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Handling A Speeding Ticket In Spain Without Photo Evidence: Your Rights Explained Expat Tips

Receiving a traffic ticket in Spain for exceeding the speed limit is never pleasant, whether it is handed to you by an officer or arrives at your registered address. However, there are instances where you can challenge the sanction, particularly when crucial identifying information is missing or when no accompanying photographs are provided.

In this article, we will explore the steps you can take to handle a speeding ticket in Spain without photo evidence, ensuring you understand your rights and options.

Notification and Photograph Requirements

In Spain, there are two primary methods of receiving a speeding ticket: immediate issuance by a traffic officer at the scene or delivery to the registered address associated with the vehicle detected by a radar exceeding the speed limit. Understanding the notification process is essential for drivers who receive tickets at their homes.

When a speeding ticket is delivered to your address, it is crucial to ensure that it complies with specific photographic requirements. Two distinct photographs must accompany the ticket.

These photographs should depict a panoramic view of the vehicle and, specifically, a close-up of the licence plate. They must be distinct and captured at different moments, even if only seconds apart, while containing all necessary identifying information.

Additionally, they should contain all the necessary identifying information, such as the date, time, and location of the offence. These details further support the legitimacy of the ticket and provide essential context for the driver to assess their actions during that specific period.

It is important to emphasise that the photographs accompanying the ticket must be unique and distinct. Merely enlarging one photograph or duplicating it does not fulfil the requirements. Each image should offer a different perspective and capture separate moments to ensure accuracy and validity.

By adhering to these notification and photograph requirements, authorities aim to provide drivers with a comprehensive and detailed representation of the speeding violation. These measures ensure transparency and accountability in the enforcement of traffic regulations, allowing drivers to evaluate their actions and exercise their rights effectively. If any of the necessary photographs or information are missing or inadequate, drivers may have valid grounds to challenge the ticket and seek a favourable resolution through appropriate legal avenues.

Essential Information in the Radar Image

The radar image accompanying the ticket serves as a critical piece of evidence to substantiate the alleged violation. It is essential that the image provides clear and accurate information to strengthen the case against the accused driver. Here are further details that should be included in the radar image:

  • Exact Speed: The radar image must clearly indicate the exact speed at which the vehicle was travelling when it triggered the radar. This information is crucial as it establishes the basis for the speeding accusation. It allows both the authorities and the accused driver to determine whether the recorded speed exceeded the legal limit and by how much.
  • Date and Time: The date and time of the offence should be prominently displayed on the radar image. This information serves to establish the precise moment when the alleged speeding violation took place. It allows the accused driver to cross-reference their activities and whereabouts during that specific period, aiding in building a defence if there are any discrepancies or inconsistencies.
  • Identifying Data of the Radar Device: The radar image should also include comprehensive identifying data of the radar device used to capture the violation. This includes details such as the make, model, serial number, and calibration date of the radar equipment. These specifics are crucial for ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the radar device and can be used to challenge its validity if necessary.

The Significance of Photographs

Previously, it was common for fines to be issued based on a single accompanying photo as evidence of a speeding violation. However, a significant development has occurred that has set a precedent in handling such cases. The Contentious Administrative Court number 5 of Córdoba recently made a ruling that has far-reaching implications.

In this specific case, a driver contested a speeding ticket that had been issued solely with one photo as evidence. Recognising the importance of adequate evidence to support the allegations, the court ruled in favour of the appellant.

Despite the driver submitting a timely objection within the 20-day period granted by the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT), the driver had initially faced continued sanction proceedings.

However, the court, after careful examination of the case, determined that the single photo provided was insufficient to establish the necessary proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The court acknowledged that the absence of additional photographs could lead to doubts regarding the accuracy and legitimacy of the violation.

As a result, the court compelled the DGT to withdraw the imposed fine, which had amounted to one hundred euros. This ruling has established an important precedent, emphasising the requirement for multiple photographs to be presented as evidence in speeding cases. It reinforces the principle that the burden of proof rests on the authorities to provide adequate and reliable evidence to substantiate the alleged violation.

This ruling serves as an encouragement for drivers who find themselves facing a speeding ticket without sufficient photo evidence. It highlights the importance of exercising one's right to challenge the ticket and present a strong defence. By submitting a timely objection and leveraging this ruling as a precedent, drivers have a better chance of contesting fines based on inadequate evidence and seeking a favourable outcome.

It is crucial to note that legal interpretations and outcomes can vary, as each case is unique and depends on specific circumstances. Therefore, it is advisable to seek legal advice or consult with professionals experienced in traffic law when facing such situations.

Exceptions for Traffic Officer-Endorsed Speeding

It is important to understand the scope and applicability of the rule discussed earlier regarding the requirement for multiple photographs as evidence in speeding cases.

This rule primarily pertains to speed violations detected by fixed radars without the presence of a traffic officer. However, there is an exception to this rule when a traffic officer endorses the speeding offence detected by the device.

When a traffic officer is involved in verifying and endorsing the speeding violation, a single photo displaying the anemometer (speedometer) reading can serve as sufficient evidence. In these cases, the presence of the traffic officer adds an element of human verification and observation to the evidence-gathering process. The officer's endorsement confirms the accuracy of the speed measurement recorded by the radar device, making the additional photographs less crucial.

In such instances, the single photo displaying the anemometer reading provides a clear indication of the vehicle's speed at the time of the offence. It acts as a valid representation of the violation, allowing the authorities to establish the driver's speed and compare it to the legal limit. The endorsement by the traffic officer strengthens the evidentiary value of the single photo, as their professional judgement and training contribute to the overall reliability of the evidence.

It's worth noting that while a single photo of the anemometer reading may suffice in cases involving a traffic officer's endorsement, other essential information, such as the date, time, and location of the offence, should still be properly documented and included in the ticket.

These details provide context and ensure a complete record of the violation.

Challenging the Ticket

If you find yourself facing a speeding ticket in Spain without the necessary photo evidence, it is important to remember that you have the right to challenge it. Don't feel disheartened by the absence of photos; there are steps you can take to defend yourself.

Here's a comprehensive guide on how to handle a speeding ticket in Spain without photo evidence:

  • Know the Time Frame: It is crucial to be aware of the time frame within which you must contest the ticket. In Spain, typically, you have 20 calendar days from the date of receiving the ticket to submit a formal objection. Ensure that you meet this deadline to preserve your right to challenge the fine.
  • Seek Legal Guidance: Consulting with legal experts or organisations that specialise in traffic law can provide valuable insights and guidance specific to your situation. These professionals can assist you in understanding the necessary steps, documentation, and legal strategies required to build a strong defence against the ticket.
  • Assess the Absence of Necessary Photographs: The lack of photo evidence can be a valid ground for appeal. Take the time to thoroughly review the ticket and consider how the absence of photographs affects your case. Document any discrepancies or inconsistencies that may arise due to the missing evidence and be prepared to present them in your defence.
  • Gather Supporting Evidence: While there may not be accompanying photographs, it doesn't mean you cannot provide alternative evidence to support your case. Collect any relevant documentation, such as GPS records, toll receipts, or witness statements that can help establish your location, speed, or any other pertinent details related to the alleged violation.
  • Construct a Compelling Argument: Based on the absence of necessary photographs or any other relevant grounds for appeal, develop a strong and well-reasoned argument to contest the ticket. Clearly articulate your position, highlighting any inconsistencies or doubts that arise due to the missing evidence. Present your case in a logical and persuasive manner.
  • File a Formal Objection: Once you have gathered all necessary documentation and formulated your defence strategy, file a formal objection within the designated time frame. Follow the specific procedures outlined by the traffic authorities to ensure your objection is properly submitted and documented.

By taking these steps and seeking professional advice, you can improve your chances of a favourable outcome when faced with a speeding ticket in Spain lacking the necessary photo evidence. Remember to act promptly, gather supporting evidence, and construct a strong argument to defend your case effectively. The legal system provides mechanisms to protect your rights, so it is crucial to exercise them and present your defence comprehensively.

Further reading:

How do I know if a traffic fine in Spain is fake?

Paying traffic fines in Spain

How to change your address with Spain's DGT traffic authority