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Old 10-18-2012, 9:50 AM
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Armed24-7 Armed24-7 is offline
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Location: Orange County, CA
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Originally Posted by USMC169 View Post
My wife received a red light ticket recently. It's her name on the ticket but not her info. Different drivers license number, birthdate, height things like that. Is this ticket still valid and she should appear in court. Thanks for your input.
Don't feel bad. I am an LEO and I got a red light camera ticket recently. Doh! After online traffic school, I spent $550.

Before you make a decision, let me give you a little information on the process.

When a red light camera takes a photo and video of the violation, the speed, GPS coords, and images are uploaded to a server and reference number is automatically generated. Employees at the company who maintain the equipment view images and data and makes a preliminary determination of whether or not a violation occurred. If they feel a violation occurred, they approve it to be reviewed by law enforcement later.

The police agency at the local jurisdiction usually has a traffic investigator or a civilian position which views these alleged violations on a computer. They watch the video and view photos of the violation. If they feel a violation occurred, they manually run the license plate number to obtain the registered owner's information. Using this information, they access DMV databases to get driver's license information and they also view the DMV photo and attempt to compare it to the photo of the driver from the red light camera.

If everything matches up, a citation is prepared using a computer, printed out, then mailed. The information on the cite is manually typed in on the computer by the traffic officer or civilian employee.

It is possible that the officer/civilian got a couple of of the cases mixed up when they were typing out the cite.

Be cautious with is why. They might have your wife's correct information in the database which is accessed by the courts but made the error on the prepared cite only. If that is the case and your wife fails to take care of this, they might issue a warrant for her arrest or suspend her driver's license and charge her with failure to appear in court. This would really complicate things for her and you and it will cost you a LOT more in the long run.

On the other hand, if she notifies the police agency issuing the cite, they might correct it and she may still end up with the cite. If she claims it was someone else driving the car at the time, remember, they have a photo of her face form the camera. Also, they will try to make her give up who the driver was, which she is not legally obligated to do.

She could fight the cite in court and possibly win on a technicality (wrong info on cite). If the officer who issued the cite shows up, he/she will bring all the evidence from the red light camera and could request to amend the cite in front of the judge. If the judge grants and amendment, your wife would have to answer to the violation.

As much as it sucks, I don't know if I would want to ignore this. It is a hard decision.

P.S. There should be information included with the cite so she can go online and view the photos and video of the violation.

"If you expect logic associated with California law, it will only make your head hurt.." - Ron-Solo, 2013

Last edited by Armed24-7; 10-18-2012 at 10:02 AM.. Reason: adding a P.S.
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