What to do with a Photo Radar Ticket in Arizona

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Photo radar tickets have returned, and you may find yourself on the receiving end of one. There are ways to get around the fines, however. Here’s what you can do:

Ignore the Mailed Ticket

If you are sent a ticket, termed a notice of violation, within 90 days of the occurrence, the municipality expects you to sign a waiver and send it back along with a check. However, under Arizona state law, a ticket needs to be delivered in person in order for your response to be mandatory.

Avoid the Server

Become invisible. If a process server physically confronts you with court documents, you are legally served and you have to pay your ticket. Keep in mind that anyone who lives in your household who is 14 years or older counts, and so does the vehicle owner (if the vehicle is registered under someone else’s name). This means that everyone in your household needs to avoid answering the door for anyone who might be a process server for the entirety of the 90-day period. By the way, out-of-state drivers and people whose vehicles are registered at a mailing center address can easily avoid being served.

Challenge Bogus Service

Every ticket that goes out with a process server can be verified on Arizona’s court site. Since process servers are generally paid on commission for each ticket they serve, some unscrupulous servers will actually claim to have served tickets that they have not. At this point, proving your innocence in court can clear you.

Of course, the best approach is to avoid running red lights and speeding. There are worse consequences to traffic violations than having to pay a fine, and you don’t want to be that vehicle busted up on the side of the road. You should be slowing to a stop at a yellow light if you are a reasonable distance from the intersection, not speeding up to avoid waiting another cycle. But if you get caught, use these strategies to let it be a less costly lesson.

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