I was served a red light photo ticket in Mesa in 2011 (July), I submitted an absentia packet on the 14th of July. The packet was "overlooked" and not considered by the court in a default hearing. (I of course was absent). I have been oversea for three years - I returned in Dec 2014, and found my license suspended and fines etc for failure to appear in court and a default ruling on the ticket.
I wrote the court and he set aside the judgement from 2011, and ordered a new hearing in January.
Can I argue statute of limitations or double punishment? (I've taken the MVDs TSS class which is now invalid since he set aside his prevIous ruling).
Never been to court before.
If you have a hearing on all the issues set for January, you have a chance to fight the ticket. If you know how to do this, great. If you don't, you are likely to do a lot better if you hire an attorney that does know what they are doing in these cases.
The issues are related to whether the prosecution can prove that you were the driver and that you violated the applicable traffic laws.
You can dispute the ticket as not complying with the law (unconstitutional is too strong a word). In many cases, these tickets are not certified by a police officer, but by a police aide, and Arizona seems to require that tickets for moving violations be certified by a police officer. Additionally, the individual who comes to court to testify is often not the person who certified the ticket, and it would be a due process violation to allow that individual to testify when they have no information about how the ticket came to be generated and signed (they may be familiar with the process, but they don't know what was done in YOUR case).
Finally, the fact that the case goes back 3 years gives you some additional potential avenues of attack, but you need to be prepared to present the claims by the time of your hearing.
You got a do over, but you do not get to claim double-jeopardy or anything like that. You should certainly raise the issue of having had to take TSS and pay for it, when the court made the mistake, and that's another thing the judge might consider in the big picture.
Hire an attorney, if you want to really improve your chances in this case.
-- Michael Kielsky
Counselor & Attorney at Law
Kielsky Rike PLLC
Tempe, AZ 85282
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Statute of limitation would not apply as all the time the past 3 years would be tolled since a judgement had been entered. Double jeopardy would not apply because that applies to criminal cases and even if it did apply here, the judgement had been vacated so there would only be one punishment.
Red light tickets carry no points and usually the fine is not much. Unless you are arguing that it wasn't your in the car, your chances of success are minimal.
You should hire an attorney to help with this. He/she will know how to best defend you and you will surely get a better outcome than doing this yourself. Good luck!
The answer above is not legal advice nor establishes an attorney-client relationship between you and J & J Law Firm, PA. Please consult with a local lawyer in your area to obtain confidential legal advice based on your specific situation and the facts in your case.
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