Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Judge wants to hear from state attorney in Brooksville red-light camera case

BROOKSVILLE — A Hernando County judge said Monday that he wants to hear additional arguments from the State Attorney's Office before deciding whether to dismiss a traffic citation issued recently under Brooksville's red-light camera program.

Although the city provided legal counsel for Monday's hearing, County Judge Kurt Hitzemann agreed with defense attorney Peyton Hyslop that the citation was issued under state statute, and the city therefore had no relevant legal standing in the matter.

In his argument, Hyslop, who is representing Spring Hill resident Julio Carral, questioned the validity of the traffic-monitoring devices on several legal grounds, including whether the cameras deny vehicle owners their right to due process.

Last month, Carral received a citation in the mail telling him that his 2005 Lexus sedan was photographed on May 23 running a red light at U.S. 41 and Wiscon Road. He never paid the ticket, opting to fight the violation in court.

Testifying for the city, Brooksville police officer Jeremy Jefferys explained that he reviews photos and videos of suspected violators sent from the camera operator, Sensys America, before determining whether a citation will be issued to the vehicle owner. Owners have 30 days to decide how to respond.

Of the more than 3,200 citations issued since the Brooksville program was reinstated this year, none have been challenged in court.

Hyslop said he found fault with the state statute governing the cameras, saying it allows the privately owned camera vendors to act as a collection agent for the $158 fines while limiting clients' ability to challenge citations.

"The statute doesn't allow you to plead not guilty, but forces you to act against your own interest," Hyslop said. "Unless you provide an affidavit saying someone else was driving at the time, you're going to have to pay it one way or another."

Hitzemann allowed the State Attorney's Office 20 days to file a legal brief. Hyslop will then be allowed time to file a response.

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or lneill@tampabay.com.

Judge wants to hear from state attorney in Brooksville red-light camera case 08/27/12 [Last modified: Monday, August 27, 2012 9:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What you need to know for Wednesday, July 26

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    A heart-shaped box containing Katie Golden's ashes sits next to her picture at her family's South Tampa home. Katie died from a drug overdose in April 2017. She was only 17-years-old. Read about her parents' journey at tampabay.com. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA | Times]
  2. Cuban diplomat reflects on U.S. relationship: 'Cuba was treated horribly'

    Perspective

    Few topics are more controversial in Florida than Cuba, a nation that has held fast to Communism despite lying 90 miles from the shores of a capitalist superpower. It's a place where startling poverty results from either a longtime U.S. trade embargo or a half-century of Communism, depending on one's point of view. …

    Carlos Alzugaray spent a half century as a scholar and diplomat for the Cuban government, including a stint as ambassador to the European Union.
  3. Clearwater residents avoid tax rate increase for ninth year in row

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER — Residents will avoid a rate hike on their property taxes for the ninth year in a row as taxable values continue to recover from recession levels, padding city coffers.

    Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos said the city must be prepared for unexpected expenses. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  4. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  5. Diaz, Taddeo win easily in special Miami Senate primaries

    Blogs

    Two Miami state Senate candidates who raised and spent the most in their respective primaries — Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz and Democratic businesswoman Annette Taddeo — notched easy victories in a special election Tuesday night.

    Republican candidate Jose Felix Diaz is surrounded by supporters after he won the primary for Florida’s Senate District 40 race. Democrat Annette Taddeo, right, celebrates her victory with supporter Venus Lovely at BJ’s Restaurant in The Falls.