Red Light Cameras (Photo Enforcement) – For the past few years, Florida has joined a growing number of states which allow enforcement of some traffic violations though the use of cameras.  Initially, these matters were handled locally like other “ordinance violations” (i.e. tickets for illegal/overtime parking or watering lawns on wrong days/times).  These citations would have no impact on an individual’s driving record, but if unpaid, would result in a hold on your vehicle registration at renewal.

More recently, the Florida legislature has amended the statue authorizing the use of such enforcement under Florida’s motor vehicle laws.  By doing this, the disposition of some red light camera cases can be reported to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) and show up on your driving record.  The legislature insisted that this effort would not hurt motorists because these cases are assessed no points.  However, they do show as an entry on a person’s driving record, and can be considered a “conviction for a moving violation” by insurance companies.  Thus, you could get an increase of your auto insurance premium if you get convicted of such a case.

How does one avoid the imposition of a conviction of a red light camera case on their record?  

  1.  The most obvious and effective way to avoid a conviction is to simply pay the first notice of a red light camera violation (called a “Notice of Violation”).  While a Red Light Camera violation is still in “Notice of Violation” status, and is still considered an “ordinance violation” that is not reported to the DHSMV.

 

  1.  If you were not the driver of the vehicle in question, you may file an affidavit stating that you were not the driver at the time.  This affidavit must specify the name, driver license number, and address of the actual driver of the vehicle.  If accepted, the agency will dismiss your charge and send a Notice of Violation to the actual party.

 

  1.  You may contest your citation.  However, you must have a valid defense, and although you can research the valid defenses to a Red Light Camera citation, it is better if you consult with an attorney who is experienced in traffic infraction defense.

If you are still unsure of what to do, our office is well equipped to assist you in making the proper choice regarding the disposition of this type of citation.

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