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Challenge to Florida’s Red Light Camera Law

The state of Florida recently passed a new law that allows municipalities to use red light cameras at traffic intersections. If the camera catches a motorist going through a red light, a ticket is issued and mailed to the owner of the vehicle. A lawsuit has been brought in West Palm Beach for the purpose of invalidating Florida’s red light camera law. The lawsuit claims that individuals are innocent until proven guilty and that the red light camera law violates this basic tenant of criminal justice in the United States.

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Individuals caught in the red light camera have to prove in court that they were not driving the vehicle at the time of the incident. Instead of a individual being innocent until proven guilty, he or she is guilty until proven innocent under the new law. Attorney William Abramson, whic filed the lawsuit on behalf of one of his clients, stated that Florida’s red light camera law violates constitutional rights of individuals.

The Florida law went into effect July 1, 2010. Under this new statue, the driver of a motor vehicle either pays a $158 fine or has to submit evidence that he or she was not driving the vehicle at the time of incident. Attorney Abramson claims the driver should not have the burden of proof. The municipality should have to prove that the owner of the vehicle was the operator at the time of the incident. The lawsuit claims that “the presumption of guilt, shifting the burden of proof, violates both the Florida Constitution and the United States Constitution.”

New York Red Light Cameras

The State of New York has a similar law in place concerning red light cameras. On Long Island and in the five boroughs of the city of New York, the owners of motor vehicles are regularly receiving traffic tickets based on red light cameras taking photographs of their vehicles at various intersections. The drivers of the vehicles are not identified. The New York law similarly places the burden on the owner of the vehicle to prove he or she is not guilty. This constitutes a violation of the owners constitutional rights. Under New York State Constitution and the Federal Constitution, individuals are innocent until proven guilty of traffic matters.

Should you, a family member or a friend have issues with red light tickets, speeding tickets or other types of traffic violations, feel free to contact the traffic attorneys at the law office of Elliot Schlissel. We can help you with these matters. Our phone number is 1-800-344-6431, or contact us by email.

Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Baldwin, Malverne, Freeport, Oceanside, Long Beach, Elmont, Lakeview, West Hempstead, Hempstead, Merrick, Bellmore