Is A Parking Ticket A Misdemeanor?
Very often people tend to ask if a parking ticket is classified as a misdemeanor or how many consecutive parking infractions will amount to a misdemeanor under certain laws. This piece will help answer your question, tell you what counts as a misdemeanor, and show you how you can contest and win your tickets no matter where you live in the U.S using .
A misdemeanor is simply an unserious crime. Technically, it is a crime because it means a violation of an established law has occurred. However, crimes classified as a misdemeanor rank low on the scale of severity and impact to the society.
Categories of Misdemeanors
In the hierarchy of most state laws, a misdemeanor is separate from an infraction and ranks higher in severity. Most states in the US specify punishments of up to one year of jail time and other additional punishments. In places like Texas and most other states, misdemeanors are further classified into three types based on the severity of the crime, frequency of occurrence, and impact on society. The typical classes are:
|Class of misdemeanor||Definition|
|Class A or 1||The most serious class of misdemeanors. Typically, misdemeanors result in some form of damage or bodily injury. They are usually punishable by an incarceration period between 180 to 360 days as well as other punishments such as fines.
An example of such a crime is petty theft.
|Class B or 2||Following closely is a class B misdemeanor that typically warrants jail periods between 90 to 180 days.
Prostitution, sodomy, and destructive gambling usually fall within this category.
|Class C or 3||These classes of misdemeanors are the lightest of all and are usually punishable for only the periods of 0 to 90 days.
Shoplifting and repeated traffic tickets fall in this category as an example.
Does My Parking Ticket Qualify as a Misdemeanor?
It depends on the area you live in. Places like Maryland will serve you a citation that is registered as a misdemeanor if you park later than stipulated hours in some specific locations. In most other places, however, your parking ticket will most likely pass as an infraction, which is slightly lower in severity than the lowest form of a misdemeanor. You need to be careful as multiple tickets received within a short period of time can count as a class C misdemeanor in some circumstances. This is because you likely have little interest in keeping the laws as much as you do breaking them.
I Just Got a Parking Ticket, What Next?
You should contest it or pay for it. Contesting your ticket means appealing to the issuing authorities based on certain reasons which you believe proves the fine as inappropriate or undeserving altogether. Here are some of the most common defenses people put up for appeals:
- The ticket wrongly stated your address, vehicle type, license plate, or other registration details
- You got a ticket due to a provable emergency
- You had a vehicle breakdown when receiving the ticket
- Warning signs were absent in the area the ticket was issued
- You got a ticket for an unregistered vehicle
- You got multiple citations for the same offense in less than three hours
- The ticketed vehicle no longer belongs to you
Does a Citation Affect My Insurance?
Not immediately. However, tickets can affect your insurance premiums if you get multiple tickets and choose to ignore them. Multiple violations, when accumulated and unpaid, will hinder your chances of renewing your license which puts a strain on your auto insurance. It is always best to pay or appeal your ticket within the required time frame.
What If I Decide To Pay?
If you have weighed all of your options and found the chance of an appeal impossible, you can go ahead and pay your fine. Usually, traffic ticket issuers offer various ways of payment. You can pay by phone, mail, online, or in-person. Call the traffic ticket issuer or find them online for more information.
I Want to Ignore My Citation Instead
You should never ignore your citation. If you find it exploitative you can contest it, otherwise you should go ahead and pay.
Whichever decision you make must be made within the acceptable time limit to avoid additional fines and all other complications.
An ignored ticket can:
- Increase your fine (in increments)
- Mark your vehicle for booting or towing
- Affect your credit rating
- Qualify you for an entry into the misdemeanor register
How Does DoNotPay Contest Tickets for Me?
DoNotPay requires you to follow a series of simple steps to get an appeal prepared. Here is the process below:
- Go to and select the Traffic Disputes category
- Truthfully answer questions regarding your appeal and upload a photo of your ticket
- Provide a statement on why you think you don’t deserve the ticket
- Choose whether you want DoNotPay to mail the appeal for you
That’s it! DoNotPay will mail your appeal (if you want us to). The appeal letter will contain all the necessary information and evidence to back your case.