Can You Go to Jail For Parking Tickets?
Going to jail is a legitimate concern for anyone who finds themselves on the wrong side of the law, no matter how minor the offense is. Serving jail time means that your offense goes on your permanent record, which may have serious repercussions on other areas of your life thereafter.
Chances are you've heard all the horrid stories about what happens to people in jail either from the news or movies. You might be wondering if failing to pay your parking tickets might land you in jail. DoNotPay can help clear up everything you need to know about parking tickets, how to pay them, how to dispute, and the consequences of not paying them altogether.
Can You Be Jailed For Unpaid Parking Tickets?
Getting a parking ticket implies that you may have violated a parking rule and you have to pay your dues. A parking violation is considered a minor infraction according to several state laws and, as such, is not punishable by a jail term.
What Happens If I Don't Pay My Parking Tickets?
Failure to pay for your parking ticket has consequences, such as:
|Heavy Fines and Interest Charges||Most cities across the US have a 15 to 30-day deadline for paying for parking tickets. After the deadline, they impose an additional fine of up to $100, which accrues more interest the longer you take to clear your fines. For instance, unpaid parking tickets in New York City attract a $60 penalty and an additional 9% interest per annum.|
Your Vehicle Can Be Towed Or Booted
|Traffic and patrol police in every city have records of every vehicle within the city. If the police run your plates and find that you have unpaid parking tickets, they have the right to either boot or tow your vehicle, per Department of Motor Vehicle regulations.
This is irrespective of whether you were legally parked at the time.
|Vehicle Seizure||If your vehicle is towed or booted for failure to pay for parking tickets, you have to clear with the city's finance department and the tow yard to reclaim your car. However, if you don't pay your fines for an extended period, the city can auction your vehicle and use the proceeds to offset your pending parking tickets.|
|Lower Credit Score||Outstanding parking tickets are a debt owed to the city finance department and, when reported to the credit bureau, may have a negative impact on your credit score. Failure to tend to your parking tickets shows a sign of financial negligence, which lenders don't take kindly towards.
Agreements between lenders and borrowers are based on trust. If you can't pay for your parking tickets, lenders can't trust that you'll pay back your loan.
|Lose Your Driver's License||When you have multiple unpaid tickets, the city may report you to the DMV, who then may decide to suspend your driver's license or deny your car registration renewal. Driving without a license or registration may land you in deeper problems with the law.|
Can I Contest My Parking Ticket?
You can dispute a parking ticket if you feel like you didn't commit any parking violation. In most cities, you have up to 15 days from the date the ticket was issued to dispute. You can file a dispute:
- Via mail
When your dispute is received, a hearing date will be set by the respective court and you'll get a chance to lead your case.
What Are the Grounds For Contesting a Parking Ticket?
Before you dispute a parking ticket, you should have valid grounds for disputing, such as:
- The car belonged to someone else at the time of the violation
- Someone else was driving the car at the time of the violation
- Faded street signs
- Parking restrictions were unclear in the given street
- Errors or missing information on the issued tickets
Do I Have to Hire an Attorney to Contest Parking Tickets?
Parking violations are not serious offenses and not much is required to plead your case, so a lawyer isn't necessary. However, the process of disputing parking tickets can be lengthy and tedious, taking your time away from more important things.
DoNotPay can help you save time by filing a parking ticket dispute on your behalf, so you can focus on your day-to-day life.
DoNotPay Can Help You Contest Parking Tickets In Any City In Less Than 120 Seconds
Here's how to get started:
- Log-in to DoNotPay and find the Parking Tickets product.
- Upload a photo of your parking ticket.
- Provide us with some details on why you believe the parking ticket is a mistake.
- Select whether or not you want the letter mailed to the traffic ticket issuer on your behalf!
- That's it! You'll receive an appeal letter that contains state vehicle codes to boost your case.
It's really that simple! Look out for your traffic ticket issuer's response to discover whether you won!
DoNotPay has filed and won over 160,000 parking ticket cases and yours wouldn't be any different. We can help you fight parking tickets in any city, including:
Why Use DoNotPay?
DoNotPay is the first of its kind, helping users get access to a ton of information and service from both public and private companies with just a few button clicks.
Although you can't go to jail for a parking ticket, you might get into serious trouble following the repercussions of not paying for your parking ticket. DoNotPay saves you from dealing with more issues down the road by helping you pay for your parking tickets within minutes and sort out any other legal or administrative issues you may have. Sign up today to get started.