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RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 13670
Experience:  Experience in numerous areas of the law.
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Someone got a ticket driving my car. It was a red light

Customer Question

Someone got a ticket driving my car. It was a red light camera ticket. Am I required by law to identify the driver?
JA: OK. The Traffic Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: NO
JA: Please tell me everything you can about this issue so the Traffic Lawyer can help you best. Please give me a bit more information, so we can help you best.
Customer: It was a camera ticket for running a red light in the city of Culver City, CA. I was not the driver, but the car is registered in my name. Do I have to pay the ticket? Do I have to identify who was driving the car if it was not me?
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Traffic Lawyer should know?
Customer: No, there is nothing else.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Traffic Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you.

California law states that the driver cited for a traffic violation is liable for the ticket, not the vehicle’s owner. However, if your vehicle is captured running a red light by a red light camera, the ticket will be mailed to your address. Thus, if you receive a red light camera ticket in the mail but you were not the person driving, you should hire an attorney to challenge the ticket.

If a friend or family member was driving your car, the Judge might ask you to identify the person in the photograph. It is important to note that you are not legally required to provide this information to the Judge. Thus, your ticket may be dismissed and the police agency will then have the burden of identifying the driver by matching the red light camera photo to their driver’s license records. If the police agency is successful in identifying the driver, they will send the citation to said person via mail.

If I may be of further assistance or you need clarification, please REPLY and I'll be happy to help. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response. I need more clarification. The court requires that I pay a bail amount of $495 to argue the ticket. Once they see that I was not driving, they will refund only a portion of the bail amount. Why am I responsible for paying anything if I were not driving?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Sorry, I had to step away for a bit.

Honestly, it's a way for the government to collect fees. Its a "pay to play" system, and bail as a general rule (in all criminal matters) is never fully refunded -they always take a fee. In addition to you having to take time off, show up in court, possibly hire a lawyer, etc., they make money off of people disputing a ticket. However, this fee for first time court appearances regarding contesting traffic tickets was changed in June 2015 by lawmakers, so I would ask about that at the Clerk of Court. You can refer to this article:

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-traffic-fines-20150608-story.html.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

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Thank you!