Orlando Red Light Camera Traffic Tickets*
*- New law takes affect July 1, 2013. Look for updates here.
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RED LIGHT CAMERA TICKETS are currently in the City of Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Ocoee, Apopka, Kissimmee, and Orange County.
Red Light Cameras and Evidence
Typical hearing with a Red Light Camera ticket has the enforcement officers displaying a video of the alleged infraction. The hearing officer watches it and asks if the picture of the license plate is assigned to the vehicle in the video and if the citation was issued to the registered owner who happens to be the accused. Very neat and quick.
Unfortunately, all that "evidence" used to find the registered owner guilty has been entered by violating many of the rules concerning the introduction of evidence.
Red Light Camera Citations vs. The Rules of Evidence
These are the rules (found in chapter 90 and 92 of the Florida Statutes) that ensure that what the government presents is accurate. Because of the convoluted way in which these cameras have been set up the government has found out that it is very difficult if not impossible to get their information into evidence.
Section 316.0083, Florida Statutes
This is what this law does:
Be careful, stopping must occur behind the "stop bar" or "clearly marked stop line." I can already see arguments over this. Not sure if citations will be issued for stopping on or just past the stop line but the law will allow it.
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, 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. In legal terms "may not issue" means "can issue." Remember this when making right turns at intersections. Moreover, this ambiguity should be resolved in favor of the driver.
Cities Prosecute Every Red Light Camera Ticket
The City of Orlando, Orange County, Maitland, Winter Park, Apopka, Ocoee, Kissimmee and numerous other municipalities are prosecuting red light camera citations. They want your money and they will spend money to get it. Do not try and fight these on your own.
It is true that the Red Light Camera law has many problems but rather than fix those problems the municipalities have decided to fight with those problems. Despite this, numerous pro se litigants (drivers that decide to represent themselves) go up and get hammered at a hearing or just enter a plea to the red light camera ticket.
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.
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