Parking Ticket Help

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Dmac77, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. Dmac77 macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #1
    I'm just wondering if anyone can help me reassure my mother that she'll get out of a parking ticket that we got tonight.

    We were going out to dinner, and we parked in a handicap spot in downtown ann arbor (we were parallell parking). The sign wasn't clearly visible, so we didn't put up my grandmother's handicap sign in the windshield (she was with us). When we came back from dinner, my Mom found a nice $100 parking ticket on the windshield (her first in 24 years) because there was no handicap sign. So here's my question, she should get out of it if she goes down to the police station with my grandma and my grandma's handicap sign, right? She convinced that that won't work, but I think it will. Any opinions?

    Thanks,

    Don
     
  2. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #2
    How is your mom going to prove that your grandmother was with her? The cops might believe her, but I wouldn't count on them just taking your word for it, which is really all that you have.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #3
    Would it hold up in court if she fought it in traffic court? I get what you're saying, but don't the courts have to give her the benefit of the doubt, and if both I and my grandmother are willing to testify, that would help wouldn't it?

    Thanks
     
  4. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #4
    No the courts don't have to give her the benefit of the doubt. According to the cops she was in a handicap spot without a permit. You can give it a shot, but it might not work. You might want to go and take pictures of the parking space to show how it wasn't clearly marked. This seems like your best option to me it you choose to fight it.
     
  5. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #5
    Well isn't she innocent until proven guilty? The judge can't automatically assume that she and my grandmother would perjure themselves in court (albeit traffic court). Can they? I'm just thinking that the state has to prove that my grandmother wasn't there with us. Isn't the burden of proof on them, and not on my mother?

    I'm just rather miffed by the fact that my grandmother had her handicap tag in her purse, while the ticket was being written. It's not even like she has a minor disability (she has moderate-advanced emphysema, and has to use an oxygen tank), plus a fairly bad heart (three heart attacks, one ruptured aorta). We really are just getting screwed out of $100 here.

    I'm not trying to argue with you, I'm just trying to get an understanding of how traffic court works.
     
  6. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #6
    Your grandmother was with you? Then take her with you to testify in court she was there and she has disability benefits. You just forgot to put the sign on. It isn't that hard to tell the judge you forgot.
     
  7. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #7
    That's what I was thinking. But for some reason my mom thinks that she has to have something besides testimony to prove that my grandmother was there. She's just freaking out, due to the fact that she hasn't had a parking ticket (or any type of ticket for that matter) for 24 years. I've also never had to deal with a parking ticket (speeding tickets are another story), so I don't know if the process is any different.
     
  8. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #8
    I'm certainly no lawyer so take this with a grain of salt. The police officer said that you parked in a handicap spot with no permit. This is accurate according to your post. The ticket has the license plate which I'm assuming is registered to your Mom. It seems to me that this is the proof that your Mom is guilty of the infraction for which she received the ticket for.

    Now you want to say that your grandmother was with you and she has a handicap permit. What proof are you going to bring to the judge? Should the judge just take your word for it? Granted, there may be three of you testifying to the fact. You also should bring your grandmother's handicap permit. Like I said earlier, take pictures of the space to show that it wasn't clearly marked. Who knows, the judge could throw it out. Or the fine could stick.

    Good luck.
     
  9. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #9
    all they have to do is prove you parked there with out a valid permit displayed which you already stated that you did not have one displayed. That is what the ticket is for.
     
  10. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #10
    If you knew it was a handicapped spot, why didn't hang the permit up? Just because the sign is obscured you felt you didn't need to? I am not trying to be mean, but really? How much effort would it be to put the permit up?

    Just pay the fine and move on, IMHO. It isn't like she gets points against her license or anything. Just a mistake to learn from.
     
  11. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    #11
    You're getting screwed? How did they screw you? If you don't hang the tag, you get a ticket. That's the point of the system. They can't just assume that you have one.

    At $100, I'd say that you got off pretty easy. I think that trying to fight this would be a waste of your time, though I guess there's a small chance that you'll get a judge that will be sympathetic to the sickly, old lady story.

    This is your screw-up, not the cop's. Me thinks that you should just pay the fine and always remember to hang the tag when it's relevant to your situation. It's just a parking ticket. Live and learn.
     
  12. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #12
    We didn't realize that it was a handicap spot. The sign was obscured and we didn't see it until wee looked for it when we got the ticket. It was completely blocked by a tree. That's why we didn't put the permit up.

    Yes I feel as if we're getting screwed. We didn't steal a handicap spot from someone. We actually had a handicapped person with us. We would have put the permit up if we had seen that the spot was a handicap spot. I would say that just paying the $100 is fine if it were me, but my mother says otherwise. Also keep in mind that this wouldn't have even happened if the city would have trimmed the tree away from the sign. So yes I feel that we are getting screwed by the city.
     
  13. Disc Golfer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #13
    I'm sure it varies from place to place but in my experience fighting a parking ticket will usually at least get the fine reduced. Where I live you can write a letter explaining the circumstances instead of mailing the fine and they'll recalculate the fine. I've had friends make pretty ridiculous excuses and get fines reduced by half or more. Again it probably varies depending on the department who issued the ticket. Is a parking ticket for a handicapped zone worse than, say, a parking ticket for an expired meter or something? If you can't get the fine reduced or anything consider it having to pay for a mistake, which is actually pretty normal.
     
  14. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Location:
    Same country as Santa Claus
    #14
    Take pictures of the spot and show it to the judge? :confused:
     
  15. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #15
    Usually, if you take a picture of the parking spot in the direction of the blocked sign ... it helps.

    Helps a whole lot more if you take the picture with your car in the spot at the blocked sign, then a 2nd your grandmother holding the permit and the leaves away from the sign. Helps even more if the picture is time stamped right when you saw the ticket.

    ---

    Nice thing about all the camera phones these days, though a lot of people tend to forget.

    Since if the sign is not easily seen, it is in violation of the ADA requirements.

    Ticket Fight Reveals Handicap Parking Problems
     
  16. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #16
    Show the court then the meal bill for that evening. That is enough besides testimony...
     
  17. ethical macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    #17
    I'm pretty sure that in the UK if a sign is obscured and not clearly visible then that is grounds for a fine to be removed. Is this not the same in the US then?
     
  18. michel smith macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    #18
    The easy part is coming up with an excuse, the hard part is proving it, and believe me I understand your circumstances, but they have heard it all in court. So my advice would be to pay it if unless you can prove what your excuse is.
     
  19. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #19
    What's the harm in displaying the HC permit even in a non-HC space (which I realize this was)? If Grandma is with you, and you have the permit, just display it properly, and lock the car!

    Don't they paint the symbol on the pavement also??
     
  20. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #20
    It would appear that it may come down to what the specific offence is. Is it "parking in a handicapped spot whilst not being in possession of a valid permit" or "parking in a handicapped spot whilst not displaying a valid permit". It would appear that you can get off the former but not the latter.
     

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