Last Updated on February 17, 2015 by Lawrence Berezin
NYC parking ticket blunders will cost you money…a bunch of money
What’s the difference between “cracking a few laws” and a NYC parking ticket blunder? The difference is that a “crack” can be fixed, while a blunder is written in stone. Pay up and move on.
For example, if you purchase muni meter time, and forget to place the receipt face up on the dashboard of your chariot, that’s a crack. It can be fixed. All you have to do is submit a copy of the paid receipt with a brief explanation online, and a judge is required now to dismiss the parking ticket.
On the other hand, if you stop in a bus stop zone, pick up your Aunt Tilly, and sit around discussing where to have lunch, that’s a blunder. Pay the man $115 and move on.
1. You can’t leave your car unattended within 15 feet of a fire hydrant
I received a call yesterday from a wonderful member of the driving public with this sad story:
I stopped my car to run in to my friend’s house for just a minute to pick up her young son. I returned to my car with the young boy, and remembered I left my coat inside. I raced back into the house, grabbed my coat, and returned to the car in less than 3 minutes. To my dismay, I found a parking ticket stuck under my wiper when I returned to the car. I had parked next to a fire hydrant.
Can I beat this NYC parking ticket if I have a witness that I was in the house for less than 3 minutes ?”
I am asked this question time and again. The fact that you have a reasonable reason to run into a house for just a minute,” isn’t a defense to stopping within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
This is a blunder. $115.
2. I didn’t “intend” to violate the parking rule
The intent of a perpetrator matters in laws such as murder, manslaughter, assault and battery, and robbery. The alleged criminal must have specific intent to violate the law, or act with such a reckless disregard for human safety that his actions are a crime.
Your intent to violate a parking law has no bearing, whatsoever, on your guilt or innocence. You may have a totally reasonable reason for running back into a house to get your coat. Or, sitting in a bus stop zone with your Aunt Tilly discussing plans for lunch, but it will cost you $115.
Please, I beseech you, don’t work yourself into a frenzy trying to rationalize or explain why you violated a parking rule. Sadly, you intent matters not. If you park in a no parking zone because you were late for a doctor’s appointment. Reasonable? Sure. Relevant? Pay the man.
But, if you’re a NY licensed physician, with MD plates, you are permitted to park in a no parking zone, adjacent to a hospital, for 3 hours or less. The intent to violate or comply doesn’t matter [See, 4-08(m)(4)].
3. I have the constitutional right to be confronted by my accusing witness
Yes you do…in adult court, but not at a hearing for a NYC parking ticket.
Violating a parking rule is not a crime, it’s simply an “infraction” (albeit an expensive one). The due process rules are different. And, in my humble opinion, better. Yup, better.
Why would you want to be confronted by the parking ticket warrior that issued your parking ticket because:
- She will not remember issuing your specific parking ticket. In that case, the prosecutor will authenticate the parking ticket and offer it into evidence against you
- He will remember issuing your parking ticket, and nail you
- She may embellish her story, and hurt your chances of beating the parking ticket
A parking ticket warrior does not attend parking ticket hearings. In exchange for this convenience, all the required elements on the front of a parking ticket must be entered accurately, or case dismissed. You’re fighting a piece of paper that can’t talk back. Why would you prefer to have a real person testifying against you? Do you think you’ll be able to blind her with your searing cross-examination? And, he’ll admit he was wrong in issuing the parking ticket? Fuggetabout it.
Try to avoid the temptation of violating a parking rule, even if you can’t resist it. Don’t:
- Over stay your welcome in a bus stop zone
- Run into your house, or the store and leave your car unattended in a fire hydrant zone
- Stay too long in a no standing, or no parking zone
- Block a driveway, even if the building on the property is abandoned
- Park on a sidewalk in an industrial zone
- Double park with your blinkers on and a note under the wiper that you’ll be back in a minute
- Block a pedestrian ramp, unless it lives at a ‘T’ intersection and has no marked crosswalk or traffic control device regulating traffic
- Break the plane of a cross walk with the front bumper of your car
- Park in a school zone just because it’s summer
- Ever, never, ever pay a NYC parking ticket, “No Questions Asked”
Gordon Wood says
I went online to see how to get an MD plate. But seems, for the blunder, it is still easier to pay the 115.00 fine. You see even though the margin is 61 flat ones plus some change, after forking over and initial 35 bucks for the plate then another 18.75 per year that is, it takes 6 weeks to get them. Not being an MD also makes that awkward, unless one were to register as Ferdinand Waldo Demara Jr. and risked getting cracked in another no go zone.
But to help folk, before paying up, I looked up the literal meaning of “Blunder”, just in case I could find some legal fracturing. It seems the word is of Scandinavian origin but still gives no let out on a pay up cause. Plus it puts at risk a huge loss of face with the translation being; “a mistake typically caused by ignorance or carelessness; Or to do something stupidly or thoughtlessly.”
But still I tried Larry because I always recall who said “An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.”
Thanks, as always for your great advice.
Lawrence Berezin says
It is always wonderful to have our comment section graced by such a Renaissance man and resident wordsmith. The warmest of wishes to you and your family for a healthy and prosperous 2015.
Always a pleasure reading your enlightened prose. Mae West can fill an entire blog with wonderful material, and your comments are priceless.
Quick question: is it better to fight a ticket in person, assuming you have a good case, or does it not matter? Didn’t see this listed in your blog.
Lawrence Berezin says
That’s a great question.
I now fight 99% of my parking tickets online. The Evil Empire has made some significant improvements since the advent of online fighting. Initially, I urged the driving public not to fight online. Now, with the last batch of improvements, it’s the best way to fight tickets in my humble opinion.
I would only appear in person if the issue I was raising was too complicated to present in writing with exhibits. The downside is that there is no record readily available, if you lose an in-person hearing and wish to appeal.
If it were me, I’d fight my parking ticket online every time and make sure I certify my defense statement, and certify the truth and accuracy of all my exhibits. I would be sure to carefully plan my strategy, and keep it simple (eliminate all adjectives and adverbs).
Fight the issue not the system.
PS…I’ve always found the great majority of judges to give my clients a fair shake. The tipping point is to present the proper proof to win. There are 99 separate parking violations, each with it’s unique set of proofs to prevail.