Protect Your Driving Privileges Fight Your Ticket With Bigger & Harman Today

undefinedThere are eight intersections around Bakersfield monitored by cameras. When you are mailed a ticket or cited in person by an officer from the Bakersfield Police Department for running a red light, you should consult a traffic attorney for legal advice.  

At our firm, we understand that the consequences of running a red light extend far beyond the simple act of receiving a traffic ticket.

The immediate penalty for running a red light may seem like a minor inconvenience; the rise in auto insurance premiums and loss of your “good driver’s discount” can cost an additional $687 annually for three years, with the fine, which could be as much as $2,551.

There are specific situations where you can keep the ticket confidential from your insurance provider and employer by pleading guilty and attending traffic violator school.

However, there are conditions, and you should discuss those with a knowledgeable traffic attorney before you accept because pleading guilty without knowing all the requirements could box you into a corner.

For instance, if you plead guilty, pay the full fine, the county administrative fee of $64, and don’t complete the school before the court-ordered date, it could all be for naught. You’ll end up paying around $600 for the fine and tuition, then the loss of your insurance discount and added risk.

Despite how bleak it may seem, it's always crucial to consult a traffic attorney about the specific circumstances.

How Do Red Light Cameras Work?

Red light cameras are placed at intersections to capture photographic and video evidence of vehicles that enter an intersection after the traffic signal turns red. 

If your vehicle is caught on camera running a red light, you may receive a citation in the mail. Even if you don’t receive a court notice, but you saw the camera flash, don’t wait more than a month without contacting the Bakersfield Courthouse.  

You are responsible for resolving the red light ticket before the court date, or you could receive another ticket for failure to appear, which is a misdemeanor crime. 

Regardless of what the Bakersfield Police Department website says, you are not required to tell them or the court who was driving. Consult a traffic attorney before making a statement to the court.

Can I Get Convicted of Running a Red Light Even Though I Wasn't Driving?

Yes, if you pay the fine, it is as if you pleaded guilty whether you were driving or not. 

If the patrol officer assigned to validate red light camera tickets determines that the driver ran a red light by watching the video evidence, they will mail a red light ticket to the owner of the vehicle. 

Paying the fine is an admission of guilt, and the DMV will assess one Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) point, which will be filed in your motor vehicle driving record (MVR) for three years, which will cause your insurance premium to rise.

You might think that because someone else on your insurance was driving, you’re responsible, but the burden of proof that you, as the vehicle owner, are guilty of running a red light is on the State.

How Does a Conviction for Running a Red Light Cost?

There are two types of red light tickets. The “base fine” for a photo-enforced ticket is $100, but when the state and county surcharges, penalties, and assessments are added, it will cost approximately $490 in Kern County. 

When you are caught by a patrol officer running a red light, also called a “bumper stop,” the “base fine” is $35, and when the penalties are added, it is about $237 in Bakersfield, CA.

The difference is absorbed by administrative fees the county must pay a private company to install and oversee the red lights.

Always Consult a Traffic Attorney When Running a Red Light

Facing a red light ticket can be stressful, but seeking professional legal guidance is crucial — especially when you weren't driving. 

A knowledgeable and experienced Bakersfield traffic attorney can help you navigate the process and mitigate the hidden costs of running a red light.

For instance, when the timing is not set properly between the yellow light and the red light depending on the speed limit on that roadway, your ticket could be dismissed by the judge. When the picture is too blurred to determine the driver’s identity, the ticket could get tossed.  

You must consult a traffic attorney and let them decide whether to dispute the ticket in Bakersfield Courthouse.  

Also, the attorneys at Bigger & Harman understand these cases and won't ask you to attend a trial, where the judge could ask you directly who was driving. If the individual operating the vehicle was a family member covered by your insurance, it may not be in your best interest to divulge this information, as your insurance premium would increase regardless.

If it was you behind the wheel, and it is obvious in the still image, our attorney can negotiate with the traffic court judge to potentially reduce the charges to a non-moving violation with no points on your MVR unless there are other technicalities that would warrant a dismissal. However, it's essential to understand that no outcomes are guaranteed until the judge announces their verdict. 

However, a skilled traffic attorney knows when to ask for dismissal or a reduced charge. 

A conviction for running a red light can lead to increased insurance premiums, points on your driving record, and financial strain. It's wise to consult a skilled traffic attorney who can guide you through the legal process and work toward a favorable resolution. 

If Accused of Running a Red Light in Bakersfield, Contact Bigger & Harman 

When mailed a ticket or cited by a patrol officer for running a red light, consult Bigger & Harman, APC. Give us a call at (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

Use the contact form to schedule a consultation, or email us at


The article, Average cost of car insurance in CA for 2023.

The CA Driver Handbook English y Español.

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