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The Red Light Camera Diaries: Sarasota County Denies Due Process Challenge Brought by Driver

Last week, we reported that a Polk County judge denied a Motion to Dismiss brought by 40 ticketed drivers challenging red light camera citiations on constitutional grounds.  In that case, the court rejected the drivers' argument that issuance of citations generated by red light camera violations violated the equal protection clausen. On August 29, a County Court judge in Sarasota County denied a Motion to Dismiss brought by a defendant driver who had been issued a red light camera citation. County Court Judge Kimberly Bonnner held that the defendant failed to prove that the issuance of a citation for red light camera violations did not constitute a violation of the due process clause.

In its Order Denying Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, the Court held that the statute does not automatically deem a driver guilty of an infraction based on the issuance of a citiation, a the driver is provided notice of a hearing and an opportunity to be heard, and the driver can require the State to prove the violation beyond a reasonable doubt.  Judge Bonner also refuted the defendant's assertion that an issuance of a red light camera citation violated the driver's right against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment, because the hearing afforded the Defendant the opportunity to offer exculpatory evidence, such as an affidavit naming another person as the driver responsible for the violation.

The opinion in the Sarasota County case provides municipalities with more ammunition to defeat constitutional challenges to their red light camera programs.  WSH attorneys have successfully litigated on behalf of several municipalities in litigation concerning red light cameras.  WSH Member and Partner-in-Charge Michael S. Popok successfully defended the City of Aventura's red light camera program, and has lectured on the constitutionality of red-light cameras.  A member of the Firm's Litigation Division and Appellate Practice Group, Michael has extensive experience defending a variety of constitutional challenges before appellate courts at the State and federal level. 

Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentRed Light CamerasRule EnforcementMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaRichard Jay WeissLaura K. WendellDavid M. WolpinFlorida ConstitutionFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara