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VIC Lawyers for red light camera fine?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by ewokracing, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. Hello
    Mods, could you move this if I've posted in the wrong area? (thanks)

    I was riding through a part of St Kilda on the 2nd of Jan, avoided a cager that slammed on the anchors and turned their indicator on to turn left - they pulled up just at the thick white stop line. I had someone behind me, so to avoid getting rear ended, I moved over to go around the stopped car.

    Long story short, I was paying attention to other cars, indicating and not going over 40 and road through a red. 3 points and $352.

    I have followed the appeal process (bit of a shambles), had letters sent to the wrong address/not received by VicPol etc. Now the matter is going to court. Does anyone have a recommendation of someone to represent me, provide advice etc.

  2. Sorry, can't help you with a recommendation but you should look up what 'strict liability' means in relation to the offence before you start spending money. Hopefully someone will give you this advice for free.
    • Agree Agree x 1

  3. Good luck mate :).

    Just one observation... Due to you having to swerve when the driver braked, Dosent that indicate you were following too close?, thus meaning if you were a little behind you wouldn't of had to swerve and go through the red light and in the end being your fault for following to close?.

  4. Yeah... I read up as much as I can, everything indicates that I won't win, but I'm going to take my chances and explain the situation as best as I can.

    I would have been able to stop in time, the person tailgating me would not have. I was trying to avoid being rear ended. They followed me down Barkley st so close at times that I couldn't see their numberplate.
  5. Unfortunately, unless you have a witness it's your word versus the camera. And we all know cameras never lie :(

    Not a helpful comment I'm aware, but that's what the magistrate will stick by.
  6. Good luck brother . You sound like a fighter against injustice . But after 25 years riding in Victoria and going down this same road a number of times myself . I would just pay the fine and move on , it's goverment by the people against the people , keep us up to date with how you go .
  7. I can't give you any legal advice but I can tell you of my own experience when it happened to me.

    It would appear you have already sent the penalty notice back noting your desire to have your say heard in court. I would recommend you visit the Civil Compliance office and pay for the photos if you have not done so already. Ensure you have copies of all photos taken.

    Examine the photos. Write to the penalty review panel (the CCO will give you the details) to have your notice examined. They will not look at it in a legal sense but will simply verify the camera was working correctly. Are the other vehilces visable in the photo? Do their positions verify your version of what happened.

    Appear at the magistrates court on the day. Wear a suit and tie and be respectful of the court. It's up to you if you want legal representation but it will be expensive. If you have any prior convictions they will presented to the magistrate first by the prosecution. If you have many, don't bother reading further, just pay the fine (just my opinion -you will not be shown mercy). You will be asked how you plead. Unles you have evidence to prove the camera was faulty don't bother pleading innocent. You went through a red light, you plead "guilty your honor".

    Then you will be asked to give account of yourself.

    Therin lies the benefit of having put it clearly in writing to the Penalty Review Panel. This document will be in the brief that both the prosecutor and the magistrate will have in front of them. You will have a copy. You may ask the magistrate if they would mind reading the document to save yourself from flubbing it due to nerves. The Magistrate is not required to read the brief until it is presented in court. They may or may not but from this point it's up to you to present your case.

    In my case the magistrate looked closely at the photos which showed clearly the car behind me at the same distance in both photos. Since I was accelerating to get away from it then it must have been accelerating as well. The magistrate may ask if the car behind you also went through the Red light. You will have demanded the next sequential Identification from the Penalty Review Panel and Office of Civil Compliance once you received your summons as evidence to show the court, but they will not provide it for you. You will explain this to the magistrate who will then consider your evidence.

    In my case the magistrate agreed that I did not have a choice but to take evasive action. I was fortunate the Magistrate decided in my having no case to answer and the charge was dismissed. It will be up to the magistrate to decide on the merits of the evidence in your case. It will be up to you to ensure it is unequivical. Best of luck.
    • Informative Informative x 8
    • Like Like x 6
    • Agree Agree x 2

  8. Wow.... That's a good story!! Could have a chance mate! Good luck.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. If you were caught by a red light camera, the police will often give you the red light camera photos. This is part of their evidence to show that you committed the offence. If you agree that you did break the law, tell the court staff that you are pleading guilty. Go into the courtroom. The police prosecutor reads out the statement of alleged facts. The magistrate finds you guilty and gives you a penalty. If you plead guilty the magistrate treats your plea as a sign that you are co-operating and may give you a less severe penalty.

    If you believe that you did not break the law or you disagree with what the informant says you did, you must tell the police prosecutor that you plan to plead not guilty. They will hold a summary case conference with you before your case is heard in court. After the conference if you still wish to plead not guilty, tell the magistrate. The magistrate will then adjourn your case for another day.

    You will come back to court for a contested hearing. At this hearing the magistrate listens to evidence from you and the police before making a decision. If you are pleading not guilty, get legal advice before the contested hearing.
    The law assumes that red light cameras are accurate. If you want to argue that the detector was inaccurate, you would have to show that it was broken or improperly operated. You would need an expert to explain this in court. If on the other hand you had to run a red light because of the reason quoted above, good luck with it. You may have a defence.

    The magistrate will decide if your reason is good enough.

    Michael Kuzilny, Barrister & Solicitor.

    Phone: (03) 9596 9647
    Fax: (03) 9596 9657
    Mobile: 041 555 7011
    Email: mk@mklawfirm.com.au
    Registered Office: Level 8, 350 Collins Street Melbourne Vic 3000

    Initially we will speak to determine if I can help you with your court representation. We will then meet up promptly to organise your case. From there we can:
    • Arrange a free home or office visit during the day or evening
    • Arrange a meeting at my office by appointment at 350 Collins Street, Melbourne.
    • Arrange a meeting at a visiting offices near all the major Courts.
    • Arrange a meeting at the Court closest to where you live to discuss your matter further.
    Courts I regularly appear in:
    • Melbourne
    • Geelong
    • Frankston
    • Dandenong
    • Ringwood
    • Broadmeadows
    • Heidelberg
    • Sunshine
    • Moorabbin
    • County Court of Victoria
    • and all other Victorian Country courts

    • Agree Agree x 2
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    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. Got my pics from CCV in the mail today.
    You'd think with all the money these cameras make, they would be better pictures.
    Not fit for framing! (on the wall anyway!!!)
  11. Magi's tend to go a little soft when people actually show up in court - so make sure you do :D It's amazing how many no-shows there are in any given day.

    Try to read up on what a guilty/not-guilt plea actually means. I'm not 100% on camera fines, but with parking offences, it's almost taken as a statement of fact - that the vehicle was there or not. A plea of guilt, but with mitigating circumstances is often the honest and best way to proceed (assuming it's appropriate).

    Best of luck sorting it out.
  12. thank you everyone for your replies, I don't wan to go into a blow by blow account of the whole drawn out process, but Justus I will be in touch.
  13. Small update.

    So after my appeal was rejected, the rejection letter sent to the wrong address, I asked for an extension to pay - which was rejected. I contacted Civic Compliance and said I wanted to go to court, the lady at the call centre tried for a good 5 minutes to talk me out of it saying it would cost more etc. I kept politely pointing out that I wasn't paying a fine or taking points.
    So we move along to the next step, I will be getting a letter about going to court etc. Ok.

    Last week I got a notice saying I had missed paying on time and cough up now with another fee on top or go to court. So I rung up again, another 45 minutes on hold, go through to someone that seemed clued up. Explained the situation, he did a bit of head scratching, tried to insinuate that I hadn't let them know by the first payment deadline (which I did), then rung Vicroads. Vicroads came back and said no, the original amount stands. Ok. Wait for a letter to go to court.

    What I find interesting though is that the first person tried to talk me out of going to court and the second guy tried to trip me up into saying that I had waited too long before notifying CC that I would be going to court. Not hinting at any malice, but I have found it interesting nevertheless. This is already on top of my earlier experience. ie if you read the various web pages, it tells you that you can appeal a red light camera fine, but if you read the VicPol website, it tells you that you can't. So when I sent an appeal letter off and hadn't heard anything for over 2 months, I rung up CC. They said "you are sent a letter to confirm that the matter is under appeal, but we don't actually send the letter out".


    I've also asked about purchasing or being shown the next batch of photos after the ones I bought - have had no response. Have also requested information about the camera and the amber light timing - no response.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. The Establishment not making life easy for you apparently, ewok!
    Best of luck Mate, keep pushing.
  15. Document everything. Keep a log of chronilogical order of events including date and time. Get the names of the people you are speaking to.
  16. Yes I've kept times/dates etc. Got a letter last night from Civic Compliance that someone will respond to my request.

    Haven't heard back from Vicroads.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Someone may have covered this, but depending on the camera they are recording while operating. I had a similar situation where I had to move into the intersection to let an ambulance through, and moved forward because I was blocking traffic and therefore ran a red. I never received a fine in the mail :D
  18. So I received a letter on the 17th of may saying the infringment has been withdrawn by the police and it will not progress to court. I would recieve a summons sometime soon etc.
    Yesterday in the mail I get a letter saying I had a court date last week and didn't attend, so here's your $352 fine and pay by September. WTF
    I didn't get a letter, I didn't get served, how am I meant to go to court if I don't even know when the court date is?

    Also, I noticed that the fine for going through the red light stands, but there is no mention of the 3 points.... (which is what I was fighting)

  19. That's complete balls.

    I'd be looking at some legal advice now :(