The People versus Goldsmith
The word out of Los Angeles County courts is that they are not pursuing
non-payers of the red-light traffic ticket. Even after the Supreme Court
of California ruling in the People versus Goldsmith in 2014 gave California
what many have referred to as a “license to steal”. Many wrongfully
believed that there was no human intervention and these cameras just took
three photos and a video at an intersection in Inglewood, CA. Then a law
enforcement (LE) officer sent the photos and videos of her running a red
light with a 12-second video to confirm what may not have been as obvious
in the photos, along with a ticket.
Actually, in the case of Carmen Goldsmith, a six-year LE officer viewed
the photos and the video before sending those to the defendant for payment
of the fine for a red light traffic ticket. The LE testified in court,
the yellow light stayed on for 4.2 seconds (CA law states it must be a
minimum of 3.9 seconds) and the driver ran straight through the intersection
at 0.266 seconds after the light had turned red.
The defense’s contention that the photos and video should not be
allowed entry into the trial because it was “hearsay” was
overruled and entry was allowed, largely because everything was date-stamped
and reviewed by human eye prior to the issuance of the ticket by mail.
C. Goldsmith was found guilty of the traffic infraction, awarded one-point
on her driving record and fined a total of $490 for the offense. Of course,
that also means her insurance premium increased for the next three years
as well unless she was able to attend traffic school, it does not say
in the court record.
Should You Just Ignore a Red Light Traffic Ticket?
One criminal defense attorney in southern California (SoCal) has advocated
simply ignoring these tickets whenever you receive those in the mail.
In fact, the only way you can get into trouble over a red light traffic
ticket in LA County is by doing the right thing and contacting the court
for a new court date or extension to pay your fine. Once you contact the
court for a court date, if you do
not show up on that date, a failure to appear will be issued for your Failure
to Appear (FTA) and you will compound your problems significantly.
The LA Police
Commissioner confirmed that by stating, “So there's no consequence [in LA County]. There's no warrant. This
is not in queue when you renew your driver’s license. This is not
in queue when you register your car.”
The problem appears to be three-fold in that the State of CA has gotten
a negative image because of the red light traffic ticket, the maintenance
and calibration is being done by a private contractor (Metro/MTA or RedFlex),
and what are known as “snitch tickets”, or fake tickets. In
most cases, these fake tickets were never reviewed by an LE officer before
being sent out or are the product of a scammer. Whenever you are in doubt
about a red light ticket, contact a traffic ticket defender before you
decide to ignore it and bring more problems on yourself.
If you have received a red light traffic ticket in LA County and have not
contacted the court, you may not have to pay. If however, you received
a red light traffic ticket from another county or municipality, such as
Bakersfield, be very careful. Everyday, hundreds of dollars are added onto fines in
Bakersfield for people who missed their deadline for red light camera
tickets. Some of the tickets in these municipalities can be thrown out
too, as they are snitch tickets. Hundreds of California cities and counties
have discontinued use of red light cameras, while some scammers send out
snitch tickets that do not have a court listed or say, "Do not contact
the court," in which case you should contact a traffic ticket defender
Professional Traffic Ticket Defenders
In Kern County, as well as other California counties, give Bigger &
Harman a call, 661-349-9300, or send an email:
firstname.lastname@example.org with the details of your red light traffic ticket or other traffic violation.
They have a consolidated list of the counties they work in with actual
red light cameras. They will set you up with a FREE consultation to discuss
which course of action you should take to clear your ticket or proposed
Many times, an LE officer is not available for court on the date of your
case because of other duties. In addition, there are many procedures or
technicalities that could allow for a dismissal or Bigger & Harman
could get the judge to allow probation rather than a driver’s license
En español, llame al 661-349-9755.