***Update*** The 60 day requirement has been removed from the statute as of 2013. Oh well, it was good while it lasted.****
If you are a regular reader to our blog, you have seen me write that we always encourage people to fight their tickets, (here's the most important part) when it's in their best interest to do so.
Well, the obvious question is "when is it in my best interest to fight a ticket?" The simple answer is "almost always." But recently, the red light camera ticket has given us reason to modify that somewhat. You see, red light camera tickets are unique because they don't carry points. So, as a result, it becomes a simple question of how much is the ticket and how much would it be to fight it (coupled with the equation of how likely we are to get the case dismissed).
Since my main goal is always to make sure that my clients wind up in a better situation after hiring me, I need to evaluate all the facts before making a decision. For most moving violations, it's easy. By keeping the points off a license, I know I am saving my clients a ton of money. But, for red light camera tickets, we need to dig a little deeper.
However, recently, an event transpired that has caused me to encourage people to fight red light camera tickets in Florida. Just the other day, it was announced that approximately 5,000 people in Broward and Palm Beach county essentially had their red light camera tickets thrown out.
Here's how. These cities can't keep up with the paperwork that's involved with these red light camera tickets. And the law is very clear. If a person gets a red light camera ticket, they will receive a notice to pay $158.00. The hope, of course, is that everyone will, like lemmings, just pay the money and move on with their lives.
However, if you choose not to pay the $158.00, the state MUST send you a second notice within 60 days of the incident. If they don't . . . wait for it . . .the fine is unenforceable. BOOYAH!!!
So over 5,000 people were rewarded by not taking action and paying the first notice of $158.00. They were able to have their fines essentially wiped out.
Now, I'm not suggesting that you should ignore notices. In many cases, this is not a good practice. But, if you are a gambling sort, you might benefit drastically by the state's inability to get their act together and comply with this law.
If you want to fight your red light camera ticket in Florida, but are a little uneasy about the entire process, we will be happy to explain it to you, or you can hire us to do the monitoring of your ticket (to see if they file on time). Whatever you decide to do, we're here to help.
I hope for your sake, the next time I write this article, the number of people who got out of paying a red light camera ticket fine gets increased by one.
**** Please see the updated note in the top of the article. The 60 day requirement has been removed as of 2013***