This is why red light cameras are becoming illegal in most states. There is no proof to support who was behind the wheel of the vehicle.
Isn't the proper term demand for discovery? Could be different state by state. Always send a demand for discovery certified mail.Send subpoenas. Lots of them.
I swear judges don't do anything. If the DA/cop says prosecute, they will. If the DA/cop says dismiss, they will.Fighting a red light camera traffic ticket. They wanted almost $800 plus to just pay it off, I figured they may get into my pocket, but I’m not going to make it easy.
I plead not guilty and had to “post bail” in the amount of $550 in order to fight it.
I sent a subpoena to the ‘arresting officer’ for ‘any and all records that pertain to the installation, and maintenance of the camera and any of its systems or software.” Also I wanted “any and all operating manuals, installation manuals”, and “details of any software updates, the dates of those updates and the reason for the updates, if any.”
About a week later I get a letter from the ‘arresting officer’ asking that I contact him via phone. I called and he explained that what I was asking for was a stack of paper (if printed) over 24 inches tall. He asked if I could receive it as a pdf file, I said ‘no’. He asked if I could come to his office and again I said ‘no’. He asked why and I said I wished to stand with my fifth amendment rights and not answer any questions unless his office wanted to provide me with a court appointed attorney. I then confirmed that he had my correct mailing address and terminated the call.
Court date rolls around and I haven’t gotten my documents. The ADA is there on court date and asks me out to the hall for a ‘quick chat’ before the judge sits down. She said she’d reduce the charge and my fine would be under $100 if I’d plead guilty. I thanked her for the offer and declined. She said, “We both know what you did, that was you driving wasn’t it?” I declined to answer any questions.
Court convened. I waited about an hour and I was hoping the cop wouldn’t show, but he did. He looked like he was about 17. They were putting down drivers about every two minutes … guilty after guilty. Called my case.
The ADA showed the picture – that was their entire case. They rested their case and I was offered an opportunity to cross. I pointed out that I had an outstanding subpoena that had been ignored and asked for a postponement to allow the officer a chance to respond. The judge asked me, “Is that you driving the car?” I responded that there was a motion before the bench and “I await a ruling from your honor on that motion.” He frowned at me and granted my motion for a postponement.
Office Doukie Houser stopped me in the hallway and really tried to get me to admit it was me, and said that if it wasn’t I should tell him who it was. I refused to talk to him off record and without an attorney. And left.
No other contact from ADA or cops. Next court date rolls around. Same thing, different day. Guilty after guilty. My case is called. ADA shows the pix, it is given over to me for cross. I again point out (to the same judge) that there is an ignored subpoena and this time motion to dismiss. Judge says, “Come on Mr. Smith, it is obvious that you are driving that car and that you ran a red light.” I didn’t say anything as he didn’t ask a question, instead I restated my motion for dismissal.
He ignored my motion again, and asked (while looking at the picture), “I see an Uber sticker in your front windshield, do you drive for Uber?” I said, “Your honor, I am not here as a witness and will not be testifying, I am here to defend myself against these charges. If I am to be compelled to answer questions I would like to have a court appointed attorney to advise me, as is my fifth amendment rights.” He looked at me with his sternest ‘judge’ look. And I added, “and I am waiting for a ruling on my motion, your honor. The arresting officer has had ample opportunity to respond ...” He interrupted me, put his hand up in a 'stop' motion. I shut up in mid sentence.
He said, “You have been given the opportunity to view the records you asked for, and you have not taken advantage of that. I am denying your motion for dismissal. Do you want to present a defense, or should I make a ruling?"
I thought for a second and I said, “The issue of my being given an opportunity to see the records has not been brought up in court your honor, and it is therefore not a matter of record. I am curious as to how you know this information.” An awkward silence descended on the court room. You could have heard a pin drop.
Judge leans forward and says, “You are wasting this courts time. Present your defense or I will make a finding right now.”
I said, “I don’t have anything to defend your honor. The prosecution has not presented anything to this court except a fuzzy picture of somebody in my car. I am not being allowed due process, there has apparently been ex-parte communication between the DA’s office and your office, and evidence to prove my innocence is being purposefully withheld. I fully intend to appeal an unfavorable decision by you. And again, I restate my motion to dismiss.”
The judge turned red. Seriously red. I thought he was going to stroke out. There were veins bulging in his neck. I just knew I was going to jail. He yelled, yes yelled. “I have already ruled on that motion MR SMITH, and if you bring it up again I will find you in contempt of court. Do you understand the ramifications of that, MR. SMITH?”
Before I could answer that I did, the ADA stood up and said, “Your honor, in the interest of justice The People wish to withdraw our complaint and join with the defendant in requesting a dismissal.”
Judge took a deep breath, sat back down and said, “As you wish, case dismissed. Five minute break.” And stood up and left quickly.
I turned around and the whole courtroom, every person in there was smiling from ear to ear. As I left I got two fist bumps, and a high five and someone muttered “brass balls”.
I should get my $550 back in about ten days. Intend to take wifey out on the town with it. Dinner, theatre, drinks and, yes, an Uber ride home.
Mebe I'll even get lucky.
The one I received from SF a year ago said the video was reviewed by an SF police officer. I think that is how they are trying to get around having someone testify against you since the camera cannot.There is no cop associated with red light cameras. It's people state of (enter state here) vs. (owner of vehicle)
Your rights under the law are not a secret. They've been pretty well publicized for over two hundred years.This is pretty awesome. I've only had the misfortune of going to traffic court twice in my 25 years of driving, and the two judges I have witnessed have come across as real jerks. Talking down to people, agreeing with the DA at all times, etc. If only more people like you knew their rights and have the cajones to exercise them.
It is an amazing income source for the City of Redding. Last year it was reported (I believe 2014) it netted over $1.2 mil, and since then they've installed two more cameras. The ticket is, I believe $560. Then there's court costs, and if you want to take a course to save the points you pay the court more, AND the school.Why was the ticket so high? $800? Maybe I misunderstood?
And someone else commented that it was too long ... *sigh*.You stated that he "sat back down" but never stated that he stood up?
Fictional stories do have their place I suppose.And someone else commented that it was too long ... *sigh*.
Are you an English Composition teacher? Did that ruin the story for you? Is that the only thing you took from the story? You going to ding me one star for that?