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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 29787
Experience:  Lawyer. Former judicial law clerk. Worked for District Attorney's Office in Traffic Court.
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I got a red light ticket from Beverly Hills in the mail.

Customer Question

I got a red light ticket from Beverly Hills in the mail.
JA: Because traffic laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: California
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: no
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: I think the light was yellow.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

There's a long-standing myth that red light camera tickets in California are optional and that people can ignore them without consequence. While the city of Los Angeles stopped enforcing these tickets back in 2011, Beverly Hills was not part of that decision. They've actually been adding more cameras since 2015. So it's important to know that you do have to deal with the ticket to avoid having it sent to collections.

There should be paperwork with the ticket that allows you to submit a Trial by Affidavit, explaining that the light was yellow when you went through it and that you should not have to pay. It is necessary to submit full payment with that request, though. If you lose the trial by affidavit, you can request a full trial. With that said, the cameras are set to only go off if the light is red, and police officers review them before sending them out. It might be better to go to the courthouse on the date on the ticket and ask the district attorney to explain to you where you were when the light changed. They know how to read the pictures. If you still think the light was yellow, you can request a trial and make them prove it.

California law does allow a person to go to traffic school once every 18 months to have a violation removed from their record. This request must be made before paying the ticket. Red light camera tickets are usually a good time to exercise this ability, if possible, because it's one of the few types of violations where the DA won't negotiate to reduce the fine. So if you haven't been to school yet, consider whether you are able to pay the ticket and take an online course to keep the ticket from increasing your insurance (that's assuming the DA can prove that you ran the light).

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Do you get paid if this is part of the free trial? I didn't sign up for it yet but just wondered. I have more questions but am too tired to do it now. I will give you 5 stars but not until the morning. I was hoping for an answer that help me get out of this. The picture in the photo doesn't look like me. Thank you.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Customer Service can answer all your questions about free trials. Experts don't work with that part of the site at all.

There's no foolproof way to get out of tickets. I wish there were. You have to have a valid defense. If the light was yellow, that's a defense, as long as the pictures clearly indicate that it was yellow. The picture shows when the light turned yellow, where your car was located, how fast you were going, and how long it was yellow. Then it shows when the light turned red, where you were, and how fast you were going. The DA can go over it with you at the courthouse.

I wasn't aware that the picture doesn't look like you. You can send in a picture of your driver's license with the trial by affidavit and ask them to dismiss on that basis. That works when the picture is unclear. However, if it's someone else you know driving, you'll be required to give up that person's identity or provide a police report showing your car was stolen.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Did you have any other questions about this?