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socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 36593
Experience:  retired (mostly)
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f I follow the advice as you noted in a previous post: Right

Resolved Question:

f I follow the advice as you noted in a previous post: Right after the judge calls your case, say "I move to suppress the readings of the radar because they were obtained in violation of CVC 21455.5 (g) (1) which states that 'A contract between a governmental agency and a manufacturer or supplier of automated enforcement equipment may not include provision for the payment or compensation to the manufacturer or supplier based on the number of citations generated.' I would like to admit into evidence the contract between the city of Santa Clarita and the red light camera manufacturer Redflex. The contract provides for a payment to the manufacturer based on the number of citations generated. Specifically, it reads, in pertinent part,... "
Will I win the case or ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.

You describe a "previous post" in your question. I have no idea what that post is, or what it states, other than what you have provided. However, if the post states what you quote, then the post is incorrect, because the correct Vehicle Code Section for the language you quote is 21455.5(h)(1) -- not (g)(1).

That said, in People v. Daugherty (2011) 199 Cal. App. 4th Supp. 1, the Appellate division of the Superior Court of Napa Court held that the fact that the "neutrality provision" of Section 21455.5 is violated by the contract between the government and the photo enforcement equipment supplier, does not, by itself, render evidence procured by the equipment or the supplier inadmissible. The relevant question is whether or not violation of the law makes the evidence untrustworthy. The presumption of accuracy in the photographic evidence is defeated by the contract violation evidence -- and it then falls to the People to prove that the evidence is in fact an accurate representation of the defendant's violation.

If the People demonstrates that the photographic evidence is found to be accurate, then it is admissible, and it may show that the defendant has violated the law. And, if not, then there will be no evidence against the defendant, and the court must find the defendant not guilty.

In short, while it may seem as though this issue is cut and dried -- it is anything but. The introduction of the contract may throw a monkey wrench into the traffic court trial, but it is still up to the court to determine whether or not the evidence is accurate, and the defendant guilty or innocent.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your analysis and response. They have pics of my face, my license plate and my vehicle before the limit line with a red light. Regardless of my recollection of how yellow the light was when I entered the intersection making a left turn, must I pay or is there really some loophole that allows me to fight and win (i.e., avoid the $490 fine/bail)? I submitted my question and paid on the belief that there was some loophole but your response leads me to believe that I have to pay the bail regardless. I'm not interested in paying an attorney to win on the basis of principal and still shell out the money; I just don't want to pay $500.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.

I have no control over the answers of other contributors in this forum. I took the liberty of reviewing the other answers published by this website on the internet, and except for a previous post by myself, which is substantially similar to my post here, and one other answer, I must respectfully XXXXX XXXXX all of the other posted answers.

That said, there is no "loophole." What there is, is the Evidence Code, and the ability of a competent attorney to defeat the chain of custody in the photographic evidence. This is not easy to do, especially as the Evidence Code Sections 1550-1553 were recently added to make it easier to convict persons cited for photo-enforcement violations.

These laws are a "sea of storms." If you hire a lawyer, you may win, only because the judge will view you as having been punished by paying for the lawyer. There are a number of traffic lawyers who advertise online that they can win these cases. I would interview one or two and ask exactly how they would defend. If they start into a hand waving exercise, then run away -- pay the fine and elect traffic school -- because that at least avoids having your auto insurance rates increased.

Hope this helps.

socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 36593
Experience: retired (mostly)
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