How to Get Out of a Parking Ticket
A simple stroll back to your parked car can quickly lead to frustration when you first notice a piece of paper flapping around from underneath your windshield wiper. No matter where you’re from, there’s a good chance you realize that piece of paper is a parking ticket before you’re even close enough to read it. Talk about a moment you don’t want to experience!
With parking tickets becoming increasingly expensive (like most things these days) you want to keep that money in your wallet and avoid paying that hefty fee.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to get out of paying a parking ticket that you may have been issued unjustly.
How Can I Avoid Getting a Parking Ticket?
The best and most obvious method for avoiding a parking ticket is to park legally. However, that may not always guarantee immunity from being issued a ticket, as mistakes do happen. If you believe you've been wrongfully issued a ticket, there are some steps you will need to take if you want to dispute it.
Find Errors in the Ticket
Human errors occur all the time, which means it is entirely possible that the issuing officer made a mistake. Be sure to check the ticket for any inaccuracies which could potentially render the ticket legally invalid.
Some common parking ticket errors to look for include unclear handwriting or signature of the issuing officer and incorrect date or time recorded.
It is also possible that the vehicle description on the ticket does not completely match your vehicle. Be sure to check if details such as model, color, or license plate number correspond to your vehicle. If a major discrepancy is found, it is very likely you could avoid having to pay for the ticket.
Check the Parking Meter
A faulty meter could be to blame for your parking ticket. If you can prove that the meter was defective while you were parked in that space, you may have a legitimate chance to get out of paying the fine.
It can be difficult to prove that a parking meter was not functioning properly, but not impossible. If you noticed the meter was defective when you first attempted to add time to it, you ideally were able to capture a video or photograph of it malfunctioning before you walked away from your vehicle. If you forgot to do this, be sure to gather proof immediately after receipt of your ticket.
Appeal the Ticket
If you have concluded that your parking ticket was issued unjustly and you have gathered enough evidence to prove it, your best option is to make an appeal. Do this as soon as possible, as there is generally a window of time in which you can make an appeal which is usually shown on the ticket.
Keep in mind that if you intend to contest the ticket, do not pay the fine before appealing.
What Is the Process for Appealing a Parking Ticket?
Your parking ticket should include instructions on how you can appeal and an address for where you need to send a written appeal letter. When you submit the letter, be sure to include printouts of any photographic evidence you collected to aid your claim.
If you are issued a court date, it is important that you attend and arrive on time. At the hearing, you will be able to present your evidence and potentially get out of paying your parking ticket.
Winning an appeal is the only way to get out of paying a parking ticket that has been issued. If your appeal is unsuccessful, you will be responsible for paying the fine in its entirety.
How to Pay Overdue Parking Tickets
Unfortunately, overdue parking tickets generally lead to a late fee also being issued. If you have an outstanding parking fine, you should take care of it right away, as there could be more trouble down the line if you delay the payment. Severely neglected parking fines could eventually be reported to the DMV, which may result in an increase in your car insurance rates.
To pay your fine, follow the instructions on your ticket. Often, you will be able to pay online, but not always.
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