In recent news, the Florida legislature created a way to appeal red light camera tickets. The new bill also creates an appeals process for fighting red light camera violations (NOVs). The new bill also creates an appeals process for fighting red light camera violations before they become a Uniform Traffic Citation (UTC). Under the current law, in order to fight a red light camera ticket, a driver must purposely not pay the original ticket, which is an administrative violation issued by a city or county, and have a UTC issued by the State of Florida. Then the driver can seek a hearing in traffic court. The problem with this process is that at UTC carries higher fines if you are found guilty.
While the new bill claims to be offering an opportunity to appeal the red light ticket, we believe that the new bill merely seeks to create loopholes for the cities and counties at the expense of citizens. Under the new bill, the city or county that issued the ticket appoints a hearing officer, not a judge. The hearing officer works for the same entity that issued the ticket, raising significant questions about impartiality. The hearing office is not required to be a lawyer, nor is the officer even required to have any legal training!
Second, the rules of evidence do not apply in these administrative hearings. This is particularly problematic because drivers, or their attorneys, cannot, under the new law, question whether the cameras were properly calibrated or whether the pictures were properly transmitted. At The Ticket Clinic, we have successfully defended thousands of red light camera violations based upon the rules of evidence. In an effort to continue to raise revenues at the expense of its citizens, Florida’s new law seeks to strip drivers of due process by eliminating the rules of evidence from the proceeding! Fortunately, the new law does not eliminate the old process, allowing those who receive a red light camera violation to ignore the first ticket and receive a UTC, which allows them to appear before a real judge, rather than a puppet of the city or county.
While it remains to be seen whether this bill will become law in Florida, it is important to remember that you can fight a red light camera violation. If you receive a violation and wish to fight it, consider talking to an experienced traffic ticket attorney. The Ticket Clinic is leading the red light camera fight. Call us at 1.800.CITATION with questions.