Have Legal Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Hello and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification
It's not illegal although this type of ticket from a helicopter is certainly unusual.
It's not that different than receiving a ticket based on a camera but if you challenge it there is a reasonable chance you could beat it on the facts.
The officer in the helicopter would have had to be hovering over the crosswalk and observe the entire incident to testify that you violated that law.
In addition, the officer would have to show up at trial and testify. There aren't many that work the helicopters and so it would be a hassle for them to do so and there's a good chance he wouldn't show up.
Isn't this against my civil rights and privacy to be monitored by a helicopter?
No, there is no right of privacy on the streets or in a public place.
Not according to the courts anyway.
Legally it's no different than a squad car being parked on the street and seeing you commit a traffic violation.
That and cameras I have no problem with but this is absurd to me. This was a residential area where a helicopter would have to hover extremely low to obtain any information which I believe would be dangerous. So are they using some sort of technical device in the helicopter to do this?
I have no idea what they were using. I've never heard of a ticket from a helicopter for anything like this. I've seen them for speeding tickets and other crimes but never anything like this. As a practical matter I would think it would be a hard case to prosecute. I assume there will be a video but have no way of knowing that for sure.
Ok so to summarize I should dispute this ticket in court because I agree it would be a difficult case to prosecute for the municipality. Do I have a right to obtain information about helicopters doing this and the exact technology/training required to obtain this supposed information?
Yes, you can file a Motion for Discovery, you have to have a hearing and have the judge issue an order on it, and ask what the helicopter was doing, who was in it, a copy of any videos, etc.
Would you recommend that I dispute it first and receive a judgement from the court before I request a motion for discovery or do I have to do that 1st?
You want to enter a plea of not guilty pursuant to that court's rules and then file your Motion for Discovery as soon after that as is possible.
Ok sounds good to me I will pursue that course and see what happens. Any further suggestions?
No, not at this point. If you have any additional questions or if anything develops during the case feel free to come back and ask for me but at this point that should get you started.
Ok - Thanks for your expertise and help in this matter. I'll let you know what happens or contact you if anything develops during the case. Have a great day!
To you as well.
Best wishes to you on this and please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating (of course I’d suggest Excellent!) so I get credit for my work.