Why We Do Not Handle Passing a School Bus Tickets Issued By Camera

Posted by Richard Lawson | Feb 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

Why We Do Not Handle "Passing a School Bus" Tickets Issued By Camera:

Our office often handles cases where individuals were charged with illegally passing a school bus when a police officer initiates the case.  We do not, however, handle school bus tickets or red light tickets when the accused has been cited via camera.

What is the Difference?

Illegally Passing a School Bus is a serious traffic offense when initiated by a police officer.  If convicted, a person can receive 6 points on their driving record (MVR) and be sentenced up to 12 months in jail.  It is a misdemeanor traffic offense; and as a result, the accused is entitled to full due process, including a trial by jury.  Any person charged with a misdemeanor traffic offense has the option to be represented by counsel, and it is highly recommended for ones that are more serious.

Tickets issued by a camera for unlawfully passing a school bus or running a red light are civil infractions.  The only penalty possible is a fine set by statute.  If convicted, there is no criminal record and the offense does not get reported on an MVR.  As a result, there is not much an attorney could do to make things better; and the attorney fees likely would exceed the fine amount. 

Accordingly, there is not much I can do to help someone in these situations; this is by design.  The fines are such that it is intentionally not worth it for most people to fight their case.  The lack of collateral consequences such as having a criminal or driving record also makes fighting the case less desirable.

My Advice:

If you are accused via camera, you have the right to see that evidence.  Go to court and show the prosecutor.  Unless it is a matter of principal, you do not need to hire a lawyer when cited via camera. 

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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