How the hammer comes down for red-light violations:
• Violations result from entering an intersection by passing beyond the white line after the traffic light turns red. On a right turn, a violation can result from not coming to a complete stop before the white line when the light is red.
• Violations are sent via regular mail. The violation is presumed to have reached the proper address of the proper vehicle owner when mailed. The ticket must be mailed within 90 days of the violation under state law.
• The $100 ticket is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle. The registered owner is liable regardless of who was driving the car.
• Legal defenses include: the car was stolen, you were traveling in a funeral procession or you were yielding to an emergency vehicle.
• If you don't pay or appeal the ticket, the fine doubles to $200. The timeline for the increase can vary, but it is usually within about two months.
• Unpaid tickets go to a collection agency, potentially affecting credit scores, usually two weeks after the fine is doubled.
• If five unpaid tickets are accumulated, the registered owner's driver's license could be suspended under state law.
This process can vary marginally depending on the town and company issuing the ticket.