Revenge of the Parking Tickets
On March 24, 14 year-old, Annie James of Baytown, Texas saw a police car illegally parked in her neighborhood, she decided to teach the officer a lesson. So she hand-wrote him a $10 parking ticket and placed it on the windshield of the patrol car that was parked in a fire zone. The officer saw the ticket, found it amusing and actually paid $10 to the young woman.
Man, that would feel good. Unfortunately, revenge on parking tickets is not that sweet, so we felt we would put together some tips on how to avoid parking tickets at the source!
Chicago is considered to be among the worst parking cities in the world. For outsiders to make jokes must be easy, but for those of us who actually live here, we’re not laughing. Parking in the Windy City is tough and expensive, but tack on parking tickets and the whole experience is worthy of a horror film. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t get a ticket, or if you do, how to handle them.
Residential Parking Permit – Many neighborhoods like Lakeview have certain streets or wards that require you to have a parking permit to use that spot. Some of the these restrictions are for the entire day, so there is no parking there at all. Luckily most of these spots have timing restrictions such as no parking after 6 PM. Make sure you read the street signs very carefully so you know which streets are acceptable for you to park at.
Expired Parking Meters – The unfortunate truth in Chicago is that an expired meter is one of the quickest and easiest ways for you to receive a ticket. Luckily you can now pay online via credit card, so no need to carry a whole bowl of quarters to make sure you can stay at your spot all day. With that being said, make sure you read the notes on each PayBox. Some streets only allow you to park a max of 2 hours while others have no maximum. Street parking in Chicago can range from $1.50 to $5.00 and hour.
4 Ways to Beat a Ticket
Let’s face it, no matter how prepared you are, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and park illegally or overstay your meter time. Tickets will happen. But knowing how to deal a ticket is just as important as how to prepare yourself for one.
1. Request a hearing to contest your ticket
You have 14 days after the ticket is written to request a hearing. As you’ll see below, your chances of having the ticket dismissed go up dramatically if contested.
2. Research and state your challenge and reasoning for appealing your ticket
Go to the City of Chicago‘s website to learn about the city’s objection rules are. This site will show you the exact wording of the citation and give you a leg up on the officer who wrote the citation.
3. State your defense at the hearing
There are many different defenses you could pose against the ticket, either way you will have to decide if you want legal representation. The legal fees can be expensive so use this wisely. If you do the proper research against the ticket you received you shouldn’t necessarily need a lawyer to represent you.
4. Dress the part
Show up to the court on time, dress the part and stick to your plan. The judge will take notice if you take this seriously and a good amount of the time, the officer will not show up. If you represent yourself in a professional manner, you have a great chance!
Good news! According to a study the Chicago Tribune conducted in 2009, 75% of all contested tickets are dismissed! Thats right, the city can talk the talk, but they can’t walk the walk!
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According to the City of Chicago, the following are the financial terms associated with each fine:
- Parking Without a Residential Parking Permit | $75
- Within 15′ of Fire Lane | $150
- Street Cleaning Violation | $60
- 3am – 7am Snow Route | $60
- Park/Stand/Motor Running In Wrigley Bus Permit Zone | $100
- Speeding Violation +6-11mph | $35
- Speeding Violation +11mph | $100