What to do in case of erroneous fine
For the purpose of suppressing offenses on the roads, multiple cameras were installed. They fix violators who exceed the speed limit and ignore other traffic rules. Then the driver is identified by his license plate, and a letter arrives at his address with a fine. The letter says where and when he violated traffic rules. Additionally you can attach the photo, confirming the fact of illegal actions. But even the most modern equipment can make a mistake. And it happens quite often. As a result a person gets a penalty for the violation, which in fact he hasn’t done. And there is a natural question as to what to do in such a situation. Few people would want to pay a fine that they don’t deserve. Especially when we are talking about big enough sums of money.
Causes of occurrence
Before sorting out what to do if a driver has been wrongly issued a fine for an offense, it is important to understand why the system incorrectly captures cars, and sends notifications not at all to those who really deserve them. For this purpose it is necessary to explain how video and photo fixation systems work. A special camera is installed above the roadway. It monitors a certain number of lanes, depending on the setting. Some cameras simultaneously monitor all lanes. When the camera captures a violation, the information is transmitted to the data center. Then a computer gets to work. Its task is to read the license plate, to recognize all the symbols on it. And here is the main problem and the reason for the erroneous notifications. The camera is not perfect, so the quality of the picture is sometimes poor. Even a slight distortion leads to the wrong reading of the license plate number. Since there are a lot of cars in the country, the similarity between the license plates is unavoidable.
And if the system will fix the license plate number, mistaking the letter M for the letter N or recognizing the letter O as the letter C, the penalty is sent to a totally different person with a photo of the vehicle not belonging to him. Yes, after the computer check, an additional analysis is also done by the operator. But even here the human factor often works, he makes a mistake or doesn’t pay attention to the mistakes. There is a third stage of verification. It lies on the shoulders of the traffic inspector. He has to double-check the information after the computer and the operator. The possibility of mistake is still there, as often the inspector does not look closely, thinking that everything has been checked thoroughly before him. Such mistakes which are made by the computer at first but are not noticed by the human and lead to a lot of erroneous fines. To be objective, there are a few more reasons for their occurrence:
- A car was caught on camera with fake registration numbers that matched the numbers of the real car. In this case, the motorist does not even suspect anything;
- The car is stolen. The offender violated the traffic rules and was caught by the cameras;
- The car has already been sold to another owner, but the data on re-registration has not yet been updated in the system. The new owner violated the rules;
- The camera recorded the license plate number of one car that was moving directly behind the second car, which is the real offender.
Sometimes even an inspector himself while stopping a vehicle gives out wrong fines. Whether it is done deliberately or accidentally is an interesting question. But the most important thing here is that the person is faced with injustice, he is forced to pay for the offense he did not commit. That is why it is logical to ask what to do in such a situation, where to turn and whether there is any chance of a successful outcome at all.
How to challenge an unfair fine
If we are talking about an erroneous fine, which was written out by the inspector during a stop on the road, it is necessary to require a copy of the completed protocol. According to the rules, the inspector himself is obliged to give you the document, but some for some reason do not do it or forget it. You have the legal right to request a copy. The protocol also has a column where the driver signs if he agrees with the violation. Never put your signature there if you think the fine is unfair. By putting your signature in this box, you acknowledge your guilt. It is unlikely you will be able to prove otherwise. If you received a fine from the inspector or by mail, from that moment you have 10 calendar days to appeal. After the specified period it will be almost impossible to cancel the fine.
Do not forget that it is the date of receipt, and not registration. The motorist can confirm receipt by signing the form. In addition to the delivery of the protocol by the inspector and receipt by mail, you can also find out about the fine on the Gosuslug website. The appeal procedure is carried out through the traffic police, GIBDD website and Gosuslugi. To do this, you would have to file a statement of claim in court. It is impossible to solve the problem over the phone. In telephone mode you can only get a consultation, ask questions that interest you. Sometimes a person does not have time to deal with the issue of an unfair fine within 10 days. Here there is a way out of the situation. It will be necessary to present documents confirming the fact that there are serious reasons for the delay in filing a claim. The most common option is a medical certificate. Next, step by step, it is necessary to understand what to do to the driver, if he received a fine from the traffic police by mistake, and how to act in such a situation.
Grounds for recognition of the error
Not always even the motorist himself notices in time that he had to pay the traffic police fine by mistake. But there is no need to despair. There is a real opportunity to get your hard-earned money back, even for a fine that has already been paid. The only question is how to do it correctly. This will require the grounds for the recognition of the error. You can use video and photo materials as a proof. If the fine was issued by the inspector on the road, then the relevant materials he is obliged to attach to your copy of the protocol. When you receive a notice through the State Service or by mail, you will need to additionally contact the data processing center. They have no right to refuse you. Having in hand photos and video of the violation, where your car is allegedly fixed, you need to carefully reconcile the data. If they do not match, the photo or video is not your car or not your license plate, it will be a valid argument for the recognition of the error. By doing so, you will not only restore justice, but also your own money.
Ways to appeal
The motorist, who faced with an erroneous fine of the traffic police, has several options for the recognition of this offense unfair.
- THE TRAFFIC POLICE. Many people first go to the traffic police department to deal with the situation. If you go there in person, be sure to take with you a copy of the registration document of your vehicle, as well as the very copy of the decision to impose a fine, with which you do not agree because of the error. Or you can also send an appeal by mail by writing a letter. But be sure to send it by registered mail. Modern technology allows you to use the Internet, and visit the website of the traffic police with a similar appeal. There is a special section for sending appeals. The motorist only needs to fill in all the necessary fields. Regardless of the method of filing a complaint, the law gives 10 days for its consideration. If during this period you did not receive an answer, then feel free to file a statement of claim in court.
- State Services. Another popular official resource, which gives the citizens of the Russian Federation great opportunities without visiting the offices of different departments and structures, including the traffic police. On the site, you need to register, create a personal account, and then go to the service for filing appeals. In your appeal, you need to fill in the necessary fields, attach digitized evidence of innocence and a statement in which you disagree with the fine issued.
- Court. If you decide to act through the court for one reason or another, you will need to write a complaint. Only it is recommended to fill it out very clearly, specifically and accurately. Detail the essence of the problem, give reasons why you do not agree with the fine issued to you. If there is relevant evidence, it must be attached to the application.
There are a few additional recommendations regarding how to prepare an application for filing it with the court. There are no strict requirements and regulations on how to fill it out. But certain rules should be followed. Otherwise you may simply refuse to consider the case.
The application should look something like this:
- First, the so-called header of the application must be filled out. Here are the data of the district court, as well as personal information about the applicant. You have to apply to the district court, where the wrongdoing was recorded, which is erroneous;
- Next, write the text of the appeal itself. There are no strict requirements or rules here. But try to write short, to the point, to present your thoughts as clearly as possible, in a logical sequence. The text is better to think through in advance;
- Write in details what happened, how you received the notice, and why you think the fine is absolutely unfair. Less emotion, more substance;
- It is also important to cite facts in the statement, which will confirm your rightness. It is necessary to specify only the information that can be proven in court. That is, personal opinions and speculation do not play in your favor;
- At the end of the text competently set out your request. Here it should be written that you want to note the effect of the decree. If you have already paid the fine, also demand a mandatory refund of the money spent. You are not obliged to give your money back to just anyone;
- The only thing left is to draw up an attachment, which provides a list of documents to be attached to the application. Try to collect more evidence, so the court had no reason for refusal. If the evidence base will be impressive, the decision will definitely be taken in your favor.
For such appeals against an unfair wrongful fine, the court is obliged to give an answer within 10 days. If it is satisfied within that time, then the fine will be cancelled and the money will be returned to your account. If, however, the court finds the evidence insufficient and finds you guilty, there is nothing else to do but pay.
Still, you should start with the branch of the traffic police, where many citizens turn to if the traffic police fine was erroneous. You can apply directly through the division, or with the help of the official website. If there will be a refusal, and to solve the problem you can not, then you can go directly to court. Do not think that only you have a protocol on the offense issued by mistake. Such situations are not uncommon in our time. This can largely be associated with the imperfection of the system of photo and video recording of offenses, as well as the subsequent negligent attitude to the verification of information. As a result, a lot of people regularly receive so-called letters of happiness, which in reality they have nothing to do with.
Chances of a successful outcome
It’s really not hard to figure out how to get a refund in theory for a wrongly paid fine and get justice back in the situation. But in practice, things are a bit different, and it’s not always possible for a wrongly fined driver to get a positive outcome. The question of restoration of justice is very complicated and causes a lot of disputes. The nature of the mistake is important, as well as the evidence for the defense of one’s position. Yes, there are obvious mistakes, when the owner of a small car with the engine capacity about 70 horsepower receives a fine, saying that he was driving at speeds over 180 kilometers per hour. Such cars are not technically capable of such a thing, and the error in the system is obvious. Statistics indicate that about 70% of such cases end up in favor of the victims, i.e. unfairly fined drivers. But if you have no evidence, you are late with the deadline, then there is no way to get away from the fine.
We should not forget about a certain part of people who simply do not want to get involved with all these complaints and applications, court proceedings and the collection of evidence. If the fine is small, it is easier for such people to pay and forget about its existence. If you are faced with such a situation, try to make a quick decision about your further actions. When the fine is really erroneous and issued unfairly, as well as provides the need to pay a solid amount, it is better to apply to the appropriate authorities, collect evidence and restore justice. Acting competently and consistently, you will definitely become one of the 70%. Otherwise, you will join the remaining 30%.
What to do if you fail
You should always be prepared for the fact that the decision as a result will not be in your favor. The reasons for this are many, ranging from an insufficient amount of evidence collected, ending with the unwillingness of the judge to understand the case. It is easier to refuse, and the fate of the injured party it little interest. Regardless of the reasons for the unsuccessful outcome of the proceedings on the erroneous fine, there is a result. And he forces to act only as the law requires. That is, you have to pay. Even if you don’t agree with the fine, objectively consider it an injustice and a mistake of the system, you have to pay. You have 30 days to pay. It is better not to violate the payment deadline. Otherwise you may face additional sanctions. Depending on the size of the fine and the article under which it was issued to the driver, the following measures may be applied for non-payment:
- Increase the amount of the original ticket. And the increase is twofold. When we are talking about several thousand, when multiplied by 2, the amount becomes altogether prohibitive;
- Administrative detention. Its duration can make up the standard 15 days;
- Mandatory work. Where and how much you will perform compulsory work by court order is decided on an individual basis;
- Bailiffs. If you do not want to pay with money, bailiffs can come to your house and take away your property in payment of the debt. This is an unpleasant procedure to avoid. It is better to pay the fine on time;
- Inability to leave the country. If you have debts for unpaid fines, even if they are not significant, you shouldn’t dream of going on vacation abroad. It can be decided that you will be banned from leaving the country. Until you pay the fine you cannot cross the border.
You can clearly see that the consequences of an unpaid fine can be serious. Even if it is completely unfair and erroneous. If you were not able to prove the contrary, then the fine is considered to be correct. And therefore, the motorist is obliged to pay for it. These are the rules. It is possible to file another lawsuit in a higher court. But with the same evidence that was not accepted by the district court, the chances are slim. You’ll have to gather stronger arguments in your defense. Remember, if you lose here too, you still have to pay the fine. In addition, you will have to pay for all the costs associated with the court proceedings. Sometimes it’s easier to pay. But this is a question of a person’s integrity. If he wants to get justice, no one will forbid or stop him.
The problem of fraud
It cannot be ruled out that the fine you receive in a letter or e-mail is actually a fake. There have already been numerous cases where fraudsters have sent such notifications to their victims in order to make a financial profit from it. Inattentive motorists simply transferred money to the details specified in the letter, without even checking their authenticity. In order not to fall into the clutches of swindlers, it is strongly recommended to analyze letters and notifications in advance, check addresses, account numbers, and verify them with the information available on the website of the State Traffic Safety Inspectorate. Scammers act quite cunningly and thoughtfully. They register e-mail boxes, which resemble real ones as much as possible, or send ordinary letters by mail, also with a similar sender’s address. They attach photos to the letters, skillfully made with special computer programs. Sometimes it’s really hard to tell a real letter from a fake one.
To verify the validity of the fine, even if erroneous, it is recommended to visit the website of the traffic police, check the information through the Gosuslug website, or directly contact the branch of the traffic police. There you will be told whether the notice really came officially.
If not, delete the message and the electronic box. It won’t be superfluous to inform the law enforcement bodies about the fraudsters, as well as to warn other motorists using the same social networks. It’s not uncommon to call erroneous fines. But if they come, you should definitely deal with them. Simply ignoring them leads to serious consequences, for which you will have to pay dearly and for a long time. But you shouldn’t accept accusations that are wrong and unfair, either. Knowing exactly how to act in such a situation, you will not make mistakes, and will be able to achieve a positive outcome.
How to appeal a traffic police fine: a great article for those who do not agree with the punishment
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If a driver has received a fine for a violation he did not commit, he can appeal it . We tell you in what cases sanctions can be challenged, in what terms and how to appeal the decision of the traffic police .
What fines can be disputed
The driver has the right to appeal any traffic police fine with which he disagrees. But before contesting the fine, you need to make sure that there are grounds and evidence of innocence. The arguments must be supported by documents, otherwise no one will believe them, no matter how convincing they sound.
Grounds for appealing traffic penalties are the following circumstances:
- the camera misidentified the license plate number and someone else’s car was caught in the photo;
- the driver was not the owner, but an authorized person or a renter;
- the owner of the car was in another place at the moment of the violation;
- the driver had sold the car and could not drive it at the time of the violation;
- the technical characteristics of the car do not allow it to exceed the speed limit specified in the decree;
- a fine was received twice for the same violation;
- there were no signs at the place of violation, the markings were obliterated, or the road surface was in poor condition.
There may be other factors that allow the driver to challenge the imputed sanctions. For example, it was not the car that crossed the solid line, but its shadow, but the camera still wrote a fine.
Evidence for appealing a fine can be:
- Documentation for the car, if the technical characteristics or the license plate number of the car is confirmed;
- insurance for two or more persons, power of attorney for the car or rental agreement, if it is necessary to prove that another person was driving;
- certificate from an in-patient hospital, travel voucher, transport tickets, if the absence of the driver at the time of the violation is confirmed;
- a contract with the buyer, if the car no longer belongs to the owner.
It is allowed to use any documents, photo or video materials, testimonies that will help establish the driver’s non-involvement in the violation committed.
Who can contest fines and how to find out what they are
The right to appeal a traffic police fine has a person in whose name the decision was issued, or his representative, who has a notarized power of attorney.
Fines from automatic traffic cameras are sent to the address of car owners, and it is the owners must apply for an appeal.
It happens that letters don’t reach the addressee in time, or get lost, and the car owner doesn’t know about their presence. You can check your vehicle for fines through the service avtocod.ru. The report is generated within 5 minutes and shows you what problems your car has at the moment of check, except fines.
In the block with the fines you will see how many fines were issued, by whom, for what amount, under what articles, and what is the total debt.
If the violation was caught on camera, the report will display the photo with the license plate number clearly visible. If the plate number belongs to another car, there is every reason to dispute the fine. A screenshot of this part of avtocod.ru report can be attached to the complaint as a proof of innocence.
If the fines are old and the Federal Bailiff Service has imposed a ban on the vehicle due to non-payment, the information about the restrictions will also appear in the report.
You can check your car for fines via the service avtocod.ru by VIN or license plate number.
How much time can you appeal a fine
The law gives 10 days for appealing the decision of the traffic police from the moment when the decision was issued.
A copy of the decision to the person guilty of the violation can be handed over in the following ways:
- personally in his hands, if the violation is fixed on the road by the traffic inspector;
- by the group of examination, if the driver disagreed with the inspector’s opinion, but the group of traffic police officers examined the accident and confirmed the guilt of the driver;
- by the court, when the case has been considered by this instance;
- By mail – a letter, if the violation was fixed by a road camera (the term of appeal starts the next day from the moment the driver signs for receipt of the registered letter).
The term of appeal of the decision of the State Traffic Safety Inspectorate, missed for good reasons, is subject to restoration. To do this, the driver must write a petition in any form and send it to the traffic police at the place of the violation. In the statement it is necessary to specify a valid reason, on which term is missed, and to ask to restore it. Below you can download a sample and the form of the petition on restoration of the term.
Together with the application, documents proving the fact of missing the deadline for valid reasons should be submitted. For example, if the driver was in treatment, attached extract from the hospital, and if absent from the city – transport tickets, voucher, etc.
Where to send a complaint
Complaints are sent to the traffic police or the district court at the place where the order was issued. Exceptions are complaints to contest parking fines issued by the Moscow Administrative Road Inspectorate (MADI) or the Moscow Parking Space Administration (MPSA). How to appeal a penalty by MADI or AMPP is described below.
What complaints to send to the traffic police
In the traffic police you can appeal any fine, including from a traffic camera, when:
- The decision was drawn up with technical errors, for example, wrongly read the license plate number of the car or incorrectly set the owner of the car.
- There was a reaction of the camera to extraneous factors, for example, the solid line was crossed not by a car, but its shadow, but the camera recorded the violation. Or if a passing motorcycle exceeded the speed limit, and the camera issued a fine to the driver of the car.
- If you drove through a red light at the signal of a traffic controller, and the camera gave you a fine.
- In any other cases, when the fine was wrongfully issued and there is evidence of the driver’s innocence.
Some motorists send complaints directly to the court, but do not recommend jumping through the lower instance. The traffic police can solve the problem faster and without the involvement of judicial bodies. Yes, and in court will ask why you have not tried to resolve the situation in the traffic police.
What complaints should be sent to court
If in the traffic police complaint remained without satisfaction, you need to redirect it to the highest instance – the district court. In addition, the court appeals against the rulings issued by it, for example, for violations that provide for administrative arrest.
How to draw up a complaint to challenge a fine
Before contesting a traffic police fine, it is necessary to competently compose a complaint. For it is acceptable arbitrary written or printed form, but with the obligatory indication of the following points.
Official of traffic police or court (name, address), where the complaint is filed, as well as personal and contact details of the driver.
The title “Complaint against the decision on administrative violation”, the number of the decision and the date of its issuance.
Descriptive part with the number, date of the resolution and the article of the CAO under which the driver is charged.
A description of the circumstances under which the driver believes the imposed fine is unlawful.
Request for cancellation of the imposed monetary penalty and termination of proceedings with reference to the legislation.
List of evidence – documentation, photo and video materials, confirming the driver’s arguments and attached to the complaint.
Signature of the driver and the date of the document.
If the violation is committed in another city and the driver has no opportunity to come there, the complaint specifies a request to consider the case without his participation. Below you can download a sample and form of the document.
You can also see other samples of complaints against decisions on administrative offenses.
How to send a complaint to appeal a traffic police fine
Currently, there are two ways to send a complaint to challenge the fine: send it by registered mail or bring it in person to the traffic police or the district court at the place where the decision was made.
If you apply in person, the complaint is filed to the clerk in two copies. One copy stays in the traffic police for further consideration, and on the second copy the secretary will put the date and sign for receipt, and then return it to the driver. This copy should be kept by the motorist as a proof of filing a complaint.
When sending it by mail, postal receipts should be kept.
How to contest fines on the Internet
Not every traffic police fine can be appealed online. Drivers will be able to do this only from September 1, 2021. It will be possible to challenge the penalties from traffic cameras through “Gosuslugi” by obtaining a free electronic signature.
As of today, one can only file a complaint online against the MADI and AIPP sanctions. Such opportunity have only inhabitants of Moscow. To challenge fines of MADI and AMPP it is possible through the sites:
- Transport.mos.ru (legal entities shall send a complaint by e-mail on company letterhead with the signature of the head).
Mos.ru accepts complaints about fines:
- for improper and unpaid parking;
- For enforced stop and parking in the wrong place, e.g. if the driver feels unwell or the vehicle breaks down;
- For issuing a wrong decision (there was no violation or the document had the license plate number of a different car).
To contest a fine, a driver fills in a complaint form, prints it out, signs it, makes a scan of the document and attaches it to the electronic application on the site. Besides, you should attach the documents of the car and the decision on the imposed sanctions. The answer to the application will be received in your personal account on the website.
Avtocod.mos.ru accepts complaints about parking violations and also allows refunds for parking fines that were incorrectly paid.
It is also possible to appeal against a ruling on a traffic violation in “Gosuslugi”, but the list of cities and regions is limited. To appeal a fine can be residents of Tula, Moscow, Udmurtia, Tatarstan, Kaluga, Tver, Belgorod, Ryazan and Tyumen regions, Perm and Krasnodar.
Drivers from other cities and regions can appeal a fine by directly contacting the traffic police. Not all traffic police have their own internet resources, accepting complaints online.
Some drivers write complaints on the official website of the traffic police. According to article 30 of the Administrative Code, such appeals don’t have legal force, as a driver has no possibility to verify his/her identity with an electronic signature.
How much time are complaints considered?
Article 30.5 of the Administrative Offences Code stipulates the following timeframes for consideration of complaints:
- Ten days are given to MADI, AIBPD and GIBDD;
- Two months – to courts.
After these terms the driver receives the answer in writing, and if it is negative, it is possible to appeal the penalty in higher instances.
What are the chances of successfully contesting a fine
Chances of a positive outcome, if there is strong evidence, are high. Here are a few examples where car owners were able to successfully challenge fines.
In Nizhny Novgorod region in 2016 a woman appealed a fine from a speeding camera. The car at the time of the violation was sold. The driver presented to the court a contract of sale, which confirmed that the car was in the use of another person. The court upheld the driver’s complaint and cancelled the sanctions.
The second case took place in Moscow in 2017. The driver was fined under Part 1 of Article 12.1 of the Administrative Code for driving an unregistered car in the amount of 500 rubles. The district court left the complaint without satisfaction, after which the motorist appealed to the city court. Since the district court considered the case in violation of procedural norms and did not take into account the arguments of the driver, the city court dismissed the decision and satisfied the complaint.
Another case on appealing a speeding ticket was considered in May 2020 in the Kemerovo region. In this case, the car was in the use of another person under a lease agreement. The driver was able to prove his innocence, and the court sided with him.
What to do if the complaint was not satisfied
If you receive a refusal to satisfy the complaint from the traffic police, you should apply to the district court. In order not to get a refusal again, but this time from the court, it is recommended to support the complaint with more convincing evidence of innocence. If the district court refused, refer to the superior court. The final instance – the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation.
If you can not prove innocence, you will have to pay the fine. There are 70 days for this, otherwise the amount is doubled.
If there is a debt of more than 10 thousand rubles, bailiffs can seize bank accounts, suspend the driver’s license and apply other sanctions.
If you pay the fine within 20 days after receiving the decision, you will get a 50% discount.
How to get a refund for a ticket that was wrongly ticketed
There are times when drivers mistakenly pay a fine twice. It is possible to get the fine back. To do this, you should write an application in any form to the traffic police, from which the decision on the imposed sanctions was received.
The application is supplemented with photocopies of:
- bank details;
- receipts for the payment of fines;
- the paid penalty.
The traffic police will return the money to the bank account indicated in the application.
Often drivers first pay the fine before appealing it, so as not to miss the twenty-day period for receiving a 50% discount from the state. The law does not prohibit this. In addition, payment of the fine indicates the recognition of the driver’s guilt.
If after paying the penalty the traffic police or the court canceled them, it is necessary to write a statement to the traffic police, as in the case of a fine paid by mistake. The above documents should be supplemented by a copy of the decision of the traffic police or the court on the cancellation of the imposed penalty.
The application is sent in the same way – by letter or in person. If the fine was paid to the MIDI or AMPP, a similar application should be sent there.