Parking tickets are a major moneymaker for a lot of cities. In fact, some cities rake in hundreds of millions of dollars every year from parking tickets alone.
These days, parking officers are always on the lookout to slap someone with a ticket.
And many people who end up getting parking tickets didn’t even know that they were doing something wrong. If you find yourself having to pay a parking ticket, you shouldn’t give up immediately and pay the fine.
Instead, you might actually be able to fight the parking ticket and not have to pay any money at all.
Are you interested in learning how to do that? If so, then keep on reading and we will walk you through everything that you need to know about fighting parking tickets.
1. Read the Parking Ticket
In most situations, the best way to successfully fight a parking ticket has to do with errors on the ticket that would render it legally invalid. For example, if the issuing officer failed to accurately describe the make or model of the car, then the ticket can be invalidated.
The same is true if the issuing officer does not legibly sign or print their name or if they don’t accurately state the date and time of the alleged infraction.
If you notice any of these errors, then you will have a very easy time fighting the parking ticket.
This is a big part of basic parking ticket help.
2. Take a Photo
If you don’t think that you committed any kind of parking infraction, then you should make sure to take a photo. When you take a photo, you won’t have to worry about resorting to a “he said/she said” situation.
If your parking ticket involves a posted sign, then take a photo of that sign too. If the ticket is about parking to close to something, such as a fire hydrant, then show how far you were parked from the object. If you are dealing with a parking meter that is broken, then you definitely should take a photo of the meter.
Any appeal that you make should include all of these photos and the photos should also have time stamps.
3. Identify the Rule That You Violated
The parking ticket is going to tell you the rule that you violated. If it doesn’t tell you that, then the ticket will automatically be invalidated.
Look for a strange set of numbers or a checked box. Then, go onto the internet and look it up.
If you cannot find it online, then you should be able to find it at your local library or at City Hall. Now, verify that you actually did violate the rule.
4. Look for Excuses Under the Statute
The statute that you violated is likely going to come with a variety of loopholes.
For example, some handicapped parking laws require notice that the parking spot isn’t for everyone. An example of this could be a sign over the parking space or a painted curb.
Sometimes, a law will use the term like “obvious” or “visible.” You could argue that a blocked or dirty sign is not obvious or visible.
5. Write Your Appeal
There might be a space on the ticket where you can write an appeal out. However, you should attach yoru appeal on a separate sheet. The ticket should give you instructions on submitting an appeal.
When you write the appeal, you want to be respectful, unemotional, clear, and brief.
It is very important that you include the following:
- The reason why you shouldn’t have been ticketed
- Law cited on the parking ticket
- Time and date of the parking ticket
You should also include a conclusion to the effect of, “Based on the statute, this citation should be dismissed because…”
6. If There Is a Hearing
If you write an appeal, then you may end up having a hearing. If this is the case, you need to make sure that you arrive on time.
You should dress formally and look clean. You want to bring two copies of everything that you mailed in for the appeal.
You should be respectful and quick when you are asked to tell your story. Make sure that you politely answer all of the follow-up questions.
7. What Never to Say
If you do end up getting a parking ticket, there are several things that you should never say.
First, you never want to say that you don’t know the law. Not knowing the parking laws – or any law – is not an effective defense. You also can’t say that you were about to move your car.
You also should not say that you can’t afford the ticket or that you have parking like that for years.
Sadly, it also won’t help you if you say that you checked with the parking officer and they told you that it was okay. Parking officers don’t have any authority to grant you immunity from parking tickets.
The Importance of Knowing How to Fight a Parking Ticket
Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now have a better idea of how to fight a parking ticket. As we can see, it isn’t always easy to fight a parking ticket. But at least it something that is definitely possible.
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