We have a Disabled Person placard that belongs to my wife, and there is a handicapped parking space on the street, right in front of our building. On Friday we came home and parked it there, and forgot to hang the placard from the rear view mirror.
Yesterday we got a ticket.
Given that we have the permit, what’s the best way to handle this? If I request an Administrative Review and explain that there is a legitimate DP placard associated with the vehicle in question, and provide the number of the placard, and a photo of it, can it be dismissed? This is in the City of L.A. FWIW.
I believe in most jurisdictions it’s within a judge’s discretion to dismiss such cases on proof that the law was not knowingly and intentionally broken (such as your example, or when the driver of a vehicle with valid insurance coverage is unable to find the ‘insurance card’ at a traffic stop and brings proof of insurance to court. It cannot harm you to ask for Admin. Review (I assume this is a non-court means of dealing with parking tickets) and show that there was a valid permit associated with the ticketed vehicle.
A phone call to the relevant office asking about proper procedure might be a good idea. Obviously, from the perspective of the ticketing officer, that car was not displaying the proper placard and hence was likely parked illegally in a reserved space.
That’s pretty much right. In Cleveland, Ohio, you’d file an administrative appeal which, if denied by the Parking Violations Bureau, would land you in front of a magistrate. Proof that you had a handicapped parking placard and simply neglected to display it would probably lead to your appeal being granted and the ticket being dismissed.
Many years ago I was ticketed for not being able to present my driver’s license on demand (it was in my wallet, which I’d forgotten to grab when I left the house). The policeman told me that if I really did have a valid driver’s license then I should contest the ticket, bring my driver’s license to court, and be polite and repectful to the judge when describing what happened. I did, and the judge dismissed the charge.
This was in Pennsylvania.
(I’d originally been stopped for not coming to a full stop at a stop sign. The policeman let me go for that, but said that he had to give me a ticket for not being able to show him my driver’s license when asked for it.)
Not everyone wants a handicapped plate for their car. When we lived a bad neighborhood we refused to get one for my husband because nothing says “mug me” quite like advertising that you’re disabled…
Which may or may not have anything to do with why the folks in the OP do or don’t have one, I just point out that such a plate is not always desirable.
Here in Indiana we have a separate placard for each of our vehicles.
Once in awhile we forget to hang them when parking. In all cases my husband has simply proved he had a placard (usually be sending in the placard number) and the ticket was dismissed. That applies across more than one state. California may be an exception, but it seems to me that an approach of politely demonstrating you have a placard should be a good approach.
Wouldn’t it depend on what the law was/how it was worded? In other words, is it a crime to park in a handicapped space without having a placard, or is against the law to park in a handicapped space without a placard being displayed?
For example, in Florida driving without valid insurance and driving without PROOF of valid insurance are two different infractions. The first is very, very bad, while the second will get you a $5 fine.
I don’t know the answer to this, but I do know that a friend of mine was recently in the same situation in the same city - he parked in a handicapped spot somewhere, forgot to put his tag up, and got ticketed. I don’t know the exact hoops he had to jump through, but he did get the ticket dismissed when he showed the appropriate people that he does have a valid tag. I think there might have been some sort of administrative fee he had to pay, but the punitive fine was tossed out.
Yes, you can get out of it, sort of. It happened to my father several months ago. If you don’t have to go to court, but when you go pay the fine, just present the placard and any other documentation (in California, a placard registration is required to accompany the placard) and they’ll reduce to the fine to failing to display the placard. It went down from around $400 to $25 for my father.
As others have mentioned, it’s fairly easy to get this dismissed. In PA, IIRC, all it took was a phone call to the local, issuing police department. Give them the unique number associated with placard, and if that matches up with your name, license plate number, etc., it was dismissed without even having to appear in court.
Thanks to everyone for your reassuring opinions, not least the one from a former parking officer. I was fairly sure it wasn’t standard procedure to uphold a heavy fine just for not displaying the ID, but was a little concerned because the website of Los Angeles’ parking enforcement detail doesn’t mention this.