County Attorney Refuses Photo Cases

Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas has made an announcement that he will not pursue automated ticketing cases based solely on the “evidence” generated by the cameras in the instances of alleged criminal speeding. Earlier this week, DPS made headlines by initiating high-profile arrests of drivers who were accused of going at least 20MPh over the posted speed limit.



47 Responses to County Attorney Refuses Photo Cases

  1. cruz says:

    Very good. Our DA saw the light, constituional laws prevail. I’m sure Brewer played a part also, good for her.

  2. cruz says:

    but now I’ve got to do 85 the whole way home. lol

  3. Joe says:

    Of course he’s had to refuse prosecution. The defendant is entitled to cross examine his accusers. With no accusers to cross examine, there is no case to prosecute.

    This is a perfect indictment of the system as a whole.

  4. Glyph says:

    oh, that was satisfying… I need a cigarrette!

  5. capitalfraud says:

    It has nothing to do with the constitutional issue. The law is crystal clear:

    “the department shall enter into a contract or contracts with a private vendor or vendors pursuant to chapter 23 of this title to establish a state photo enforcement system…. Notwithstanding any other law, If a person is found responsible for a civil traffic violation or a notice of violation pursuant to a citation issued pursuant to this section, the department of transportation shall not consider the violation for the purpose of determining whether the person’s driver license should be suspended or revoked. A court shall not transmit abstracts of records of these violations to the department of transportation.”

    In other words, if the statewide ticket system is used, it CANNOT be used as part of your criminal record. Where it says “notwithstanding any other law” it means the criminal speeding statute does not apply. As a result, all those people who’ve been arrested as part of the DPS propaganda machine by the DPS freeway cams can sue.

    Good luck getting a fair trial, but they can sue.

  6. I also believe that the refusal to fight the law is because it could be challenged and the whole program found to be illegal. The only problem I see is that of the people recently cited, none of them appear to be of the means to afford a good attorney and able to take the issue as far as it needs to go.

  7. Oh, and my favorite comment from the articles about “catching” the criminal speeders was a DPS hot shot who said, “enforcement works.” This is funny not just because these people aren’t actually going to be prosecuted, but also because taking a photo and arresting them weeks later did nothing to make the streets any safer.

    What’s really sad is that our press has “lost their balls.” They refuse to challenge anyone when they make silly arguments.

  8. I'm Back says:

    Good news, but I hope there aren’t any dummies out there who use this as an excuse to get tickets for going 110 on the 101 to stick it in the face of Redfux/DP$/AT$. Stay safe out there guys.

    I’m not sure how you can speed on the 101 anyway. That place is always like a parking lot when I see it.

  9. Joe says:

    Well, there was the dentist/pornographer who went 219 MPH in his lamborghini last year on the 202. It’d be funny to see that image on a scam-cam.

  10. Doc says:

    The Maricopa County Attorney has made the wise choice. It’s just a matter of time before this totaliarian activity pisses off th’ wrong person, & a LEGITAMATE lawyer (God, that’s an oxymoron…) is brought in to tear this crap apart…which’ll be a very expensive proposition for the constabulary, I’m sure. While I don’t believe we should go out & celebrate just yet, I do believe this could possibly be the death nell for redflex & ats. I’m just dissapointed that these bastards from redflex weren’t deported!

    Remember…F R E E D O M ! ! !-Doc from Prescott

  11. Joe says:

    “”Because the legislature prohibited the use of photo radar evidence for suspension or revocation of driver’s licenses, I concluded the legislature ipso-facto could not have intended for such evidence to be used in the even more serious context of criminal charges.””:

    “Thomas added that the constitution grants alleged criminals the right to confront witnesses, which cannot happen with photo-radar.”

    And worthy of note, see the exact language Thomas used. He said “criminals” have the right to confront witnesses. This is NOT TRUE in regards to traffic “infraction” cases. So people, please top using the confrontation clause of the 6th ammendment to help further your arguments. The right does not pertain to non-criminal traffic infractions. I’m absolutely on your side, but argue using the right information.

  12. I'm Back says:

    Speaking of the 202. I take it for a short stretch every day to work. No cameras. No accidents since July during my AM commute. Interesting.

  13. Joe, while you are correct, I would have to say that because a traffic ticket is an action by the state against a citizen, the classification of the offense as civil vs. criminal still does not reduce a citizen’s rights to confront an action against him by the government. I can be and probably am wrong, but surely the government cannot go crazy by means of issuing civil citations in lieu of criminal in order to skirt constitutionality arguments.

  14. Rudolph says:

    Another crack in the dam. Our elected officials seem to get the will of the people more each day. The nerve of Andrew Thomas to hold photo enforcement to it’s original (albeit wrong) intention!

    And to be clear to the pro radar loons… I hail freedom from oppression, not freedom to drive recklessly.

  15. capitalfraud says:

    Here’s the exact text of the MCAO’s statement:

    I stand corrected — he does cite constitutional grounds. Wow. For what it’s worth, that argument doesn’t fly in, e.g., California where red light scamera tickets are criminal violations.

  16. jgunn says:

    So now can we call the camera supporters “criminal supporters” since the cameras let people driving criminal speed get away with just a small 200$ ticket?

  17. Doc says:

    Joe-Well put. However, while you typed correctly, I must protest. Freek lawyers have added their own brand of interpretation to the U.S., AND the Arizona Constutions. If you follow back through to the root words, you’ll find that most of their addendums are moot. For example, the difference between civil & criminal traffic. Which you quote well above. Let me respond with Article 2, section 13 of the Arizona Constitution,”No law shall be enacted granting to any citizen, class of citizens, or corporation other than municipal, privileges or immunities which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens or corporations.” I see that to mean that the cops/JP Judge cannot differentiate my case being a civil case, whereby I cannot demand to face my accusers in court. As a matter of fact,-IF-I’m understanding this correctly, I have all the same rights as the guy in a “criminal” court, they just don’t letcha’ KNOW that.

    Also, in a story from this very site, 01/28/09, J.P. John Keegan cites the part of the U.S. Constitution that scamera prosecution violates by not providing equal protection under the law. Unlike a lot of folks on this site, I’ve had my run-ins with the law. County attorneys AND Judges, both JP & Superior, will railroad the daylights outtaya’ if you let ’em. They KNOW they’ve gotcha’ by “th’ shorts” whenever you’re in front of ’em! Unless you’re some hot-shot lawyer that got tapped for testin’ th’ new Ferrarri, you’d better prepare for a reamin’! Unfortunately, you pretty much need to be either th’ aforementioned “counselor”, or a hermit, to avoid gettin nailed for somethin’! That’s how th’ systems currently set up, in my opinion. Once you’re in it, they’ve gotcha’…you can get out, but it takes a long time, a lotta’ $$$$, & a lotta’ Jesus!(Not necessarily in that order!)

    Remember…F R E E D O M ! ! !-Doc from Prescott

  18. Jimmy says:

    Where is the TROLL LAB at? Must not have an answer for this one. I think Andrew Thomas is a TOOL, but at least he got this one right!!!

  19. Amazing how much stuff the AZ Repugnant left out…

  20. timmah says:

    Thank you AZFAMILY for your reporting and participation!

  21. scott says:

    Somehow I am unfulfilled…They will just increase the civil fine and the cams will stay up?

  22. Uncle Slam says:

    Spoke with the Tempe PD mounted police on Fri. night on Mill and expressed how I felt that they’re a benefit to the order of Mill Ave.

    Asked how I could help, and they said “Let people know how you feel.” They suggested “speaking out”.

    Then I asked about the cameras.

    They laughed. Said whereas mounted officers can stop the potential criminal actions of ten people by deterrence, mounted cameras have no deterrence.

    They suggested I speak out on that too. So I am. So we are.

    None of our actions are moot. The scameras are coming down… if we will it so.

    Uncle Slam

  23. Mike says:

    Wow, the Australians seem to be absent in this thread. Oh, that’s right, it’s Mardi Gras there today. lol!

  24. guttersn1pe says:

    I believe speed in excess of 20 MPH over becomes a misdemeanor rather than a simple infraction – thus the “criminal” part.

  25. hooligans says:

    HEY EVERYONE. Based on the same comment made by Andrew Thomas that photo enforcement tickets are in contrast to ARS. Feel free to fight a ticket given by a police officer who used either a LIDAR or RADAR gun to determine you were speeding. You can not face the equipment used to determine your speed in court. This would be the same basis as not being able to face a representative from the company who installs/maintains the equipment. This sounds like another win for everyone who wants to speed.

  26. I'm Back says:

    Scottsdale Sucks covers CameraFraud’s efforts!!

    Frank Rumbauskas, the blog’s writer, is a New York Times Best Selling Author and former Scottsdale resident. He has been very vocal about Scottsdale’s tendency of just “bending over and taking it” from their city government. He was a harsh critic of Mary Manross, who was a proponent of photo radar. But then again, Mary was a big fan of anything that she thought would make money, regardless of how it affected her adopted city and its people.

    Frank’s been a big supporter of this website since it’s inception and had even encouraged the residents of Scottsdale to start a PAC to get rid of the scameras, similar to what happened in Orange County, CA where he now resides.

    Check out the website, especially if you haven’t seen it and you can leave a comment too!

  27. Joe says:

    Photoradarscam wrote:
    “I can be and probably am wrong, but surely the government cannot go crazy by means of issuing civil citations in lieu of criminal in order to skirt constitutionality arguments.”

    Why do you think the government created a lower-tier of court cases in the first place? The population grew, but at the same time, we started to evelove as a society. You can’t exactly guarantee confrontation rights in court and speed lots of cases through the system. I learned this lesson when I tried to fight a traditional “laser radar” citation. I figured I’d confront the cop on why he pointed the laser at my car, when he really had no probable cause to do so. He had no right to assume I was speeding. Turned out, he did not need any probable cause in an “infraction” case.

    You see, one court system is designed to actually protect the masses (criminal), and the other court system (infractions) is merely a revenue generator that hides behind “public nuisance” infractions.

    And Doc: I will admit, I have no familiarity with the AZ Constitution’s structure. Just the U.S. I know that as far as the confrontation clause goes, we have no US constitutional protection in regards to confronting accusers in infraction cases.

  28. Dan G says:

    Yes, thankfully this story is missing a troll. Don’t worry folks, I don’t miss them.

    So now we have either 2 choices: Do the speed limit or speed like crazy!?!?

    This can only help in court to fight cases where the alleged speeding was only 11-19 mph over the limit. With so much against the cameras going on, I guess it’s only a matter of time before THE CAMERAS ARE COMING DOWN…

  29. I don’t think that there are just 2 choices, but clearly the way I see it is if you’re going to get a ticket, make it a good one.

    I just wouldn’t want to encounter a real cop doing 20+…

  30. Walter says:

    For anyone to suggest that they should do 20+ to undermine the photo radar cameras Is just giving the trolls something to talk about. If we want to be taken serious in our effort to rid this great state of the photo radar scam. We need to be serious when we speak/write.

    Remember: what you write now. Can be taken out of context and used against you later.

    Like it’s been said before “Don’t Feed The Trolls”

  31. Dan G says:

    Right Walter. I don’t want you to conclude that I think we should do 20+ to undermine the photo radar cameras, because I don’t. I am further questioning the usefulness of these cameras given this latest development, and that it may actually cause OTHERS to come to the wrong conclusion, and now speed excessively. A conclusion that can be now avoided if THE CAMERAS ARE COMING DOWN!!

  32. scott says:

    Hopefully the governor will take some of the stimulus money and hire more police officers..

  33. Rudolph says:

    Someone asked where LAB troll boy is?

    Yesterday he went over to the meetup site, posting under the name “former member” where he went crazy. I’m not kidding or exaggerating…the guy lost it!. He posted non-stop ad-homonym attacks; about 60 posts in a couple of hours.

    Finally he was removed-

  34. duece says:

    The success of Redflex fixed speed cameras on the Loop 101 freeway in Scottsdale, Arizona during a 2006-07 photo speed-enforcement program showed a 71 percent reduction in single-vehicle accidents, according to a recent analysis.

    The analysis, provided by Arizona State University traffic safety expert Dr. Simon Washington, also showed a 58 percent reduction in side-swipe accidents and a 40 percent drop in total injuries. Washington also claimed motorists dropped their speeds an average of 9.5 percent with Redflex cameras guarding the Loop 101.

  35. I'm Back says:

    Nice work duece. You just posted propaganda from:

    This little blurb has absolutely no citation of the actual study. The reason is because said study was never published. 😉

  36. I hope there’s more to the study than just that presentation. here’s so many holes in that presentation I don’t know where to start. Probably the most obvious is their comparison site is the west side 101. The west side 101 has and always had far less traffic. Where’s the data and information showing how the two sites compare? Where’s the mention of other enforcement measures – an example would be a comparison of patrol hours on the subject sites for the years presented? Where’s the comparison to local and national accident trends? Clearly the study was anything but scientific, and most probably concocted to present a pre-determined conclusion.

  37. I'm Back says:

    I still don’t see any evidence that this was published anywhere. This looks like a silde show demonstration from a meeting of engineers.

    The Redflex site also attributed all the analysis to an ASU professor, who did not give the presentation and was one of 3 analysts.

    I don’t even know if I would use this document to clean up after my dog.

  38. Doc says:

    It’ll be interesting to see what Cmndr T. Woodward has to say to this. It says right in their release that there are “sworn” officers. Wonder what they swear to do? Protect? Serve? Defend the Citizens of Arizona? NOT BREAK THE LAW? Not shove their totalitarian brand of law enforcement down the citizens of Arizona’s throats? Not act like they’re better than the Citizens who pay their salary?…sorry. I gotta’ li’l chip on my shoulder for those guys. Great find, Walter!

    Remember…F R E E D O M ! ! !-Doc from Prescott

  39. Walter says:

    I missed the “Sworn Officers” part. Are you talking about this response or another release? If something else, where is it at? I would like to see it.

  40. Bill says:

    Bravo District Attorney Thomas! Bravo!

  41. Doc says:

    Walter-@ the bottom of the Press release you linked us to (Thank You, by the way)in italics. Also, state law requires that if you are a peace officer in the state of Arizona , you must swear an oath, the particulars I cannot quote, but i do know they are required to uphold the Constitution of Az & the U.S.

    Remember…F R E E D O M ! ! !-Doc from Prescott

  42. […] current receivers. I do know that there is a standing order NOT to prosecute these tickets from the local DA in Phoenix. Some are advising that if you are ticketed there, to simply throw out the ticket if it […]

  43. […] by a machine of criminally speeding despite a clear message from the County Attorney that he won’t pursue the cases: On November 8, 2008, photo radar captured Reeves traveling at 130 mph on southbound SR 51 near […]

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