Handicap Parking Violation in a Spot Without a Sign

Every state across America has both statutes and ordinances that outline the determination of a parking violation. Statutes are state protected laws that clearly determine the guidelines to creating parking situations that enable the safe and orderly functioning of any parking lot or structure, while ordinances are imposed by local governments in order to enforce the laws set by the statutes. Because of this, a parking violation can either be a minor infraction which will get a driver a simple warning, or a situation where someone’s vehicle is parked incorrectly or placed in an area that is designated for either disabled persons, pregnant or elderly people, or a purpose outside of parking.  As such, it is important to understand the rules for a handicap parking violation

Handicap vs. No-Parking 

Designated areas for people who are disabled are required by state statutes across the U.S. in all public parking situations, in order to allow people who are disabled easier access to public areas. These parking spots are often the closest spots to the entry or usage point of the establishment or venue, with an area next to each parking spot that allows for the accessibility of side-loading wheelchairs or apparatuses that assist those individuals with disabilities to be mobile.

In most cases, these spots are clearly marked by both reflective traffic paint and a posted reflective blue and white sign displaying that the spot is designated for individuals with disabilities. Typically, the spot will be marked in some manner, either by signage or by the universal handicap symbol being emblazoned in reflective paint on the surface used for the parking lot or structure. 

No-parking areas, however, typically require less signage to mark the area than those designated for people with disabilities. Any no-parking zone is placed strategically for three reasons.

  • Either the spot is to be left open for public safety, as in cases when the area in front of a fire hydrant needs to be left available for access, or 
  • The spot is marked no-parking in order to keep the visibility range open at an intersection.
  • The other instances where a no-parking area is designated is by a private business that requires the area be left accessible so that the loading and unloading of parcels either to the business or from the business can be performed in an uninhibited manner.

In any of these situations, a vehicle can be ticketed for the violation of the designation according to state statutes or local ordinances, and in some cases, the vehicle may be towed by law enforcement and impounded. 

If You’re Ticketed in a Spot Without a Sign

If you park your vehicle in a parking lot and return to find it’s been ticketed or towed, you must first verify that no proper visible signage exists. If the symbol for a disabled parking spot is painted on the ground, or the words “disabled parking only” are displayed on the ground in the parking spot, the ticket will be valid. However, if no reasonable signage exists, you may contest this ticket and/or towing fee in court by appearing at the designated court date given for the offense with pictures of the stall you parked in and either have your ticket dismissed, the tow fee will be reimbursed, or at worst your violation could be lowered in penalty. You must, however, be able to prove that no proper signage exists to designate the area either handicapped or no-parking.

Getting Help

If you find yourself facing a ticket you believe was issued unfairly, it is important you get the help of a qualified attorney who specializes in traffic disputes. Your lawyer can help you take the proper steps to prove the penalties are unfounded. 

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