The next in my series of legal DIY's is the classic parking ticket. Now you may have been enjoying your day only to come outside and see you have a $30 parking ticket! What a way to ruin your day isn't it? The truth is with my system you will get most parking tickets down to $10 which is about $2 more then it costs to park in a garage downtown.
Id like to state again that this is general legal advice that explains a few options to you, and my opinon on how a ticket should be handled. I am not a paralegal I am not a lawyer. Im someone whos gotten a lot of yellow slips under there windsheild and like to type to save me explaining this process everytime via pm.
These rules apply for Toronto, you can interpret my rules and proceeed in any small towns but I have no advice for you as Ive never received a parking ticket outside of toronto.
Lets get started shall we? Uh oh, theres a parking enforcment guy looking at my plate writing something down, im getting a ticket what should I do?
NOTE THE BELOW ADVICE OF RUNNING NO LONGER WORKS WITH TORONTO'S COMPUTER TICKET ENTRY. IF YOUR TICKET IS GENERATED BY THOSE HAND HELD PRINTERS ONCE YOUR IN THE SYSTEM YOUR BOOKED.
In the words of Jerry Seinfeld LIFT THOSE KNEES AND RUN. IMPORTANT
A parking enforcement officer MUST and I repeat MUST place a ticket under your windsheild or hand it to the driver to be valid. There are NO exceptions to this rule. Must be under the windsheild or handed to the driver otherwise the ticket is not deemed served and invalid. Parking enforcment officers know this and if it doesnt go under your wipers you wont be getting your ticket in the mail. Important
Parking enforcement are slimeballs. I hate em, frankly I got airhorns in my car and give em a good toot everytime there handing out tickets. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE TALK TO THESE LOW LIVES
(sorry if theres any Parking enforcment officers that drive 7th gens, but im sure your used to the hate) That parking enforcement officer will not even listen to you he will just continue writing and serve you the ticket. Theres no getting out of a ticket if he just served it. If hes writing it and hasnt served it GET THE FOCK OUTTA THERE! Just get in your car and put your keys in the ignition. IMPORTANT
if you are in your car with the keys in the ignition you are deemed able to move your vechile in the event of an emergency. This will get you off a ticket and this will make him move on to the next car.
Times this DOESNT apply is
Offences that interfier with the flow of traffic - RESPSECT THESE RULES OR YOU WILL BE TOWED
no stopping zones
handicap spots (parking enforcment WILL pull up behind you and block you in, Ive seen this done twice at best buy, its like the officers favorite move)
fire hydrants / siamese connectsions,
or rush hour routes (any no parking sign that says 3:30-6:30 or any thirty).
Remember if you get a ticket for any of the offences I just mentioned within 20 minutes of getting your ticket you WILL be towed. Trust me I know tow truck drivers, they know parking enforcments routes and are ready to tow you for the fun and money of it. I will cover what you should do to get your car off of a tow truck.
I am giving everyone options to fight tickets here, if you enjoy my information for the sake of all drivers. DO NOT INTERFIER with the flow of traffic. The above offences (no stopping etc) are the reason why parking enforcement is around. Parking your car on yonge st during rush hour is just rude and not courtous. However NO PARKING zones should be considered premimum pay parking zones. Remember once you get a parking ticket you can pretty much park there for at least another 3 hours before you even have the chance of getting another ticket. If you get 3 tickets you can and will be towed. The above rules I mentioned are rules I respect, they create dangerous situations and can cause accidents and traffic jams. IMPORTANT
if you see a sign that says "10pm to 10am BY PERMIT ONLY. These are streets that require street parking permits (or handicap permits) and are resereved mainly for people who live in the area. These signs are strictly enforced especially downtown and you WILL receive a ticket. Make sure you read signs as "not knowing" is not an excuse that will work in court. These streets are so tempting because they usually have spots free.
If its just a NO PARKING zone as long as theres someone in the drivers seat with the keys in the ignition, the engine doesnt even have to be running. Remember there is a 3 minute idle limit in Toronto, and they do little blitz's on idling once and a while. Cabs & trucks get busted big time.
So now that we've dealt with dodging a ticket, lets deal with the ugly. OHHHHH $HIT IM GETTING TOWED?! MY BABY!
Okay so you arrived at your car to find some tow truck driver putting wheels on your car. Remember unless he's left yet theres still a good chance of getting off. First LOOK AT THE TICKET. 20 minutes MUST have passed for him to tow you (often times they'll have your car blocked in ready to tow you and lift you at exactly 20)
this is important THE LAW STATES
a person cannot be inside a car while its being towed. So even if he has the wheels on your car dont talk to him. Just get in your car, and take a nap.
This may or may not get your *** kicked by tow truck drivers. Most of them are bikers and if you have the money you can pay em off to just leave. I wouldnt. Your risking a punch in the fact but Id just tell the tow truck driver that I cant afford a tow, and i am just going to sit in the car and see what happens. If your car is already up, but the dude doesnt have lights on it. Stand infront of your car. He wont run you over. The moment he threatens you, call the police. Non emergency number is 416 808 2222. Personally id never call the police but if this biker is holding a bat next to your car do what you gotta do.
In general dont mess with tow truck drivers, these guys are biker and gang related. If you have to go to the impound to pick up your car, make sure you ask to see the ticket before they release the car. If the 20 minutes hasnt passed or they lost your ticket your car will be released for free.
How do you know where you have been towed? I dont have the number on me but if you can remember 808 2222 they have a link to T.A.G.S which can tell you if your cars been stolen or just towed and where its been towed to.
Be careful on private property, if your towed on a city street you'll likely be dragged by the ACC. If its private property Ive had my car towed from Yonge and Gerrard to St. Clair and Old Weston (eewwwww) $40 cab ride Okay so I have my car back and now I still have this stupid ticket, how do I get it down to $10 Adam?
Good question, tickets are frustrating and you must decide now if your time is worth $30 an hour. Fighting a parking ticket wont take you more then an hour unless theres a long line at the ticket office, or you arrive late for court.
You will not and I repeat WILL NOT get a court date for a year. I look at parking tickets as a short term loan and some free parking
I am using the number $30 assuming everyone has a park signed highway during prohibited times/days (mumbo jumbo for no parking zone) - if you have a bigger ticket like no stopping no standing you will in 90% of cases have a signifigant reduction, usually half. So how do I get ball rolling?
Simple, just go to the address on the back of the ticket. If you can avoid TAGS at John and Wellington. Its often times the busist. I go to Mel Last Man Square but the one on lawrence and duffrin aint that bad either.
Request a trial option. You will be asked to fill out a small form roughly the size of a parking ticket. They will ask for the owners name (the vechile owner) and who will be representing them in court. NOW IS THE TIME TO ASK
for an interpreter (they'll get one) and REQUEST NIGHT COURT (you'll get it too)
So now they should hand you a receipt and give you the usual run down of if you dont get a trial notice in 6 months to call. The truth is you WONT, youll be getting one in a year. Still call. Find out if a date has been set or not. If the tickets lost in the system which happened to me ONCE calling or not calling wont make the ticket re-appear.
Remember you miss your court date you get defualt fines which turn that $30 ticket in a $47. If you miss a court date or are unable to appear, have a friend deliver a basic letter that says
"To whom it may concern"
"Adam is out of town on this day and is unable to appear in regards to offence #xxxxx"
"In my place I allow 7thgen to enter a guility plea on my behalf, if this is not possible i would like to request a new court date, the following dates would be ideal for me"
"The week of the xxx month of the xx"
"I assure the courts if an adjournment is possible I will be able to make the next court date"
An agent may not make a plea on your behalf as innocent. If you werent driving dont lie and say you were, judges hate that and lieing in court is disrespectful.
If you feel your time is worth too much you can get pretty much ANYONE to enter a guility plea with for you in the form of a letter. Whether or not the court choose's to adjourn
(re-schedule another date) the matter is up to them. If you write a detailed letter explaining why you were parked there the courts will likely lower it to $10. Have the person appearing for you deliver 2 copies of the letter, one for the courts and one for him to read off of.
Simple, courts love letters. Its all about writing. Keep in mind, courts are bugged.
Everything you say can be recoreded and usually is "for the record". There not going to come after you for lieing but dont go back on anything you've said. Okay so I got my court date what should I do when I get there?
If you care about time MAKE SURE YOU GET THERE EARLY! This is not always the case but for the most part the first ones to check in are the first ones to leave. Keep in mind parking at old city hall (where a majority of night court trials go down) is difficult at best. There is also a lot of traffic around Bay and Queen and if you arnt good at U turns you may have to go up Bay to Edward, To Gould down victoria and back over to queen. Remember no left or right turns to or from yonge off of dundas and queen.
There is parking on the street parallel to the court house and behind it. Both are one way streets and parking is usually not availible. You may want to consider the new city hall garage (Nathan Philips Square) or parking off of victoria street and walking through the mall. There are some decent street parking spots on the streets behind new city hall off of dundas. About a 4 minute walk.
Also keep in mind you will be screened through an airport style metal detector and x-ray machine if your are at old city hall. There are lockers availible at the Eaton center. There are lines sometimes so a lot an extra 5-10 minutes for being screened and finding the courts. Ask the security guards to point you in the direction of your court room. If your late
its not that big of a deal but its going to add some unneccasary extra time. Courts usually start about 4-10 minutes after they actually are scheduled to depending on when the judge feels like walking in. If a judge is in a rush he will come right in and if you are late you just wont be called until there is an appropriate break to speak to the prosecutor. Prosecutor is responsible for the attendance.
So basically your going to be stuck there for about half an hour til the judge decides to get up and get a coffee. DO NOT talk in court, when you walk in late be as quiet as possible. Exagerate a bit like closing the door slowly and sitting down quickly and quietly. If you are really late watch the court through the small windows and come in when at the very least another person is sitting down, if possible just wait for the break because you wont be able to do anything until the judge asks for a recess (recess is just like grade school a break). Not interupting court earns you respect which increases your odds of getting your ticket off.
Double check your cell phones, turn off vibrate. Should your cell phone go off, swift and meaningful aplogies
judges dont usually care that much. Prosecutors tend to make smart a$$ comments on it though. Happens all the time too, so double check. I even saw one of the prosecutors phones go off. Any non religious head gear should be taken off before you walk into court. NOD YOUR HEAD
-Walking into a court room with the judge present
-When approching the bench to answer
to your charge (answer = talking to the judge)
-When you have received the verdict ($10 fine blah blah blah)
-As you leave the court room.
Noding sould not be exaggerated. Its a sign of respect and you will see all officals do it. A semi nod is all that is required.
Stand up any time the judge is entering the court room. The prosecutor or clerk will announce the judge and say "All rise". DO IT.
When you get to court you will have to check in with the Prosecutor. If anyone has read my previous DIY they will know that the prosecutor is your ENEMY. He or she will tell you whether or not the parking enforcement officer is there. If the parking officer isn't there YOU GET YOUR TICKET OFF FREE!
this unfortunatly rarly happens, however there attendance is mandatory.
the prosecutor will ask you what you would like to plea, you have 3 options
2) guility with explanation
What you should plea will be covered next Okay am I innocent or guility?
The only times you are innocent of a parking ticket is under the following conditions.
1) The ticket is not your car, this means it is entirly wrong.
2) You have a valid street permit (for city street parking at night)
2) You are handicap and have a handicap pass present. A handicap pass will excuse you from No Parking Zones however are not excused from parking which interfiers with traffic (the above conditions) I have however seen judges give no fines (referred to as suspended sentances) to handicap people.
If you do not satisfy these conditions guility with an explanation is probably your best bet as the amount of parking tickets your found guility of has NO effect on you whatsoever. The judge is here and my name was called. What should I say?
Okay surprisingly enough parking ticket judges are not just random joes, they are respected judges who do parking matters as well (why I have no idea). Anyways the key here is bowing your head when you come up and always using sir or madaam. The proper terms beleive it or not are your worship not your honour (honour is an american thing). Sir or Madam is sufficent.
I cant tell you what to say in court but here is an example of what i said once
"[bow] Good evening your worship, on the day of the offence I was sleeping in the back seat of my car since I had a big gap between classes. I wake up and I was tagged.
The judge basically interrogated me as to where the location of the car was, and I replied it was on a street close to campus where it was only a No Parking Zone and did not interfier with the flow of traffic. Judges will test you to see if it was acually you driving that day, DONT LIE FOR SOMEONE ELSE! Had I lied he would have busted me because I had to describe exactly where this street was.
The prosecutor replies "prosecution has no objections to lowering the ticket"
the judge (who really hated that prosector said) "You have no objections to it being lowered?[a real a$$hole thing to say] (in a sarcastic manner as if the prosecutor challenged the judges authority) SUSPENDED SENTANCE you are free to go sir."
Suspended Sentance is your goal, that menas no fines!
Usually if you can speak with some degree of confidence your tickets will be lowered to $10. Bigger tickets will be cut in half. Ive dealth with a few tickets for other people too, I got a No Stopping $60 ticket down to $25 with 90 days to pay. Other then that I pretty much have never had to pay more then $10 for a ticket but have gotten off free on about 40% of them.
other excused Ive heard people use
"I was just going to the bank and the lot was full"
"I deliver pizza and there was no other parking"
"There was so much snow on my windsheild the officer didnt see my handicap pass"
If you dont have an excuse dont lie, just say. I was going to this night club. Didn't have cash on me to park, nobody took credit cards so I just took the risk. I am really sorry blah blah blah and you should have NO problem getting your ticket signifgantly reduced. Be honest, even own up to your mistake. I've seen judges give out $15 down from $30 to people who are lieing and just slowing the courts down. If your civil and build acceptable rapport with the judge your walking out of there for $10 so sometimes you dont even need an excuse.
After all im sure judges have parked illegally.
Respect is everything, and honesty is a great part of that. Parking court is EXTREAMLY formal, similar to a traffic court and even bares strong resembelance to criminal courts. So I received my sentance
So the judge will say something like You have been found guility of the following offences, and a fine payble to the courts of $10 has been issued with 30 days to pay. [This your time to ask for more time btw, but DONT interupt the judge]
Any time they change something its usually said again for the record. important
You will see this little fence type thing behind the prosecutor. When you answer to the judge you should be a step or two in front of it, never too close but past the fence.
Remember When you are infront of it you MUST never ever turn your back to the judge
. You are "answering to him" so do not interupt him and when he hands down your sentance. They will give you oppurtunities to speak and thats when you can ask for 60 days, 60 days is resonable as you have better things to do then rush to pay a parking ticket.
Once the decisions been made he'll probably say it again for the record. You will then be dismissed. When you it is appropriate you must walk backwards until you cross that fence
Im not joking, turning your back to the judge is extreamly disrespectful. So do not look behind you at any point as well.
The reason I say this is one time the prosecutor turned his back to the judge and he FLIPPED. Got me off my ticket though but I recommend you follow that rule. You will usually only be one or two steps infront of the fence.
The key things to remember is:
1) Dont talk to parking enforcment, you CANNOT talk your way out of a ticket once it is served.
2) If your ticket isn't served yet (under your windshield or in your hand) GET OUTTA HERE, FAST FAST FAST. Its almost like a game.
3) Fight your tickets, Go to the parking enforcement office in the morning to ensure no lines, get to court early and you can be outta there in 25 minutes.
4) I did this once out in whistler, someone was parked at our hotels temporary parking. Tow truck driver came by to tow it, I just sat on the tailgate of the guys truck drinking a beer, and telling the tow truck driver it was my truck and I would move it once im done this beer. He came by 3 times before the owner came out to thank me. No I didnt get my *** kicked (got pretty close to it)
So if you see a buddies car or something getting hooked up, just tell teh dude its your car and if the cars not in the air he'll **** right off.
Anyways ill review this later as Im sure its full of spelling and gramatical mistakes but enjoy guys.
-Adam + rep & sticky me