Running a red light can be dangerous, but many drivers have accidentally proceeded through the intersection while changing their radio or fishing for a dropped item in the car. Some people misjudge how much time they have to drive through the intersection before the yellow light turns red. Many individuals in these situations now have red light cameras who catch these moments and pin them with high-cost traffic tickets. Here are a few things you can do to fight having to pay the cost of these penalties.
When a camera catches you running a red light, you will receive a Notice of Violation (NOV) in the mail. You can challenge this notice, which isn't the same thing as challenging the ticket. The challenge is usually held in a mock court created by the municipality that issued the NOV. However, these are not recommended, as the hearings are not fair and the court can add up to $250 to the fine on top of the initial amount.
What you can do when receiving the NOV in the mail is to look at the pin number, file number, and link the view the evidence against you. This evidence will usually include two pictures and one video. Take a look at the evidence as soon as you receive the NOV.
You can pay $158 before the due date, which prevents the violation from appearing on your driving record and will not affect your insurance. However, if you do not pay it, the municipality will then issue you a ticket. Once you receive the ticket by certified mail, you will have 30 days to pay it or elect to have a hearing.
In the hearing, most officers will reduce the fine amount down to $158 if you enter a plea of guilty or no contest to the charge of running the red light. If you are found guilty, the fine amount will remain $262, and the ticket will be noted on your driving record, which could cause your insurance rates to go up. If you do have a hearing, it's usually not a good idea to represent yourself. An experienced Florida criminal defense attorney can use the evidence provided for you to argue your case. Those who represent themselves rarely ever get a dismissal, and many end up leaving the court frustrated by their experience.
Call one of our skilled traffic offense lawyers at Musca Law to discuss your case with us. We can look over the details of your situation and make an honest recommendation about the best course of action to take. The lawyers at Musca Law have more than 150 years of collective legal experience to offer you. Let us help you defend your rights.