Red Light Cameras: California Dismissal Tips

California red light camera ticket

If there is anything that can instantly ruin your day, it is getting a traffic citation. And while it is one thing to knowingly be speeding down the road and then see those flashing lights, it is quite another to innocently head out to your mailbox, only to see a red light ticket. This can feel like a one-two punch right to the gut, especially since you probably didn’t even know you did it!

In some cases, you actually may not have done it, and we will talk about how to prove you are innocent in this post. Even if you did do it and do remember exactly when and where the incident occurred (not common but it happens) you may still be able to successfully pursue red light ticket dismissal. Find out how now!

Strategies to Get Your Traffic Ticket Dismissed

Chances are good that the moment you saw that red light camera citation in your mailbox, your mind started racing with ideas for how to get it dismissed. But are there any strategies that actually work?

Demonstrate a clean driving record.

If you have a clean – and here we mean squeaky clean – driving record, you may be able to use this to demonstrate that the red light citation was most likely an error. 

But we don’t recommend trying this tactic if you have any incidents of any kind on your driver record over the last 36 months.

Make your court date to contest the citation and hope the officer doesn’t show.

This approach will only work if the officer who wrote you the citation does not show up. If the officer does show up, it will be your word against theirs and guess whose word the presiding judge is likely to take more seriously?

Ask for a six-month deferral (deferred adjudication).

With this strategy, you can request that the citation be kept off your license for six months, during which time you will be expected to keep your driving record utterly clean. 

The way this can backfire is if you get another citation during that six-month period – for anything at all. If this occurs, you will not only be on the hook to pay the full fine from your red light citation, but you will also have to pay for the other citation. 

Plus, you won’t have the option to take defensive driving to keep either ticket off your record and you will rack up the points.

Go back and check the intersection for a sign.

In the state of California, any red light camera zone must have signage to alert drivers the camera is there. However, the camera doesn’t have to be at the intersection where the camera is placed, just near to it.

If your citation is related to a camera snapshot and you can go back to the site and verify there is no posted signage, you may be able to get your citation dismissed by a judge.

Cite necessity as your reason for running the red light.

In some cases, running a red light may be necessary to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Being able to prove that you ran the red light because that was the safest option may influence the judge to dismiss the citation.

Slick roads, an obstructed view, an officer who was not positioned correctly to see the unfolding events with clarity, another car that was driving erratically – these may all be valid reasons a judge will uphold when dismissing your citation.

When You Should Think Twice About Contesting Your Ticket

If you got a letter in the mail that includes a photograph of you driving through the intersection after the light turned red, or if you got a citation with a link to a video that clearly identifies your car driving through a red light, it may be unwise to try to contest the citation.

Why is this? If the camera or video was programmed to trigger a photo or video recording after the light turns red, it will not be possible to contest your ticket UNLESS there was a safety issue or missing signage you can bring to the judge’s attention.

A Surefire Method to Get Your Red Light Camera Ticket Dismissed

Many drivers in the state of California have never heard of the term “trial by written declaration.” However, this is every driver’s right and it can be one of the most effective ways to get a traffic ticket dismissed.

And in fact, the invitation to contest your ticket by requesting a trial by written declaration is printed right on the back of your traffic citation!

This method that does not require you to do much of anything besides spend about five minutes telling TicketBust about your citation so we can go to work to defend you. 

We are confident we can get your red light citation dismissed for these two key reasons (as well as our thousands-strong track record of success with other drivers just like you).

1. The issuing officer has to come in out of the field and complete paperwork to respond to your request. If there is anything most police officers hate, it is more paperwork!

2. The court system is backlogged and requesting a trial by written declaration eases their workload – that is one less traffic case they have to hear.

Contact TicketBust to Start the Process of Ticket Dismissal

TicketBust is your one-stop online destination to camera ticket dismissal. You don’t have to make a single phone call, stand in line at the court house or dread your scheduled upcoming court date. 

With TicketBust, a few minutes of your time and a quick snapshot of your citation is all we need and we go to work for you to get your ticket dismissed! 

Visit us at to get your camera ticket dismissal process started!

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