A parking violation occurs when you violate a city or county's laws about parking on public thoroughfares or lots. If you forget to pay a parking ticket, the penalty fees can add up. In fact, failure to pay a parking ticket can even lead to suspension of your driver's license. In some states, you can be arrested or your car booted for unpaid parking tickets. These laws do not apply to private lots.
Parking Meter Violations
Parking meters are located along the streets in certain areas. They're often found in downtown areas. Parking meters are also located where parking space is at a premium. The meters require you to deposit coins to buy time. Once the time expires, you must put in more coins or move your car. If you fail to do one or the other, you could receive a parking ticket.
Illegally Parked Vehicles
Parking spaces for vehicles often are clearly marked. Some spaces are designated as "no parking" zones, which means that you cannot park there. City planners may designate portions of a street as a no-parking zone to prevent traffic bottlenecks or because the area is reserved for some other purpose. Parking may be restricted at some times or on certain days for tasks like street sweeping.
If you park in a no-parking zone, you'll likely receive a parking ticket and the police may tow away your car. You then must pay towing and impound fees to get your car back. Some infractions are not posted, such as parking near a fire hydrant or too close to a driveway. Know your local rules.
Restricted Parking Zones
Some areas allow parking but only for certain individuals. For example, some spaces are reserved for disabled drivers. The state DMV issues special permits to drivers who meet the legal definition of disabled, either permanently or temporarily. This permit is often displayed on the front windshield of the car, but it may also appear on the car's license plate. If you park in a handicap parking space and you do not have a permit, you'll receive a parking ticket and a large fine. In some states, your car may be towed away and you'll have to pay additional costs to get your car back.
An abandoned vehicle is a vehicle parked in the same spot for an extended time. Every city and county has its own rules on how long you can leave a car parked in a space or along a roadway. If you leave the car in that spot for longer than the time allowed, it's considered abandoned. You may then receive a parking ticket and the car may be towed away. Some states may dispose of the car if you fail to claim it within a certain amount of time.
A Lawyer Can Help
The law surrounding parking violations can be complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. We hope you found it useful. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a traffic or criminal lawyer.