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A red light infraction caught by a camera. The registered owner was out of country. Should he enclose the proof?

Federal Way, WA |

I was driving a car which was registered by my husband. He was overseas at that time. Should he enclose the proof of his trip along with the affidavit? If so, can he skip mentioning I was the driver? Someone else was commenting that the law does not require to show who the driver was. If he writes my name and address, will the ticket be sent to me later and am I obligated to pay the fine by law?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

Your husband doesn't have to send proof, he has no obligation to ID the driver (no matter what the form says), and he should not write anyone's name and address down. He also has no personal knowledge that you drove the car, beyond your admission. He didn't see you do it.

This ticket should be dismissed with your husband's signed declaration of responsibility sent to the court.

This answer is given merely for informational purposes and does not create an attorney-client relationship. For specific advice, contact an attorney in your state to see if working together makes sense.

Asker

Posted

Dear Mr. Zimmerman, Thank you for your answer. This happened in Federal Way, WA, and it's website (http://www.cityoffederalway.com/FAQ.aspx?TID=15) states that if he wants to avoid the hearing, he has to name the driver. Is that true? --> the quote from the site "7. Am I required to name the person who was driving? The law does not require you to name the other driver, but if you want to avoid a hearing then you can name the other driver in the Statement of Non-Responsibility provided to you with the Notice of Infraction. Otherwise, you need to request a hearing and present your testimony to the judge. The person who was driving may voluntarily accept responsibility."

Asker

Posted

I am reading conflicting answers by different attorneys. This person says, "The owner will then have to give the name of the person who was driving the vehicle at the time." --> http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/camera-tickets-red-light-and-speeding?ref=kb_serp_title_4 Which is true?

Jon Michael Zimmerman

Jon Michael Zimmerman

Posted

There is no conflict among Washington State attorneys who answered. State law controls r/l cameras and you should ask an attorney licensed in WA State. Stop fussing over this - the answer is that in WASHINGTON, the law doesn't require the owner to name the driver. How could the driver always know if it's their wife, their mistress, their kids, their siblings, or their parents driving the vehicle? The forms are not congruent with the law. While the court might reject your form and ask the owner to appear to make the same declaration orally, there is no - read zero - obligation to ID a driver. Laws vary by state, and so the laws for r/l cameras in California are not necessarily the same as in Washington. Don't spend good days dealing with this. File the declaration and enjoy your life.

Asker

Posted

Mr. Zimmerman, Thank you so much for your answer again. My husband is flying back the day of the filing due date, that's why I am trying to figure out things now so that he can file the declaration as soon as he arrives. I now understand that the law doesn't require owner to name the driver in WA and also the form we received is not congruent with WA law. However, as you mentioned, is there a high chance that the court will reject his form and ask the owner to show up for the hearing if he leaves the driver's name blank? He will probably argue that he would rather pay the fine if he has to miss his work for the hearing. If he writes my name, his case will be dismissed for sure, then will I be receiving the citation and required to pay? The bottom line is we do not wish to pay the fine and also avoid the court hearing. Thank you for your time in advance.

Posted

Although a bit of a sneaky trick, your husband is under no obligation to turn you in to the court. He has no personal knowledge of you driving. He needs to sign the affidavit and mail it into the court. The matter should be dismissed at that point.

Asker

Posted

Yes, that's what I had thought. The law does not require him to name the driver. However, I have learned by reading other forums and talking with other people, things are more harsh in Lynnwood and Federal Way. If you leave the name of the driver blank, his form will most likely be rejected and he will be requested to appear for a hearing. So, what I am thinking now is no to have him fill out "Declaration of Non-Responsibility" and instead, have him fill out "Statement of Declaration for Hearing by Mail" and contest it that he is not guilty since he was out of country at that time and therefore was not driving. I plan to enclose copies of passport stamps and airline tickets as proofs. It seems like when you contest in person at a hearing, judge would request some type of evidence anyway, so I thought he can do that by mail hearing as well. What do you think?

Andrew C Huff

Andrew C Huff

Posted

i would still recommend the Declaration of Non-Responsibility since that appears to be the appropriate form for this type of situation. And signing that form under penalty of perjury will be sufficient. You can include travel information but signing a statement under penalty of perjury should be enough. The judge doesn't really weigh the evidence in this type of case and make a decision, as it isn't that type of question presented to him.

Posted

Your husband does not have to send proof, he has no obligation to ID the driver and he should not write anyone's name and address down.

This ticket SHOULD BE dismissed with your husband's signed declaration saying he was out of the country and couldn't have been driving the car and have it sent to the court.

Asker

Posted

I understand that the law does not require to name the driver. However, if he leaves the name of the driver blank, his form will be rejected and he will be called for a hearing. That's my understanding.

William Allen White

William Allen White

Posted

Then show up at a contested hearing and give his declaration orally.

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