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I have a question regarding a red light camera ticket. It…

Hi Pearl, I have...

Hi Pearl, I have a question regarding a red light camera ticket

Lawyer's Assistant: Because traffic laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Yes, it was in Culver City, CA

Lawyer's Assistant: Do you need to appear in court?

I'm not quite sure. It says that I have two options, pay the bail amount if I do not contest the violation. If I contest the violation, then I must appear in court or send a written declaration.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
I received a 'failure to stop for red signal' ticket in Culver City, CA in Los Angeles county. My question is whether I can ignore the ticket, as sources that I'm reading online are suggesting that I do so.
Answered in 4 minutes by:
9/6/2017
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Lawyer. Former judicial law clerk. Worked for District Attorney's Office in Traffic Court.
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that you got a ticket.

If you believe that you did not run the light, you can try sending in a trial by written declaration explaining what happened. You send the fine in with that amount, and they'll return it if they agree that you did not run the light. At that point, you're still allowed to request a trial. That's one option. You have a right to go in and force them to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you ran the light. If the police officer doesn't show up, you will win the case. However, that's rare with these particular tickets because the photographs are usually reviewed by two different officers before being issued.

Alternatively, if your primary concern is points on your license, it's possible to request traffic school to remove them. Traffic school requires paying the fine in full, but red lights are a good time to do it because the district attorney usually will not agree to a lower fine for those tickets.

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In every city in California except Los Angeles, the court will refer you to collections if you ignore the ticket and the fine will increase significantly. You could face suspension if you get another ticket.

The City of Los Angeles has chosen not to enforce these tickets, but that unfortunately does not apply to the rest of the county.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
if I choose to ignore this ticket, what consequences could I face down the line given that LA does not enforce these tickets?

LA County does enforce the tickets. Culver City is in LA County. As I said, the court will refer you to collections if you ignore the ticket and the fine will increase significantly. You could face suspension. If you get any other tickets, you'll be forced to also address this one at the same time.

The only place where a person can ignore a red light ticket without a penalty is within the city limits of Los Angeles. Not anywhere in the county.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Assuming that I the evidence of my running the red light is sound, what would you suggest is my best path forward?
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Show up in court, pay the fine, and request traffic school? Ideally, I would like to save the $490 penalty, as it's a sum of money that is substantial for me at the moment.

Traffic school is usually the best option for people who want to avoid points and an insurance increase, but can afford to pay the ticket in full. If your goal is to save the penalty, you may want to ask the court if you can do community service instead.

If you don't have the $490 or the time to do community service, you can also ask to make payments in installments.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Can you say with certainty what would happen to me if I choose to ignore this, specifically regarding how Culver City will escalate this? How/where could I get more detailed information about what the City of Culver City has done to past offenders who choose to ignore these tickets?

I talked to someone less than 10 minutes ago whose license was suspended for ignoring a ticket in Beverly Hills. I get questions like yours from Culver City all the time, from people who got a notice that they were referred to collections and their fines doubled after they read an article online that said paying these tickets was optional.

The default is that a person who gets a traffic ticket needs to pay it. All the articles you're seeing are from people who found a loophole in the system because the City of Los Angeles got tired of tracking down people who didn't pay. I'll see what else I can find.

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If you go to the Culver City Police Department's website, they mention the incorrect information circulating online, and they have a powerpoint. It's at the bottom.

http://www.culvercitypd.org/photoenforcement.html

Please rate my answer positively to ensure I get credit for the time I spend helping. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you.

Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Lawyer. Former judicial law clerk. Worked for District Attorney's Office in Traffic Court.
Verified
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Lucy, Esq.
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Experience: Lawyer. Former judicial law clerk. Worked for District Attorney's Office in Traffic Court.

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