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How Do I Dispute a Parking Ticket?

Different jurisdictions have different ways for disputing a parking ticket.
A ticket can be disputed by taking a photo of the parking space and showing no signs indicated the rules.
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  • Written By: Rhonda Rivera
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2014
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The best way to dispute a parking ticket, whether deserved or not, is usually to follow the jurisdiction’s guidelines on the matter. The process and various rules can differ greatly from one region to another, so the first step is gathering information while keeping in mind that parking tickets are usually disputed in the jurisdiction they were written, not the one you live in. Being polite and minding your manners can also go a long way toward convincing a judge that the ticket was a mistake or should be dropped for some other reason. In addition, solid evidence is highly valuable so that the case will no longer be your word against a law enforcer’s word, but do not be discouraged if you have none. Lastly, if you cannot dispute a parking ticket yourself, there are lawyers who specialize in traffic tickets.

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To dispute a parking ticket and successfully get it dismissed or reduced, it is important to strictly follow the jurisdiction’s guidelines. For example, if the city requests that all parking tickets be disputed within 30 days or paid within 100, it is likely a waste of time to dispute the ticket after 45 days rather than pay it. As always, there are exceptions that a judge or the local law might accept, such as proof of hospitalization or disability during those 45 days. In addition, if the jurisdiction requires you to attend a hearing in person, arrive early or on-time. Otherwise, without a good and provable reason, you might be risking the chance to dispute the ticket.

Law enforcement officers, judges, and other authorities are human and therefore may not take kindly to someone who is rude or violent in the process of trying to dispute a parking ticket. Keep correspondence with authorities regarding your parking ticket polite. It is common to feel frustrated, angry, or desperate when dealing with a ticket that is mistakenly given or too expensive to pay, especially since the disputation process can take months. Taking a deep breath and attempting to remain polite in written or in-person conversation is likely to get you further than being rude or impatient.

Lastly, providing evidence or contacting a lawyer are sometimes key in disputing a parking ticket. The evidence might be as simple as taking a picture of the parking space which was not properly marked or pointing out that the car's description or license plate on the ticket does not match your car. A lawyer is also good to have, but hiring one may be more expensive than the ticket itself, which is complicated if money is why you are not paying it in the first place. Still, contacting one is usually free, and he or she can inform you of how much help the practice can provide and at what cost.

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