Summons for a Parking Violation in New York City

Parking in New York City is no easy task, as anyone who's tried it probably knows already. Limited spaces, drivers in a rush, tons of traffic, and pedestrians everywhere make it a true challenge to park safely as well as legally. It's not unusual, then, to find yourself faced with a parking summons for New York city parking violations. A parking summons is otherwise known as a parking ticket, and is a likely result if you violate a rule. Tourists and visitors, especially, who may not be aware of the local ordinances, are inclined to end up with that tell-tale slip of paper on their windshields.

What to Do About New York City Parking Violations

So what do you do? Well, depending on the nature of the violation and the cost of it to you, you have a few options.

  • The first is, of course, just to pay it. Your parking summons will tell you in straightforward detail what you did wrong, how much you owe, and where you're supposed to send payment by a certain date. If you're willing to pay up, the good news is that you have a few different ways to go about it, and can choose the one that's most convenient for you. Just make sure to act on the summons within 30 days, or else more fines may be added to the original total.
  • To pay by mail, you should simply mail the summons, along with a check or money order, to the address indicated.
  • The summons will likely list a few other things you can do, like paying in person at one of multiple locations, or paying over the phone with a credit card. Some methods may involve processing fees. If you mail your payment, do so in time for it to reach its destination and be processed before that 30-day limitation is up.

Of course, just like in any other city, you can protest a New York City parking summons. This may not be the wisest choice if you're just a visitor to the city – it might end up costing you more money to stick around and defend yourself than it would just to pay the fine (depending on how steep the fine actually is). However, if you're local, or if the fine seems unfair to you, you are welcome to file a dispute, which sets you up to have a hearing on the ticket. The dispute must be filed within 30 days, and it will prevent you from incurring any further fines until the hearing is held. However, you must be present for the hearing, and you must have solid evidence that you don't deserve the ticket. Unless you happened to take photos of your parked car, or unless you have some other forms of hard proof, you're probably fighting an uphill battle.

A summons for a parking violation anywhere is an irritating situation to face. In New York City, where parking is such a challenge, it's a more common scenario than it is elsewhere, and if you find yourself in such a situation, you do have options. The question is which one is simplest – and cheapest – for you.

Getting Help

If you receive a summons in New York for a parking violation, you may want to talk to a lawyer to find out how best to proceed. If you want to contest the ticket and you don't actually want to return to New York, the good news is a lawyer may be able to appear on your behalf and make arguments for you so you don't get stuck with unfair penalties.

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