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West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer Blog


Red light cameras ruled unlawful

Red Light Cameras Ruled Unlawful


Drivers beware!

It’s official in the Fourth District Court of Appeals that red light cameras are no longer valid. In an October 2014 ruling, the justices dismissed a uniform traffic citation issued by the city of Hollywood, Florida.

What exactly did the court say?

The court ruled the city cannot delegate its legal authority to issue traffic violations to a private, for-profit third party – in this case, American Traffic Solutions (ATS):

“In Florida, only law enforcement officers and traffic enforcement officers have the legal authority to issue citations for traffic infractions, which means only law enforcement officers and traffic enforcement officers are entitled to determine who gets prosecuted for a red light violation.” 1

The court determined that the city of Hollywood “improperly delegated its police powers when it contractually outsourced its statutory obligations” to ATS.

What does this mean to you?

This means that if you have received a “red light camera” ticket in an area served by the Fourth District Court of Appeals, do not pay! Areas affected range from Vero Beach to Broward County — and west to Belle Glade.

What if you’ve already received a ticket?

It’s uncertain at this point what is going to happen to tickets that have already been paid. You are not likely to receive a refund. However, if you have a ticket that’s pending, you should not pay that ticket. When in doubt, seek guidance from an experienced attorney practicing in the area where you received the ticket.

Please do not confuse a “red light ticket” with a ticket that is provided to you by any law enforcement officer. Obviously, you must pay any ticket given by a law enforcement officer within 30 days. Or, you could contact a criminal defense lawyer who handles traffic tickets.

This ruling is great news for all of us who are troubled by our government’s privatization of its responsibilities.

1Source: Appeal from the County Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Terri – Ann Miller, Judge; L.T. Case No. 11-68287T140A, October 15, 2014.