DRIVER’S LICENSE EXAMINERS SENT TO PRISON.

Another driver’s license examiner has surrendered to begin serving a prison term in a conspiracy in which examiners took payoffs to obtain driver’s licenses for more than 1,500 illegal immigrants. Chenita Byrd-Mosley, 30, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit unlawful compensation or reward and conspiracy to commit official misconduct.  Byrd-Mosley will serve 18 months in prison, followed by three years probation. Each of the two charges was punishable by up to five years. Debbie Hunter-Collins, 43, of Delray Beach, pleaded guilty last month and will surrender July 12 to serve a two-year prison term, followed by three years of probation. Prosecutors have said at least seven examiners at the Delray Beach Driver’s License office were part of the scheme.  They say at least six conspirators generated fake immigration documents, then directed applicants to examiners who would wave them through, often without requiring driving or written tests.  At $1,200 to $2,500 per license, the conspirators may have pocketed several million dollars, prosecutors say. Investigators haven’t ruled out that more examiners and conspirators were involved. Examiner Melita Dera Zilea, 28, of Coral Springs, already has been sentenced to three years in prison, followed by two years of probation. And co-worker Jashonda Kaliha Scott, 25, of Palm Springs, got two years in prison followed by three years of probation.  Examiner Patreese Harvey, 29, of Palm Springs, is scheduled to make a plea and is expected to also receive prison time and probation.  The remaining two examiners, Maggie Nelson, 47, of Delray Beach, and Osie Carter, 49, Boynton Beach, are set for trial March 2. So are four alleged conspirators: Jonex Moise, 35, of Boynton Beach; Rene Clairvoyant, 57, of Boca Raton; Willy Adam, 52, of suburban Lake Worth; and Lorigene Jean Baptiste, 41, of West Palm Beach. Alex Adrien, then 42, of Delray Beach, was arrested in April 2009 and eventually deported to Haiti. Two suspected conspirators remain at large. If you think you need an attorney for a related case, please call the traffic ticket team at 954-967-9888 or go to www.traffictcketteam.com

RED LIGHT CAMERA’S DECLARED ILLEGAL

Cities throughout the state scrambled Monday to review their red-light camera programs after a circuit judge ruled that Aventura is illegally using the traffic devices to catch motorists. Although the case is being appealed, its eventual resolution will influence at least 26 cities statewide that have installed red-light cameras. They include Pembroke Pines, Hallandale Beach, Boynton Beach and West Palm Beach. Invoking opinions issued by the state attorney general in 1997 and 2005, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jerald Bagley said traffic laws are the purview of the state and that police officers should witness — and then issue tickets to — red-light runners. Relying on a traffic camera alone, without an officer at the intersection, was “invalid,” Bagley said, according to a transcript of his summary judgment issued Monday. City officials argued red-light cameras prevented accidents and they sidestepped state law by issuing code violations, not traffic tickets. The vehicle’s owner, not the driver, was cited. No traffic points were issued and fines generally cost $125. Appeals could be made only to a special magistrate, who typically worked for the city. “Red-light cameras save lives and the state of Florida has been too slow to approve this life-saving measure, forcing cities to do what they themselves should be doing to protect residents,” said Pembroke Pines Commissioner Angelo Castillo. But traffic lawyers and some motorists say local governments overreached.  The State should run the traffic ticket laws said Jason Diamond from the Traffic Ticket Team, www.trafficticketteam.com. Several hundred drivers from throughout the state last year joined class-action suits filed against Pembroke Pines, North Miami, Homestead, Orlando and more than a dozen other local governments. Pembroke Pines officials have already set aside $253,919 in an escrow account from the 3,072 citations issued since March 2009. It has cameras posted at Southwest 129th Avenue and Pines Boulevard, but postponed the installation of several more until a lawsuit filed by more than two dozen drivers is settled. “We are aware of the order,” said Michael Cirullo, who is helping represent Pembroke Pines in a suit pending against the city’s red-light program. “We have yet to fully review the order, but when we do, we will be evaluating it to see whether it will have any effect on the city’s program.” Officials in West Palm Beach, which began using a red-light camera system on Sunday, said their city will be unaffected by the ruling because it was in a different circuit court.  “We have not had time to completely review the case. However our system will remain active,” city spokesman Chase Scott wrote in an e-mail. “Before we issue a ticket, the incident is reviewed by three people and then a link to watch the video is issued along with the violation. We believe the cameras save lives and prevent injuries to pedestrians and other drivers.”  Fort Lauderdale City Attorney Harry Stewart said he had not seen the order yet, but based on what he’d heard, the city might wait for the appeal to be decided before installing the cameras at 10 intersections. The city on Feb. 3 approved a 39-month contract with American Traffic Solutions in Kansas and hoped to start reaping about $1.8 million a year.  “In order to evaluate whether we should dump our program or continue forward, we need to be able to see the order and evaluate the legal determinations therein,” Stewart said late Monday afternoon. City Attorney Brian Shutt said his city was prepared for the controversy. “We have a provision that says we won’t proceed forward with implementing or installing the cameras until there is state law that provides for this or until there is a favorite court ruling that allows them,” he said. The issue came up in the state Legislature last year, only to fail after lawmakers disagreed over how to apportion the ticket proceeds. In March, the Legislature will consider a bill that would allow cities and counties to use traffic cameras. Part of the proceeds from fines would go to trauma centers, hospitals and nursing homes. If you got a red light traffic ticket, call the Law Offices of Jason A. Diamond at the trafficticketteam.com, 954-967-9888.

Red Light Camera’s in Palm Beach County Are Here!

Never mind the court challenges or the bills in the legislature. Warm-ups and warnings are over, West Palm Beach says. For the first time in Palm Beach County, a city with red-light cameras says it will start handing out real fines today. “I think initially we’ll see a lot of resistance and a lot of flak about the program, but in the long run I think people are going to see it’s going to keep our streets safe,” said assistant police chief Dennis Crispo. West Palm Beach and a private camera vendor will split $125 fines generated at four intersections, soon to be five.vSince a warning period began Nov. 21, red-light cameras in West Palm Beach have recorded 17,349 “events,” Crispo said. After reviewing the evidence, police approved the mailing of warnings in 5,815 cases. As of today, cops are supposed to start approving fines, not warnings. Royal Palm Beach indefinitely postponed fines Feb. 8 after some drivers there were upset about warnings for what they considered safe right turns on red. There were also complaints about distracting camera flashes.  Before fines are mailed to car owners based on their license plates, West Palm Beach police will review camera evidence on a case by case basis, Crispo said. Motorists who show a clear attempt to stop during a right-on-red attempt are less likely to get a fine than those who blow through without stopping, he said. Car owners who are sent a fine will be able to go online to see evidence against them, Crispo said. Appeals will be handled by a designated official, he said. Infractions do not count as points on a driver’s record. In some places, the mood has turned testy against the use of various forms of cameras for traffic cases. A dentist’s sign-wielding protests against Juno Beach’s speeding van have preceded the planned March 2 debut of red-light camera fines there. In an extreme case in Arizona, a man has been charged with fatally shooting the operator of a van designed to nab speeders with cameras. Several cities decided to wait for what happens with court challenges to the cameras in Florida, as well as bills in the state legislature. West Palm Beach attorney Jason Diamond argues the cameras are unconstitutional because they fine the car owner as opposed to the driver, presume guilt, and fail to ensure traffic regulations are uniform throughout the state. Other cities are pushing ahead. Palm Springs expects to begin fines from red-light cameras March 1, with Haverhill pegging March 15, officials in those municipalities said.  West Palm Beach’s red-light cameras await at Parker Avenue and Belvedere Road, Parker and Summit Boulevard, Australian Avenue and Banyan Boulevard, and at Australian and Belvedere, One will be added at Australian and 25th Street.

Cop Writes Fake Traffic Tickets, Only in Florida.

Concern that a Florida Highway Patrol trooper accused of writing false traffic tickets may have more victims has prompted FHP to open a hot line number. “We have established a central hot line for people filing complaints in this case,” said FHP Maj. James G. Brierton, commander of Troop E, which is based in Dade.  The move comes after a revelation on Tuesday that Trooper Paul C. Lawrence, 38, had been arrested on 22 counts of official misconduct for writing the fake citations.  Already, 203 traffic citations that Lawrence issued since November have been dismissed.  But prosecutors think there might more victims.  Those who believe they received a false citation from Lawrence can call 305-470-2525.  In each case, Lawrence is accused of using information from drivers whom he had previously stopped. Then he manufactured new charges. The citations were not signed by the drivers.  The 22 counts are related to eight specific incidents this winter, according to the arrest affidavit.  Prosecutors said Lawrence started writing the false tickets to boost the number of citations he was reporting to his bosses.  In November alone, he submitted 397 citations to FHP — 82 of them missing a signature.  An FHP spokesman said FHP does not use a quota system.  Supervisors noticed something wrong in November when in one day five motorists called to complain they were being solicited by traffic ticket teams for citations, although they had not been stopped or ticketed by FHP.  An investigation was launched that showed an unusually large number of Lawrence’s citations were not signed by the alleged violators.  Lawrence, an FHP trooper for 15 years, has been placed on administrative duty “pending termination.”

Cop Charged With Felony For Illegal Traffic Ticket Writting!

A 21-year veteran of the Melbourne, Florida Police Department is facing five felony charges of official misconduct and four misdemeanor charges for falsifying records according to a story on Florida Today and FDLE reports. Officer Frank Carter is accused of writing unwarranted traffic tickets due to video that was reviewed from his in-car dashboard camera. Carter’s attorney claims the traffic stops were warranted due to drug dealing in some Melbourne neighborhoods. Some of the traffic citations handed out by Carter that FDLE flagged were for driving without headlights when they were not required or no tag lights when the car’s tag lights were working. Some residents in south Melbourne claim that Carter has been a “thorn in the side” to the town’s African-American population for years. Carter was released from the Brevard County Detention Center on a $2000 bond. If you have been cited for a traffic violation anywhere in Florida and need qualified legal representation, please do not hesitate to contact experienced traffic ticket lawyer, Jason A. Diamond at 1-866-433-3363 to discuss the matter or visit our website www.TrafficTicketTeam.com