Broward Judge to Police: No More Red-Light Tickets in Fort Lauderdale
A Broward County judge recently ruled that police aren’t allowed to issue citations for running a red light because they carry a steeper penalty than citations issued by getting caught by a camera, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.
This is welcome news for those who have been the victim of the unbalanced and unfair practices in Fort Lauderdale regarding red-light camera tickets. Fort Lauderdale Traffic Defense Lawyers have done a substantial amount of work fighting for the rights of drivers accused of violations through “Big Brother” methods such as traffic cameras. Fighting Broward County traffic tickets is important because not only can they cost a driver in fines and fees, but also can tack on points to a person’s driver’s license, which could lead to a suspension.
As we reported earlier this year on our Florida Criminal Lawyer Blog, we have succeeded in getting many of these camera tickets dismissed.
The Broward County judge ruled that because red-light camera tickets cost $158, while officer-issued tickets cost $260 and impose points on a person’s driver’s license, the practice violates the equal protection provisions of the United States Constitution and Florida Constitution. This ruling will likely set precedent for judges dealing with other citations throughout Broward County.
The Attorney General’s Office will appeal the ruling. But while the state argues equal protection doesn’t apply in this situation, it’s possible either red light camera tickets or tickets written by officers will go by the wayside if the Florida Supreme Court eventually gets involved. It’s equally possible that the penalties for red-light violators caught on camera will increase to those that accompany a ticket issued by an officer.
In Florida, red light violations are governed by specific details regarding whether a light is “run” or not. Sometimes, this can be defended simply by the officer mistakenly believing the light was red or not correctly judging where in the intersection the vehicle was when the light turned red.
Governments in recent years have turned to red-light cameras as a wave of the future approach to fighting traffic violations. In many cities throughout Florida, the cameras simply show traffic in real-time, while others record road intersections. Some are designed to cite traffic violators. As the government becomes more intrusive, it is more and more important to make sure you are well represented.
Don’t just pay a fine if you get a ticket. Consult with an experienced law firm that can help you decide whether the ticket is worth fighting. Adding points to your driver’s license can hike up your insurance rates as well as lead to a license suspension. Plus, the tickets are very costly. Speak first with Fort Lauderdale Traffic Defense Lawyers before doing anything.
If you are arrested on red light camera charges in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in South Florida, contact Leifert & Leifert for a free consultation.