How to Fight a Handicapped Parking Ticket

By Wayne Thomas ; Updated May 31, 2017
Parking for handicapped only sign

Getting a parking ticket can be a frustrating ordeal. The amount of the fine can range from a few dollars to several hundred depending on the city and where you were accused of parking illegally. If your ticket was issued for parking in a handicap spot, you may be subject to increased fines and even points on your license.

Overview of Ticket Challenges

If you were issued a citation for parking in a handicap spot and do not believe you were at fault, you have the option of disputing the ticket. Although each state has its own set of rules for how to challenge a traffic violation, the matter typically involves a hearing in front of an administrative judge and there may be specific time lines within which you must appeal.

Parking Challenges

One way that you may be successful in challenging a handicap parking citation is to convince the court that you were never actually parked in the spot. In most states, your vehicle must be unattended and turned off to be considered parked, which would not be the case if you were moving your vehicle or turning. If you did park your car, other grounds for challenging the ticket may be that you were issued a handicap placard and had it properly displayed or you were parked in a legal, non-handicap parking space.

Technical Challenges

Handicap parking tickets may also be challenged on technical grounds. Specifically, the law requires that these spaces are properly marked on the pavement and have the traditional blue sign. If the spot was lacking these details, you would have no reason to know you were breaking the law and should not have been ticketed. You may also dispute a citation based on the ticket not being filled out properly. An example might be if the parking attendant did not specify the violation or did not supply his name or badge number.

Proving Your Case

Although you may believe you have appropriate grounds to contest your ticket, whether the administrative judge sides with you may come down to how well you can substantiate your case with evidence. For instance, a photograph showing the handicap spot you allegedly parked in would be helpful in proving that the space was insufficiently marked. The ticket itself and identifying information about your vehicle -- such as your registration -- can also be crucial pieces of evidence if you are challenging the citation on the grounds that the ticket was filled out wrong.

About the Author

Wayne Thomas earned his J.D. from Penn State University and has been practicing law since 2008. He has experience writing about environmental topics, music and health, as well as legal issues. Since 2011, Thomas has also served as a contributing editor for the "Vermont Environmental Monitor."