If you have been charged with a traffic ticket issued by a traffic camera, you may be wondering if you need to find an attorney. Ohio criminal law now requires a police officer to be present at a camera location to properly issue a traffic violation charge. However, this area of criminal defense law is complicated. Several cities, including Dayton, have said they cannot afford additional police presence.
That city sued to block the law, and a judge recently held that cities can continue to issue fines until Ohio can establish the constitutionality of the law. If you are charged with a traffic violation, always contact a criminal defense attorney. Those traffic cameras are generating a lot of fines and millions of dollars in fines in Northeast Ohio alone. Tom Patton has kept a promise he made late last year to the I-Team.
(C) No municipal officer appointed under section 509.01 of the Revised Code, member of a police force of a joint municipality or police district created under section 505.48 or 505,482 of the Revised Code, or another representative of a municipality shall use a photographic traffic law monitoring device to detect and enforce traffic law violations on an interstate highway. A police officer who is present at the location of any traffic law photographic monitoring device and who personally witnesses a traffic law violation can issue a ticket for the violation. Newburgh Heights and East Cleveland argued that autonomous powers prohibit the General Assembly from using its spending power to “punish local governments for choosing to enforce traffic laws with cameras. If a traffic law photo monitoring device records a traffic law violation and the police officer who was present at the location of the traffic law photo monitoring device does not issue a ticket as provided in division (B) (of this section), the local authority may only issue a fine in accordance with sections 4511.096 to 4511.0912 of the Revised Code.
There is no conflict between state law implementing expense compensation and the decision of municipalities to operate traffic cameras, the Court wrote. Laws Target Traffic Cameras The local government fund was established with the enactment of the state sales tax in 1935, and a designated portion of state revenues is distributed to county and local governments. If the local authority is a county or municipality, the board of county commissioners or the board of trustees of the municipality may make such resolutions as may be necessary to allow the county or municipality to use photographic traffic law monitoring devices. A) A local authority may use a photographic traffic law monitoring device to detect traffic law violations.
The Court stated that expense compensation reduces the amount of money raised by a municipality using traffic cameras, but does not prohibit local governments from enforcing traffic laws with cameras. A local authority shall use a photographic traffic law monitoring device to detect and enforce traffic law violations only if a law enforcement officer is present at the location of the device at all times during operation of the device and if the local authority complies with sections 4511.094 and 4511.095 of the Revised Code.