Sometimes when people are running late and need to park quickly but can’t find a spot, they park in a spot that is prohibited. In New York, “double parking,” as it is called, is illegal and can result in a ticket. However, there are some instances in which an exception may be made. Here are just some of the defenses to a double parking ticket in New York.
1. Defective Ticket
In order for a ticket to be legally issued, it must include certain elements: 1) license plate number; 2) vehicle description; 3) accurate and detailed description of the location; 4) name of law enforcement officer; and 5) signature of the officer. If a ticket fails to include any of these elements or if the element is misdescribed or illegible, the ticket is defective.
2. Vacant Curbside Space
“Double parking” is defined as “standing or parking on the roadway side of a vehicle stopped, standing or parked at the curb.” However, if there was a vacant curbside space then the ticket should have been for a traffic lane violation rather than for double parking. This would also make the ticket defective if you can prove it.
3. Loading or Dropping Passengers
Since a double parking violation essentially is a non-standing violation, it means that you may not have your vehicle parked or standing idle regardless of whether it is occupied. However, you are still permitted to stop temporarily for the purpose of either dropping off or picking up passengers. So if you were loading or dropping passengers you have not violated the law.
4. Commercial Vehicle Working
When there isn’t any curbside parking within 100 feet of the vehicle, commercial vehicles may double park if they are making quick deliveries, service calls, etc. In order for this defense to be effective, you must show that your vehicle has a commercial license plate, you must write a letter explaining why you were stopped (for expeditious pickups, etc.), and include a letter from your employer explaining the nature of your job and that you were on the job at the time of the violation. However, it’s important to note that there are areas where this defense does not work.
5. Sudden Medical Emergency
Another defense to a double parking ticket is if you stopped your vehicle due to an unexpected medical emergency. This does not include doctor’s appointments or even scheduled c-sections – it must be unexpected. In order to prove this defense, you must submit a copy of your medical records. If the emergency involved a child, you can have their school draft a letter stating that the parent or caretaker was called to the school for a medical emergency involving the student.
These are just some of the many defenses available against a double parking ticket in New York. Since anyone can claim any of these defenses, having the proper proof is imperative. That’s why it’s smart to take photographs at the time of the offense, to secure witness information, and to preserve proof whenever reasonably possible.
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