Have you recently opened your mailbox to find a red light camera speeding
ticket from the
Truxtun Avenue and
Coffee Road intersection where you aren't the driver? When this occurs, many drivers
think there is no way to prove their innocence without snitching on the
driver, but these tickets can be successfully challenged under a number
of different defenses.
So here's the situation: You receive a mailing from the Bakersfield
Police Department that includes a picture of your vehicle traveling through
what appears to be a red light with someone else behind the wheel. The
Bakersfield Police Department states that you have two choices: (1) admit
that you are the driver, or (2) give the name of the person who was the driver.
But are those all of your choices? No! Here's what you need to do when
you are in this situation:
(1) Evaluate on whether the notice you received from Bakersfield Police
Department or the Red Light Camera Ticket Company is a
real ticket. If the notice is not a valid court summons, you can ignore it.
(2) Fight the case and assert your 5
th Amendment right to be silent if the judge or anyone else requests you
to give up the driver. Please note that some judges can be very insistent
that they will not dismiss the case against you unless you give up the
drive of the vehicle. However, the judge cannot force you to give up that
information and must dismiss the case if there is not enough evidence
to prove that you are the driver beyond a reasonable doubt.
If you do decide to turn in your friend or family member, consider that
the average fine is somewhere around $475 to $525. Plus another point
on your record can cause your car insurance to go up over the next three
years as much as $1500. That is a combined $2000 that it could cost your
loved one because you pointed the finger instead of getting your case
dismissed in other ways.
As always, other possible defenses include:
If you receive a photo ticket in the mail, don't immediate think you
must pay it. These tickets are successfully challenged in court all the
time and many result in a complete dismissal of the case.