If a red light camera catches you speeding through an intersection it will lead to a ticket—regardless of who you are. As a matter of fact, red light cameras aren’t only catching off duty police in driving infractions, they’re catching on duty ones as well. And according to officials, it’s up to the officer to prove that they were legitimately responding to an emergency in order to get out of the ticket.
As this article from the Baltimore Sun points out, cops used to get off from a ticket simply by flashing their badge, regardless of where they were headed or if they were on duty. Red light cameras, however, seem to be the equalizer, however, turning cops into just another driver.
When an officer is caught speeding or running a red light, investigators review dispatch records to confirm whether or not they had a legitimate reason to be in violation. If not, they face penalties like any of the rest of us would.
While the president of the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police union states he hasn’t heard too many complaints, a few officers actually sued the department and lost.
Like “regular folk”, police officers don’t want to be caught on camera. Last year two were accused of using fictitious plates on their unmarked cars. It was assumed they were hiding from the cameras or trying to stay inconspicuous among local drug dealers.
Whatever the case, there’s not a whole lot you can say when you are caught violating the law on camera. A dire emergency would perhaps be the only thing that might garner you some leniency in court. Such footage is perhaps the most damning evidence there could be in a criminal case.
Right up there with video footage is eyewitness testimony, or at least this is true in the eyes of jurors. We’re not talking about speeding tickets here though, we are talking about serious criminal charges. Jurors are said to put a lot of weight on eyewitness accounts at trial—this despite the fact that eyewitnesses are prone to error.
Just like the cops caught speeding on tape, being told someone saw you commit a crime or heard you confess can be a slap in the face. This is particularly true if you know their account to be untrue. Overcoming such evidence in court can seem to be an insurmountable obstacle.
Consulting with a criminal defense attorney in Maryland can help put the evidence in perspective. If you’re curious about your options and wondering how the evidence against you might affect your case, contact our offices today.