ticket the enforcing officer's knowledge comes from a ticket generated out-of-state. He or she must accept the date written as the truth. This is classic hearsay and should be excluded unless the state can establish an exception to this rule.
The Problem With The Last Defense
A judge or hearing officer gets to rule on our objection to the introduction of evidence based on hearsay. If they rule against us the evidence will come in and you will be found guilty of the infraction. Your last resort is to appeal the ruling and unfortunately an appeal is costly. Who wants to spend thousands on a traffic ticket that costs $262?
The actual law they cite you for violating is s. 316.075(1)(c)1., Fla. Stat. This states that a vehicle must first "stop" before a steady red signal. However (according to s. 316.0083, Fla. Stat.), a citation "may not" be issued, pursuant to the statute for failure to stop at a red light if the driver is making a right-hand turn in a careful and prudent manner. Forget this language. I have never seen anyone win their hearing on it. You must stop.
How to avoid a Red Light Camera Ticket
When approaching any red light you must stop before the white stripe on the road or, if no stripe, before entering a crosswalk or the intersection. If right on red is permitted you may proceed after coming to a complete stop.
Drive the speed limit to allow for a safe stop should the light turn yellow before you enter the intersection.
Do not follow large trucks closely into an intersection. If you cannot see the light signal allow the truck to pull ahead until you can see it.
Can I Represent Myself in Court?
If you have represented yourself at a red light camera hearing you may have seen attorneys having their cases dismissed and wondered why their arguments didn't apply to all the tickets before the traffic court that day. The rules of evidence sit on a basic principle - if you don't object to the evidence being introduced, your objection is deemed waived. This means evidence that should not be considered will be considered. Attorneys can only make objections in those cases in which they represent the defendant. That's why pro se litigants are found guilty while defendants represented by a traffic attorney are not. Read more on my How To Fight A Red Light Camera page.
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