My wife got a camera ticket back in May. In Washington, photographic evidence cannot be the sole source of incriminating evidence in any civil action so if you testify under penalty of perjury that the photo isn't you, the ticket is invalid.
My wife and I have largely solved this problem by having our cars registered to both of us. Got a ticket? Your spouse testifies that they aren't in the photo. This works with some municipalities. Others will send back the ticket saying "hokay but what about your spouse." Others will say "you have to make that testimony in our courtroom." So after a continuance I had to drive 30 miles to make so I could appear in their bloody courtroom while not in LA, yesterday was court day.
I had been under the assumption that, like most sensible places, photo tickets were an annoying part of their day that had been foisted upon them by an unthinking, idiotic city council attempting to protect their sweet, sweet ticket revenue. Reader, I was wrong. Never wrestle a pig; you get covered in mud and the pig likes it.
As it turns out, the municipal court of Kent is all about scolding people and breaking the law.
"Here, your honor."
"Do you testify that you were not driving the vehicle on the date of blahblah?"
"I do, your honor."
"Do you know who was driving?"
"I do, your honor."
"Would you tell the court who that was?"
"I am under no obligation to disclose that information, your honor."
Whole room got quiet.
"Actually, the statute is written so that it is up to the court - "
"It is not, your honor."
"Don't interrupt me! Do you have evidence to prove you were somewhere else - "
"I brought no evidence as the sole purpose of this hearing is my sworn testimony that I was not driving."
"The court can demand evidence as to who was driving the car. Do you have any such evidence?"
"I can certainly provide some. Does the court have the ticket in question?"
"Mr. Bl00, I'm going to dismiss this ticket but I want to caution you that not all judges are as lenient as me so in the future keep better control over your vehicles while traveling in the city of Kent."
"Rest assured, your honor, that I will never travel the city of Kent ever again."
And the room laughed and the judge looked chagrined but I sat through an hour and a half of a guy whose major beef was a cop who told him "shut the fuck up or I'll give you a ticket" but didn't understand the whole "I want to make sure that the defendant is informed of the existence of bodycam footage" because he was Kurdish. Or the latino immigrant who got a ticket for crossing the street and getting hit by a Lyft because the judge basically said "despite the fact that counsel has demonstrated that an intersection is a crosswalk under state law the ticket stands because there's no better law to cite him under." Or the endless sea of minorities and white trash for whom it is cheaper to sit there for three hours than pay $70 because the calculus on that one is it pays better than working.
Every other time I've been involved with this bullshit it's been a courtroom of white people who know how the system works. This time? It was a bunch of white scolds who were basically there to stick it to minorities.
And all I could do was walk in in my Brooks Brothers suit, tell the judge to eat shit and remind every person of color in that room where the power lies.
Guy before me went as far as asserting he owned six cars and two motorcycles and has eight people who live with him, none of which would cop to the ticket. Dude looked like he was about to be whipped. Me? "Fuck you, Judge, you're not allowed to ask."
The white kid speeding through a residential neighborhood with tinted taillights who had to swerve around a bunch of kids to keep from killing them? Yeah he got a mitigated fine for the taillights and everything else dropped.
It's rare that you get such a crystal-clear glimpse of the audience of your own privilege.