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Phoenix Photo Speeding Ticket - Accurate? Enforceable?

Tucson, AZ |

I got a photo ticket in the mail for speeding on the freeway in Phoenix. I do not believe I was going that fast - 76 in a 65mph zone. The ticket was mailed from AZ Dept. of Public Safety. Who is this? Is this a court? Should I just pay it or get a lawyer? I can't afford to travel to Phoenix to fight this, but I can't really afford the ticket either.

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Attorney answers 2


Photo radar tickets are difficult to fight. If the defensive driving school option is available to you, take it and the case is dismissed; so not points, no record, no insurance issues. If it is not available, i.e. you have taken the course in the last two years, you may want to contact a lawyer but the courts have been leaning in favor of the technology.


The law authorizing photo radars on freeways in Arizona does not allow the assessment of points to your license. It's purely a revenue generating device for the State. Generally for tickets on the freeways, you first receive a Notice of Violation in the mail, which is not filed with the court. It's the State's first attempt at scaring you into paying the fine, but there is no consequence for simply ignoring it. If you don't respond to the mailed Notice of Violation, generally a civil complaint will be filed with a court and you will receive an actual civil complaint in the mail requesting you again to pay the fine or appear at a hearing. There is no law requiring an Arizona resident to respond or pay a mailed Notice of Violation or Traffic Ticket. If you don't respond, the State must then serve you with process and they have only a limited time to do that. If they can't serve you personally and you have not responded to the mailed ticket, after around 120 days from the filing of the Civil Traffic Complaint with the court, your case will be subject to dismissal for failure to timely serve.