A step-by-step guide to fighting an NYC parking ticket
We have been very successful fighting NYC parking tickets and winning. One of the reasons is because we have developed a process through pain, suffering, trial, and error that works! And we follow the same steps for each and every parking ticket.
Our mantra is to fight when you’re right, and quite frankly, the only reason we lose is that a rogue judge closes his eyes and writes guilty.
First step: Check out the parking ticket online and save it to your computer. Don’t rely upon the information contained on your copy of the ticket, because the judge doesn’t.
Second step: Write the pertinent data entered on the parking ticket on a separate, blank, sheet of paper
It is better to work from a clean, separate, document because it’s common to overlook or forget to look for all the omitted, misdescribed, required elements by simply working off the parking ticket.
- The date and time of issuance
- The place of occurrence
- The parking rule on the ticket, such as no standing, street cleaning, pedestrian ramp, etc.
- The days/hours of the parking rule the warrior claims you violated
- The county of occurrence
- Registration expiration date
- State of registration
Third step: Check your parking ticket with a fine tooth comb (if you don’t have one, I’ll send you one ) for omitted, misdescribed, and illegible required elements.
For an expired meter violation, make sure the warrior entered the “meter number,” “operational (YES),” and “limit.” For an expired MM, the limit entered is 5M (meaning the 5 minute grace period was honored). For mechanical meters, the limit is the parking time limit in your parking zone.
For an expired registration or expired inspection sticker, make sure the expiration date of the sticker and sticker number is entered on the parking ticket. (You’ll find this data in the comments section of a printed parking ticket).
If you find one or more defects, you win upon presenting the proper proof properly.
For example, if the registration expiration date is omitted and your plate displays the month and year of expiration (for certain out-of-state vehicles), you must submit:
- A copy of your vehicle registration
- Two photographs of your car. One of the front and a second a close up of your plate clearly showing the month and year of expiration
Fourth step: Research your parking ticket to determine whether you have a substantive defense.
For example, I always check the place of occurrence to make sure the parking rule and days/hours displayed on the actual parking sign matches the parking rule and days/hours entered on your parking ticket.
For another example, always check the place of occurrence for a fire hydrant violation because oftentimes the location of your parking space entered on the ticket is MORE than 15 feet from a fire hydrant, doesn’t exist, or there is no fire hydrant in the vicinity.
Here is some resource to use to check the information without leaving the cozy comfort of your home:
5th step: Present the proper proof, properly
This is the step where many of the wonderful members of our driving community lose their fighting form and are vanquished by the Evil Empire. Every parking violation code (99) has one or more specific defenses that will set you free. It is a must for all our Luke Skywalkers to match the proper defense to the parking crime.
Crying the blues, or explaining that you left a note for the parking ticket warrior that you’d be right back, or worse yet, advise the judge that his honor is free to call you if she has any questions…are not examples of winning defenses.
This step-by-step approach works because it focuses you on the task at hand, and helps you avoid missing critical steps in the fighting process.
Never, ever pay an NYC parking ticket “no questions asked,” and when you’re right-Fight, but please present the proper proof properly.
To all our Lukes…Good luck fighting the good fight!