ARTICLE UPDATE: 2/25/19
Since this post was written, much has been happening in the Red Light Camera Ticket world. First of all, the Florida Supreme Court ruled in Jimenez v. State, on May 3, 2018, that the cities are within their rights to have these cameras installed and issue tickets. As soon as that ruling came down, it caused a huge blow to our (and all attorneys) ability to fight them. Basically, once that ruling came down, the courts had to allow the cities to write tickets and it made it nearly impossible to fight them successfully.
Now, I say it’s almost impossible to fight “successfully” it is because it has always been our philosophy at Unger & Kowitt to only charge people money to fight them IF we firmly believe that we can beat them and get them thrown out. Once that ruling came down, it became obvious that Courts were no longer going to allow the attorneys to make motions or arguments to get cases thrown out. Therefore, in almost every instance, we stopped handling these types of cases.
The one exception is if you received a Red Light Camera Ticket and forgot about it, or missed your deadline to pay the $158. If that did happen to you, your notice of violation automatically turned into a Uniform Traffic Citation and now you must pay $277.00 AND you will receive a mark on your driving record. We are fighting those mainly to keep the adjudication from appearing on your driving record, which we can do. But again, if you have the option of paying $158, we still recommend that at the moment because it’s the better and cheaper option.
If you notice, I did write “at the moment” because as you write this, new challenges are being made to the way some cities are ticketing drivers. Mainly, those making a right turn on red, and I believe those will be successful soon. As soon as that’s the case, I will blog again and keep you posted. Sadly, I knew what I was talking about when I wrote many years ago “What is legal one day, is illegal the next.” Man, I hated being right on that one.
As I've said many times on this blog, things in the world of red light camera tickets change constantly. What is legal one day, is illegal the next day. What traffic ticket attorney motions are being granted one day are being denied the next.
It makes it very hard to have hard and fast rules, as every county is unique, and there is such animosity towards these red light camera tickets that every city is trying to weigh the benefits against the cost.
About a year ago, the town of Davie decided to install red light cameras and have been writing tickets since. Up until recently, they fell into the same category as other red light tickets. Namely, we'd review the video, ask questions to see if certain criteria was met, and if it was, we would take the case. If not, we advised the client that it was in their best interest to pay the ticket at the initial stage and move on with their lives, as they do not carry points.
At Unger & Kowitt, we always put the client first. It is rare that a person should pay a ticket and not fight it, but there are circumstances when that is the case.
Well, I'm glad to report, that we have a rule we can apply that will work in our client's favor. Judge Fred Berman, a Broward County Judge, has ruled the town of Davie's red light tickets are unconstitutional.
What does this mean? Well, at least for now, if the appropriate motion is raised in front of Judge Berman, he will be dismissing red light camera tickets that come before him.
How long will this last? Who knows? As I indicated, things change fast in the legal world. Especially the red light camera ticket world. Of course, the ruling is being appealed. But that could take months or longer.
For now, if you have a red light camera ticket issued in the town of Davie, I encourage you to allow us to fight it for you and get it dismissed. Don't wait, this opportunity may not last. Call us at 866-374-8355.