Don’t Write the Check – Stand Up and Fight Unfair Parking Tickets

twitter-profilepicParking tickets are a major source of revenue for most big cities – revenue that comes right out of your pocket. Unless you like donating more than your share of taxes to the city, you want to avoid receiving a ticket at all costs. Normally, it is good enough to simple follow the parking rules and only put your car in places where you are allowed.

Unfortunately, mistakes are commonly made by overaggressive parking attendants in a hurry to issue fines wherever they can. This leads to tickets being issued to drivers who have actually parked legally and received a ticket anyway. If you return to your car that you know was legally parked only to find a ticket attached to your window, there are steps you can take to correct this error.

Get a Record

If you are going to successfully overturn your ticket, you need to have a record of what actually occurred. It will not be enough to simply walk into the court room and profess your innocence. Start by taking as many relevant pictures as you can of where you are parked and the signs in the area. I’m sure you have a smart phone on you at all times – so put it to good use. Snap as many photos as you can, as they will be very valuable when it comes time to convince the judge.

Also, see if you can get contact information from any impartial witnesses that can attest to where you were parked at the time of the ticket. This might not be possible depending on the location and time of day, but it is worth a shot. For the ticket to be thrown out, you will have to prove you were not in violation, so get as much documentation as possible right from the start.

Great Success Rate

Of parking tickets that are challenged in court, approximately 50% of them wind up being overturned. That means the odds are good that you can save the fine and have the ticket removed if you provide good evidence and a calm argument. Remember, the judge will not appreciate attitude or anger, so tone it down if you expect the law to land on your side. Even if your initial challenge is rejected, you have the right to appeal up to two more times before the case is closed.

Parking tickets are not the only violations that can be challenged in court. If you feel like you have been unfairly cited, challenge any of the following –

  • Speeding ticket
  • Parking boot placed on car
  • Vehicle towed
  • Moving violation like improper lane change or following too close

Paying a parking ticket is a waste of money any way you look at it – just like paying too much for car insurance when you don’t drive very often. There is no reason to pay the fine without putting up a fight if you know you are in the right. Get all of the documentation that you can related to the ticket and be prepared to present it calmly in front of a judge. With a logical argument and good planning, you will have a great chance of getting the ticket removed and the fine thrown out.