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How to beat a red light camera ticket?

Oakland, CA |

Earlier this year, I was issued a ticket via mail for failing to stop on a right turn at a red light. The ticket was given by a video camera system in California. I submitted a defense from one of those websites that claim to get your ticket erased but I was found guilty. I appealed, and have a court date in a few weeks and was hoping someone could give me some advice as to whether or not there is a defense specific to red light cameras I could use.

And if not, what is the best way to lower the amount I have to pay on the ticket? I have heard the judge is often lenient if you come to court, however I have never done this before, so I do not know whether or not to admit running the light in hopes of having a lower amount to pay? Or just ask for a lower amount? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Attorney answers 2


There is no magic formula for beating a red light ticket, contrary to what those websites would like you to believe. If there is a photo of you actually driving the car, then you can't say it was someone else. The photos will also usually show you in the intersection with the light red. Unless you feel you were actually innocent or there is some defense that you raised in your initial defense that you think has merit, you should tell the judge that you want traffic school and tell the judge about your finances (bring proof if possible) and see if you can get any leniency. Usually, they will knock a little bit off the fine if you can demonstrate financial hardship.


Red light tickets come with a great deal of controversy regarding their legality, etc. To answer your question, they can be won at trial -but they cab be tough. Some judges will offer lower fines if you plead guilty and request it right away. Some courts might even allow you to do community service. They are expensive tickets. Don't forget to ask for traffic school if you are eligible.

Legal disclaimer: You can learn more about me by clicking on my Avvo profile. Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice. It is merely intended to provide general information to aid the poster in finding answers to the problem posed. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. In most cases, it is best to contact an attorney directly to find answers to your problems.

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