Your FREE Florida Red Light ticket guide

by Jared J. McCabe on Oct. 08, 2019

Motor Vehicle Traffic 

Summary: A guide to handling red light tickets in Florida.

  1. Read everything on the front of the notice. Usually the front will have photographs of the vehicle that was allegedly in violation and it will tell you that you need to pay money and describe the convenient ways to pay the money.
  2. Watch the video. This is very important. The notice will have a website link you can go to, enter the code on your notice, and watch the video of the vehicle allegedly in violation.
  3. Get a magnifying glass if you have vision issues with small print. Or scan the back of the notice into your computer and magnify it on your computer screen.
  4. Read everything on the back of the notice. The back has your legal options written down in very small print, included is asking for a fair hearing before sending anyone money.
  5. Read your options carefully. Make sure you understand them. If the legalese does make sense, most times a simple google search will give you the definition in plain English. If it still doesn’t make sense, buy a cheap copy of Black’s Law Dictionary.
  6. Common defenses are taking a right on the red light, someone else was driving the car and the photos and video show the car didn’t travel into the intersection on a red light.
  7. Your case is never exactly the same as anyone else’s. There may be a justifiable situation that you need to explain to a judge. Caution: before doing this, make sure you are making a legally accepted defense. Running late to work, late to daycare, following the flow of traffic, etc. are not legal defenses, and if you go into court and tell the judge that is the reason why you ran the red light, you just admitted to breaking the law and the judge will probably find you guilty.
  8. After you review all the evidence, (Video, photos, front and back of the notice, etc.), determine if you have a legal defense for your case or if you don’t.
  9. If you don’t have a legal defense, it will most likely be cheaper and much less of a hassle to pay the fine.
  10. If you do have a legal defense, can you successfully argue it in court? Is the law enforcement officer going to persuade the judge to side with them because they are more familiar with court and the law? Do you know the applicable law? Are you a good public speaker? Do you know the Florida rules of evidence? Do you know the rules of court procedure?
  11. If you have determined you have a legal defense and wish to defend yourself, this is the point where you need to decide whether to hire an attorney to argue on your behalf, or whether you feel comfortable in court, public speaking and have done your research on the law that applies to your case and are confident with your proficiency with the rules of evidence, court procedure, and law to the extent that you can represent yourself, (Proceeding Pro Se).
  12. If you hire an attorney, realize that you are likely to pay close to the same amount as the fine. However, the amount of time you are going to spend researching, reviewing evidence, and learning the law and rules of evidence is going to take time and be stressful,
  13. In summary, research and review all the available evidence before you make a decision about how you are going to resolve your case.

Any information contained herein is for informative purposes only. The information is not legal advice and should not be substituted for legal counsel. Any information is not guaranteed to be correct and up to date, nor is it indicative of any guaranteed results.


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