Miami Legal Tips Blog

Florida Court Rules Against Early Cameras, Red Light Refunds Possible

urlIf you were been caught by a red-light camera in Florida sometime before 2010, you may be getting some of your money back. In a ruling that may have retroactive effects on past criminal trials, the Florida Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that several Florida cities illegally used cameras to catch drivers who ran red lights before the use of such cameras had been approved by the Florida Legislature in 2010.

Though the ruling opens the door for ticket refunds across the state, getting your money back won’t be as simple as picking up a check. “There will absolutely have to be litigation filed,” said Clearwater attorney Luke Lirot, whose firm has represented ticketed drivers. “It wouldn’t be a difficult court order to get based on this Supreme Court precedent, but absent a court order, I don’t see any municipality voluntarily giving back a dime of that money.”

Many Florida cities had installed the red light cameras prematurely, so drivers statewide should be looking to pursue refunds for any red light convictions. Orlando, Hillsborough County, Temple Terrace, Brooksville, and Port Richey are among the locations whose local governments jumped the gun on installing the camera.

Attorneys predict a large class-action lawsuit. Hundreds of thousands of Florida drivers lost money to red light tickets in the pre-2010 camera usage era, and they will be eager to take action to get their fair share of reimbursement. Florida government officials have been silent on their stance in the face of upcoming refund demands. It is possible that Florida cities will try to compromise by partially refunding challenged red-light tickets, a compromise which was already made by the city of Apopka in 2012. It seems likely that a fierce court battle lies ahead, so prepare adequately if your money is on the line.

If you need to fight a conviction for running a red light which relied on illegally obtained camera footage, you need a battle-tested attorney at your side to make sure you can win. Gilbert and Smallman has experienced criminal defense lawyers, who are prepared to give you the best possible defense against anything from a felony to a charge of running a red light. Call today and get a Gilbert and Smallman criminal defense lawyer with the skills to aggressively and resourcefully defend against any criminal charge!


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