Red Light Camera Ticket? You Can Fight It!!!

Red light camera Wow, have you ever run a red light and then see that red light camera flash bulb go off?  Then, just as expected, that nasty ticket came in the mail?  You knew you were a goner, right?  Well, maybe not! A California Appeals Court recently came down with a decision in The People v. Tarek Khaled which rendered the photographs inadmissible as hearsay and, on that basis, overturned a the conviction for running a red light based on the red light photo!

The ruling, in part, reads as follows: "To be more specific, the photographs contain hearsay evidence concerning the matters depicted in the photographs including the date, time, and other information."  Here are some relevant bullet points:

  • Person who entered relevant info into camera-computer system did not testify
  • Person who entered that information was not subject to cross-examination
  • Person(s) who maintain the system did not testify
  • No one with personal knowledge testified about how often system is maintained or how often date and time are verified or corrected
  • Custodian of records for company that contracts with city to maintain, monitor, store, and disperse the photographs did not testify
  • Person with direct knowledge of workings of the camera did not testify
  • The person who did testify, Santa Ana Police Officer Alan Berg, had attended a training session in the distant past about the overall workings of the system.  He could not testify about specific procedure for programming and storage of system information

Bottom line: All is not lost!!!  Hire yourself an attorney experienced in red light camera tickets.

Here are some interesting and useful red light camera links:

Photo Enforced Camera Database: Intersections, Locations and Fines throughout U.S.

Los Angeles Police Department Photo Red Light FAQ's

Fighting Red Light Camera Tickets: HighwayRobbery.net

National Motorists Association: All Kinds of Interesting Links about Red Light Cameras

My Past Traffic Ticket Postings: Some very interesting articles

Hey, I'm not advocating that you run red lights.  Obviously it's always safety first. 

Questions?
Concerns?

If You, Or Someone You Know, Was In an Accident

Call For Your Free Consultation

Please Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger
Immediately at

              (323) 852-1100       or (877) 487-8221

lowell@steigerlaw.com

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"Treated With the
Respect and Understanding That You Deserve"

10 Cars The Cops Love to Ticket

Hummer
Thanks to U.S. News and World Report for their article on the 10 cars that cops love to ticket.  It's a pretty fascinating list with some surprises (at least to me).  I've culled the Internet to find representative photos of the cars and added an interesting link to each one for your reading enjoyment.  In line with this article, I would suggest that you read A Guideline for Handling Traffic Tickets by Michael Klijian, Esq.

The data in their article was produced by a survey conducted by ISO Quality Planning, an outfit that helps insurers spot and assess risks.  This is a polite way of saying that ISO helps insurance companies determine which cars deserve the highest insurance rates. 

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Here's the list:

1.    Hummer H2: Per the Hummer site: "In a world where SUVs have begun to look like their owners, complete with love handles and mushy seats, the H2 SUV proves that there is still one out there that can drop and give you 20.  And with a more spacious, comfortable interior and a host of standard features, the H2 strikes a perfect balance between interior comfort, on-road capability, and off-road capability.  Starting at $63,765."  It can drop and give you 20?  With testosterone to spare.

Scion tc
2.    Scion tC: Designed to appeal to the Generation Y market, it ranks as an affordable car with the following stats:

MSRP: $17,000 – $17,800
Invoice: $16,150 – $16,910
MPG: 20 City / 27 Hwy

Not so affordable, though, it it's a ticket magnet.

Scion xb
3.     Scion xB: What's with the Scion's?  Look down the list and you'll see that the Scion xA rates as the number 7 most adored by our men in blue.  Well, according to Edmunds.com the x8 is "Attracting the coveted 18-to-34-year-old age group is job one for
Scion, the youth-oriented division of Toyota, and its xB wagon is the
fashion centerpiece of the brand. Although the Scion xB has the body of
a miniature delivery truck, even in its second generation this box
still casts a distinctive silhouette."  Apparently the silhouette looks like a solid object when zipping down the highway and byways.

Clk 63
4.    Mercedes Benz CLK63 AMG: Luxury, speed, beauty and handling.  Unfortunately, you may get slowed down by the red lights flashing behind you.  Auto-power-girl.com says "Cars from the AMG division of Mercedes-Benz have always been considered
as something rather special. With the introduction of the Black Series
models, this is more evident than ever before, and the CLK 63 AMG Black
Series is considered by many as the ultimate driving machine. At
Kleemann however, they saw it as just another interesting challenge,
and the result is one of the most fascinating and uncompromising
Kleemann cars ever."

Toyota solara coupe
5.    Toyota Solara Coupe:  This looks like such a benign car.  What is it about this car that attracts the law?  It's essentially a 2 door Camry.  Well, I'm stumped on this one.  Here are the 2008 stats from Yahoo: "Upon introduction, the SE 5-Spd MT is equipped with
a standard 2.4-liter, I4, 155-horsepower engine that achieves 21-mpg in
the city and 31-mpg on the highway. A 5-speed manual transmission with
overdrive is standard. The SLE Convertible is equipped with a standard
3.3-liter, V6, 210-horsepower engine that achieves 18-mpg in the city
and 26-mpg on the highway. A 5-speed automatic transmission with
overdrive is standard."  From the low $20,000's.

Cls 63 amg
6.    Mercedes Benz CLS63 AMG: According to Leftlanenews.com "It’s Mercedes-Benz’s stab at trying to convince the consumer that a four-door sedan
is in reality a coupe. But it has been thoroughly massaged by Mercedes’
in-house tuner, AMG, to supply the ultimate in go-fast goodstuffs.
Sharing lots of platform underpinnings from its E-Class sister-ship, it
looks like it could also have been the better-looking,
separated-at-birth sibling of the Chrysler 300C."  Bottom line is that this is a sleek, fast, sporty car that has caught the attention of the law.

Scion xa
7.    Scion xA:  Again, an innocuous looking car that's been able to capture the imagination of law enforcement.  Well, maybe the gas mileage of 32 city, 38 highway will compensate for the ticket that one might get in this 1.5 liter compact.

Subaru outback
8.    Subaru Outback:   I like what US News and World Report says about this car: "Subarus have a reputation of being yuppie grocery getters, but the Outback manages to prove that stereotype wrong by being one of the top ten most ticketed cars.  Apparently, the Outback is the car of choice for people who need to get tot Whole Foods in a hurry, and maybe park illegally once they're there." 

Audi a4
9.    Audi A4:  Maybe the U.S. News and World Report Review of the Audi A4 will shed light on why the police love to ticket the Audi A4: "The 2009 Audi A4 steals a page from Ferrari with its Audi Drive Select system.  It
allows the driver to select from three performance profiles, changing
the car from a quiet commuter to an aggressive sport sedan to a solid
wet-weather gripper.  But the car is still not as powerful as other German luxury sedans.  Continue with our full
Performance Review for details on the car’s two available engines."

Toyota matrix
10.    Toyota Matrix:  Credited for bringing SUV styling to small cars, it is now credited with bringing insurance rate increases to its owners.  Another cute car that's setting the road on fire.  I found a link to the Toyota Matrix Owners Forum.  Maybe that site will provide some insight into this phenomenon.

I hope you've enjoyed this article.  Although most of my blog postings focus on legal issues as they relate to personal injury, I thought that this information was both entertaining and informative while being somewhat relevant to the clients that I represent. After all, aren't traffic tickets designed to deter people from driving dangerously?  I hope so.

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(323) 852-1100 or send an e-mail to me at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

A Guideline For Handling Traffic Tickets by Michael Klijian, Esq.

Mike_klijian_cropped_4 I asked attorney Michael Klijian to write an article regarding the handling of traffic tickets.  Mr. Klijian’s practice focuses on defending drivers who have been ticketed for any and all types of traffic infractions in and around the Greater Los Angeles area, Beverly Hills and the San Fernando Valley

. He handles each matter with the utmost of intregity, professionalism and skill. Mr. Klijian has proved to be a passionate advocate of Southern California drivers.

A Guideline For Handling Traffic Tickets

by Michael Klijian, Attorney at Law

There are many different violations that drivers are cited for on a daily basis. My attempt will be to provide you with a basic guideline as to the steps that should be taken in order to resolve your matter. First, and foremost, never let the “due date” of the citation expire. This crucial date is listed below your signature on the citation itself. If a “due date” expires, then you most likely will have a failure to appear and have your citation referred to collections. When this happens, your bail or fine amount increases drastically and will cause a hold being placed on your driver’s license.

Most courts, will allow a one time extension of 60 days of your initial due date. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the citation, this may be a desired option. Whether the extension is obtained or not, the next step would be to go to the Court listed on the bottom of the citation and set the matter for a court appearance known as an arraignment. At the arraignment, a plea of guilty, no contest, or not guilty would be entered. This is not your trial date and the citing officer would not be appearing on that date. Typically, as an attorney, I would recommend setting your case for trial. If one enters a plea of not guilty and sets a matter for trial, the bail amount must be posted with the Court guaranteeing your appearance for trial. Under some circumstances, partial bail is acceptable or even better, a release on your own recognizance (“OR”).

The date set for trial is where you get to have “your day in court.” The citing officer will be subpoenaed to appear and will testify as to the circumstances of your traffic citation. Then you will have an opportunity to cross-examine (ask questions of) the officer. Finally, if you wish to give up your right to remain silent, then you may provide statements or argument to the court depicting your version of what happened on the date and time of the incident.

YOU DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO COUNSEL on traffic infraction matters, however, an attorney can be retained at your own expense. By doing so, you need not appear in court to set an arraignment, be present at the arraignment, or even for trial. Your attorney can handle everything from beginning to end.

Why would you need an attorney to handle your traffic citation?

1.      Getting a traffic ticket (infraction) can lead to countless hours of your precious time spent in court:

a.       First you would go to court to get a court date for an arraignment where you would enter a plea.

b.      Then you would go to court for you arraignment, enter a plea, post bail, and get a trial date.

c.       And finally, of course, you would go to trial.

2.      We can help keep points off your driving record by taking your traffic matter to trial.

Most people just pay their traffic citations and don’t realize that by doing so, they may get a point or more on their driving record.  Thereby, increasing your chances of losing your license for excessive points.

3.      Getting points on your driving record will cause your auto insurance rates to increase.

By getting points on your driving record, your auto insurance rates will increase. Thus, in the long run, it is more cost effective to obtain legal representation to go to court for you and fight your ticket rather than paying more for insurance. And, of course, as we all know, insurance rates always seem to go up and not down.

If we handle your matter, in most instances, you would never have to go to court for these time consuming court appearances and most likely would not have to post bail prior to trial.

We can help you with:

– Traffic Tickets

– Traffic Misdemeanors

– DUI Offenses

– Suspended Driver’s License

– Failures to Appear or Warrants

– Overweight Tickets

– Excessive Points on Your Record

Our Expert Attorneys Provide The Highest Legal Service to Protect Your Rights and Secure The Best Possible Outcome For Your Case!!!

Here are just a few examples:

A client was charged with violating California Vehicle Code Section 22348(b) – speeding at 128 m.p.h. and was about to lose his license, our expert attorneys were able to reduce this violation to basic speeding and secure traffic school for the client. Thus, our client received no points on his driving record and his automobile insurance rates were not affected.

One client was cited for an overweight truck and was assessed a total fine of over $14,000 and our attorneys were able to file and argue a motion to have the case reopened in Court and eventually have the fine reduced to under $1,700. Saving our client over $12,300 in Court fines!!!

A misdemeanor complaint was filed against a client for driving on a suspended license and other related counts, and yet, due to our expert attorney’s legal arguments, the case was dismissed.

Another client, cited for traveling at 105 m.p.h. in the City of

Los Angeles

, had his case dismissed due to our attorney’s strategic planning and efforts during trial.

A client completely ignored five traffic citations he had received during a one year period causing his driver’s license to be suspended, our attorney’s set all five of his cases for trial in the same Court and got a dismissal for each and every one. Our client was extremely pleased to learn that his driver’s license was no longer suspended and that none of the citations would go on his driving record.

And keep in mind, red light camera tickets are almost always dismissed. However, keep in mind, that you must contact our office first before doing anything else.

There is no guarantee that Mr. Klijian can provide you with similar results because the facts of each case are unique.

You can reach Attorney Mike Klijian at (213) 386-1990 or klijian_esq@hotmail.com

*****************************************************************************************************************************

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

Speed Trap Exchange

Speed_trap_exchange The SpeedTrap Exchange is a site where visitors can post what they believe are speedtraps. The National Motorists Association cannot attest to the validity of these listings. They are individual postings from private individuals who believe a speed trap is in effect in these locations.  This site is chock full of valuable information and links including Speedtrap Listings, Speed Limits: Fact & Fiction and How to Fight a Speeding Ticket.

The best way to avoid a speed trap? Don’t Speed!!!

*****************************************************************************************************************************

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

Speeding Tickets: Practical Tips and Advice

Radar_gun

Advice on Speeding Tickets

Good advice:  don’t speed
Best advice:  FIGHT IT!

We’re at a time where speed enforcement is more vigilant than ever, yet we’re also taunted with the availability of faster and faster cars. Horsepower comes cheap these days, with even minivans having 250 horses. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cites speeding as the factor in 1/3 of all crash-related fatalities. With federal officials are urging states to increase speed enforcement, causing lawmakers in California to have added surcharges of as much as $30 on top of fines for speeding.

Paying the fine might not change your life, but the fine is usually the least of your worries. Even one speeding ticket can cost you thousands of dollars in higher insurance premiums. Insurance companies punish speeders, often basing their beliefs on studies such as one which shows California drivers with one speeding citation in a three-year period had a crash rate 50% higher, on average, than those with no infractions – and the crash rate more than doubled for those who had two or more tickets, according to the insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute.

There’s evidence that getting a ticket does seem to slow people down, at least for a while. A study published in the British medical journal the Lancet, found that a conviction for a moving violation cut the risk of a fatal crash in the following months by 35%. The benefit evaporated by four months after the conviction. Assigning penalty points to a driver’s license – especially for speeding tickets – reduced the risk of fatal crashes more than convictions without penalty points.

Here’s the reality – speeding is

America

’s favorite pastime, isn’t it. it is simply avoidable, and possibly irresistible. And there are ways to protect yourself and your insurance premiums. Here’s some ways to reduce your chance of getting a ticket:

·         Know your current driving record – spend a few bucks and request your driving record from DMV. Is it accurate? if there are inaccuracies, call your insurer and find out what the error is costing you.

·         Maintain your car – police frequently zone in on a car that has problems like broken headlights, taped-over taillights or a missing front license plant. Spend a couple bucks and replace the burned-out license plate bulb and you may save hundreds of dollars later.

Yellow_car ·         Don’t stand out – driving a bright yellow or lipstick red sports car doesn’t guarantee you’ll get pulled over, but it doesn’t help avoid police either. Besides, do you think a yellow car will help your resale value? And while driving, pay attention to the general pace of traffic and stay with the pack, rather than in front of, or behind. It would also not be wise to pass a police car, especially if by doing so, you’re also speeding.

·         Stay alert – besides paying attention to the road to avoid potential accidents, practice scanning your rear-view mirror often while driving. Look for possible spots far ahead where a police car would be hiding. Watch how others react on the road – if everyone else is braking, perhaps there is a reason!

And if you are unlucky enough to get pulled over, here’s advice for you:

Cop  ·         Don’t be mad; don’t have an attitude; and don’t talk too much – Most of the time, drivers don’t have much hope of getting out of a ticket. The officer has already made up his mind. Be nice and don’t act peeved, or else you may even be given the full fine. Some will also flag the citation with a notation, like “ND” – a note to himself to give a loudmouth “no deal” in court. Ever wonder what the officer is writing after you drive off? – he’s taking notes on what happened during the stop that stuck out in his mind, like your bad attitude or your admittance of guilt followed by your excuse. It’s all noted. So don’t say much, if anything beyond what is required of you to respond to the officer’s reasonable questions. If an officer asks you if you’d had anything to drink, you may say “no,” if you had nothing. But don’t add, “I can’t drink since I took Benadryl before driving.”

·         Don’t admit guilt – Pretty simple, just don’t. It’ll be noted and used against you later.

·         Don’t immediately pay the ticket – Simply paying the fine is an admission of guilt and could cost you in higher insurance rates.

Once you’ve got the ticket, here are some options:

·         call a lawyer – specializing in traffic tickets. You’d be amazed what results can be achieved. In some instances, individuals not eligible for traffic school can become eligible w/the representation of an attorney before a judge. Contact me, Lowell Steiger at lowell@steigerlaw.com for more information. I can refer you to an attorney whose practice revolves around representing people with traffic tickets.  His or her advice is very, very valuable.

·         traffic school – if you’re eligible, this is a great alternative. You pay the fine and take a 6-8 hour traffic school. Minor speeding convictions can be wiped from your record, and therefore go unseen by your employer or insurance company. In addition to the ticket fine, you pay an additional $50-$80 in tuition and processing costs. In

California

, you can go to traffic school once every 18 months.

·         go to court yourself – you can take your chances, roll the dice and plead your case. You can even hope the officer doesn’t show up. But if you made any sort of impression at the time of the traffic stop, such as giving the officer an attitude or saying anything that would be memorable (good or bad), there is a good chance the officer will appear. And it’s his word against yours!

****************************************************************************************************************

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com