Last Updated on April 2, 2018 by Lawrence Berezin
Fighting a parking ticket the right way
Fighting a parking ticket when you’re right. Joe finally calmed down after arriving home. He pulled out the crumpled parking ticket from his back pocket, laid it on the kitchen table, and uncrumpled it.
Joe was sure he parked in front of a legal curb cut and not an illegal pedestrian ramp. So, he was fighting a parking ticket.
First step. Joe went through his checklist looking for omitted, misdescribed, or illegible required elements, as follows:
- The State of Registration_Correct
- The Registration Expiration Date_Correct
- BODY TYPE_Correct
- PLATE TYPE_Correct
- Place of Occurrence_Misdescribed (Wrong format)
- Days/Hours a Rule is in effect_Correct
Technical Defense_Misdescribed Place of Occurrence:
The Warrior entered the following misdescribed description for the place of occurrence:
“Magnolia Place X Beech Avenue in Queens”
Joe recognized that this description was defective because it was not in one of the three accepted formats:
- Metes and Bounds
And, it did not unambiguously describe a unique location.
Second step. Try to find a substantive defense:
Joe had a substantive defense, as follows:
“I parked in front of a legal curb cut and not an illegal pedestrian ramp.”
First common mistake
1.When fighting a parking ticket, present all reasonable defenses. But, start with omitted, misdescribed, or illegible required elements. Judge’s are more willing to dismiss a parking ticket for a technical defect as long as you present the proper proof, properly
Here’s how to present Joe’s technical defense
There are three accepted ways to describe a place of occurrence:
- Metes and Bounds
Second Common Mistake
2.Failing to connect the rule displayed on the parking sign with the place of occurrence entered on the ticket.
For example, let’s say hypothetically, the place of occurrence entered on the parking ticket was 123 Third Avenue in Brooklyn and you were charged with a no standing violation. Your defense was that the rule on the parking sign regulating the place of occurrence was a no parking rule and not a no standing rule. Wow! that’s great. A winning defense, but only if you can persuade the judge that a no parking rule regulated the place of occurrence and not a no standing rule.
[alert type=”info” icon-size=”normal”]Here’s a case we won because we proved that the rule displayed on the sign was misdescribed.[/alert]
You gotta connect the sign to your parking space. It is not sufficient to simply present an image of the parking sign without proving to the judge the sign regulated the place of occurrence.
Exhibit 10 alone is not enough to win. How would a judge know this sign was the evil sign that bit you and regulated your parking space?
Here’s how I did it and won a dismissal
Third common mistake
3.You failed to certify your defense statement and exhibits.
Remember, not only does a Warrior certify the information entered on the parking ticket, but the judge is always inclined to believe the Warrior unless you can present compelling proof to overcome this bias.
I worry that drivers will be so happy to find a defect or figure out a substantive defense, that they forget about connecting their car or the sign or the fire hydrant to the place of occurrence entered on the parking ticket.
I can’t tell you how often I get photographs showing a parking sign with my angry client claiming the rule was misdescribed. And it was. But my client forgot to connect the sign to the crime.
There are a gazillion parking signs in the city. The first thing a parking ticket judge will say to wiggle out of dismissing the ticket is, “how do I know the sign in the photograph was the one that regulated the place of occurrence (your parking space)?
I suggest you assume the judge is from Idaho and it’s her first time in NYC. Walk the judge through your proof to connect the sign to the crime.
Sometimes, my client snaps a photograph of their car with the orange ticket sticking out from under the wiper, and think that’s enough to prove their car was parked at the place of occurrence. C’mon man. Not a chance!
I suggest you assume you’re not there to explain what you really meant to the judge and prepare your exhibits accordingly. Use captions. It has been proven that photographs with captions are more persuasive than just plain photographs.
O.K., what about a driver who thinks that he wrote something in a defense statement a judge is going to believe him? You significantly increase your believability when you certify that your statement and exhibits are true, trust me (I certify its true).