Parking More Than 18 Inches From a Curb Defense Lawyers
Fighting a Ticket for Parking Too Far From the Curb
Getting a parking ticket sucks. We’ve all been there – you run into the store for just a minute and come back to see that bright yellow slip of paper under your windshield wiper. Annoying, right? But what if you got a ticket for something that seemed totally unfair, like parking a little too far from the curb? That $50-100 fine suddenly seems outrageous.While some parking violations make sense, like blocking a fire hydrant or parking in a handicapped spot, getting ticketed for small infractions like being 18 inches from the curb can feel nitpicky. But before you crumple up that ticket in frustration, know that you may be able to fight it. Here’s what to do if you get cited for parking too far from the curb.
Is This Really Against the Law?
You might be wondering – is it actually illegal to park more than 18 inches from the curb? In most cities, yes. Local ordinances prohibit vehicles from parking more than a certain distance from the curb, usually 12-24 inches depending on location. This rule is meant to keep the roadway clear and allow for street cleaning and snow removal.While you may think parking 20 inches from the curb isn’t a big deal, failure to comply with these ordinances can result in parking tickets. So that $50 fine for barely crossing the line is legit, as annoying as it is.
Should I Just Pay the Fine?
Your first instinct may be to simply pay the parking ticket and move on with life. But before whipping out your credit card, consider this – you may be able to successfully contest the ticket.Many parking violations like this come down to the judgement of the officer writing the ticket. If your car was just barely over the limit, or circumstances made it difficult to park closer to the curb, you may be able to argue for dismissal.Contesting a ticket takes effort of course, requiring you to request a hearing and plead your case. But it often costs nothing to try, so you might as well fight it if you feel the citation was unjustified. Hey, it beats paying a fine for something you don’t think you did wrong!
How Do I Contest the Ticket?
The process for appealing a parking citation varies by city, but generally involves:
- Reviewing the ticket carefully – Make sure the violation, location and identifying information is correct. Errors can invalidate the ticket.
- Researching local regulations – Find the ordinance that prohibits parking more than X inches from the curb in your city. Know the rule you allegedly violated.
- Filing paperwork – Request a hearing by the deadline, usually 2-3 weeks from the ticket date. Follow instructions on the citation.
- Preparing your argument – Gather evidence and practice what you’ll say at the hearing. The basis for your appeal can include:
- Mitigating circumstances – Bad weather, obstructions in the road, other vehicles blocking you.
- A marginal violation – You were barely over the limit or it’s not clear from the photos.
- Inconsistent enforcement – You often park in the same spot without issue.
- Technical errors – Mistakes on the ticket could make it invalid.
- Appearing at the hearing – Present your case politely to the judge or hearing officer. Bring photos and documentation.
- Awaiting the outcome – The judge will make a determination after the hearing. Fines are sometimes reduced if dismissal is denied.
While the process takes some effort, it’s often worth trying to overturn or reduce unjust parking tickets. Hey, $50 or $100 is nothing to sneeze at!
Enlisting Help From a Lawyer
For complex parking ticket appeals, or if there’s a large fine at stake, consulting a lawyer may be wise. An attorney experienced in traffic law can advise you on the best defense and represent you at the hearing.Lawyers may look for technical errors that invalidate tickets, like:
- Incorrect license plate or vehicle information
- Dispute over where your car was actually parked
- Lack of proper signs about parking restrictions
- Problems with how the ticket was served (mailed)
They can also argue for mitigating circumstances, marginal violations, inconsistent enforcement or other issues using evidence and documentation. Having a lawyer speak on your behalf lends credibility.Parking ticket lawyers typically charge $100-300 to handle an appeal. While not cheap, their expertise significantly improves your odds of winning. For costly tickets, hiring representation pays for itself if they get the fine dropped or lowered.
Creative Defenses That Have Worked
When fighting any parking ticket, coming up with persuasive arguments is key. People have succeeded in dismissing citations using creative defenses like:
- Bad paint job – If the curb was poorly painted, you can argue the legal parking area was unclear. The city should maintain visible street markings.
- Other vehicles blocked you – If other parked cars didn’t leave you 18 inches, it was out of your control.
- You measured from your tire, not door – Some ordinances say distance is measured from the tire, not the car body. This technicality matters.
- Snow made limits unclear – In winter, snowbanks obstruct painted curbs. You did your best in poor conditions.
- You were an inch within leeway – If the law says “up to 18 inches” you were legal if 17 inches away. Language matters.
- Someone hit your car, moving it – If another vehicle bumped yours you shouldn’t be liable.
- Flat tire/emergency – You had to park oddly due to urgent car trouble. Any reasonable person would understand.
- Disability/pregnancy issues – Medical conditions can make precise parking difficult. The ADA protects you.
So don’t be afraid to think creatively and make persuasive arguments! With good evidence and a sympathetic hearing officer, you could get lucky.
Don’t Give Up Hope!
While not every parking ticket appeal will succeed, it’s worth trying if you feel genuinely wronged. At best the fine gets dropped, at worst you’re out a little time and effort.Carefully prepare your case, present it respectfully, and hope for an understanding judge. Having photo evidence and a clean driving record helps too. And don’t be afraid to push back on tickets for nitpicky violations like parking a few inches too far from the curb.Fighting those unfair fines is totally justified. No one wants to pay $50 for barely crossing some arbitrary limit. With determination and a little creativity, you can hopefully get the win. Don’t give up hope – beat the system!
- How to Fight and Beat a Parking Ticket – YouTube – Lawyer explains best defenses against unfair parking tickets
- How to Beat a Parking Ticket in Court – YouTube – Tips for winning your parking ticket appeal
- How to Fight a Parking Ticket and Win – The Balance – Strategies for contesting unfair parking citations
- Parking Ticket Tips – How to Fight and Win FAQ – DMV.org – Common defenses against parking infractions
- How to Fight a Parking Ticket and Win – Lifehacker – Advice for overturning wrongful parking fines