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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Exclamation Wrong Statute Cited on Parking Ticket

    My question involves traffic court in the State of: Washington

    I received a parking ticket in Skagit County, WA. The ticket cites RCW 46.61.570(a)(x), which refers to stopping, standing, or parking a vehicle "At any place where official signs prohibit stopping." However, the description written to the right of the statue by the officer says: Parking "No Parking" w/ Signs

    Since RCW 46.61.570(a)(x) refers to a signed "no stopping" zone and the area in which I was parked was actually signed as a "no parking" zone (and acknowledged as such on the ticket), do I have sufficient grounds to contest the ticket? I would assume that the correct RCW for parking in a signed "no parking" zone would be RCW 46.61.570(c)(ii), which refers to parking a vehicle "At any place where official signs prohibit parking."

    For what it's worth, this was along a rural stretch along the tulip fields during the tulip festival, and I was parked in the middle of a large gap (hundreds of feet) between "NO PARKING ANY TIME" signs (with no arrows). Most of the signs along this stretch were spaced much closer together, so I believed that this large gap between signs indicated that parking was permitted on this stretch, especially since I had parked on the same stretch of road for hours during the previous year's tulip festival, and it was signed similarly. While I do believe that an argument could be made for the sign not being legible from the distance where I was parked, I'm not sure this would help, nor do I have any evidence to back up my exact location in relation to the signs.

    It's only a $20 ticket, but if I have a chance of keeping it off my driving record ("traffic" is checked), then I would like to try. However, due to my distance from Skagit County (about 125 miles), I would most likely take the "hearing by mail" option. I understand that there is no appeal and an additional $10 will be due if I lose, but if $30 is the worst case scenario, I think it may be worth a shot. Then again, I may be missing something here, and maybe I'd be better off just paying the $20, letting it go on my record for 5 years (I currently have a clean driving record), and being done with it? Any thoughts?

    Thanks in advance for any replies.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Wrong Rcw Cited on Parking Ticket

    Your vehicle was standing, while it was parked. The ticket conveys the logic of this. You have a no starter on your argument.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Tacoma, WA

    Default Re: Wrong Rcw Cited on Parking Ticket

    Your driving record will not be affected as this is not a moving violation. Non-moving violations are not reported to DOL (but FTAs for even non-movers are).

    You are correct that (c)(ii) would be the most appropriate section to charge, but I doubt that you will beat the (a)(x) charge based on that. But, if you are willing to risk the extra $10, it wouldn't hurt to try!
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Re: Wrong Rcw Cited on Parking Ticket

    You could make a legal argument that you were charged with the wrong violation and therefore there were no legal grounds for the ticket and it must be dismissed. I would also argue that the distance of the signs did not provide an adequate or meaningful notice that parking was prohibited. No offense can be sustained when the notice that it was an offense wasn't legally adequate.

    Also include an affidavit which is a statement written under oath and witnessed by a notary explaining your belief that parking was permitted, that you parked there previously without a ticket and how far away the signs were which created the impression factually and legally that parking was permitted.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    CT & IL

    Default Re: Wrong Rcw Cited on Parking Ticket

    You only need to defend what you are being charged with ... if they charged you with an ordinance or statue that you are not guilty of then that's what you defend against...not some charge not associated with you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default Re: Wrong Rcw Cited on Parking Ticket

    Thanks for the replies. In the end, I've decided that it's not worth it to fight the $20 ticket. It still bothers me that it will go on my record (despite it being a non-moving violation, the ticket explicitly states that if "Traffic" is checked [which it is], it will go on my driving record), but I just figure it's not worth the time and effort. Still, I learned a lot reading these forums looking for answers, so thanks for that!

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