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Lawful Use of a Disability Placard
The intended use of disability placards is to give disabled drivers permission to use handicapped parking spaces. Recipients typically have impaired mobility or have lost the use of both hands due to a disease or disability. A temporary or permanent placard may be obtained after submitting proper documentation, but each does have an expiration date. It’s legal to drive a vehicle that displays a disability placard or license plate if you park the car in a regular, unreserved spot. If you were unaware that someone else was in possession of your valid placard, you are not in violation of the law.
The parking privileges granted to those with a valid placard include:
– On-street metered spaces with no fees
– Any parking spaces featuring the wheelchair symbol (International Symbol of Access)
– Use of spots next to a blue curb
– No time limit in spots next to a green curb that indicate limited time parking
Disability Placard Misuse
It is illegal to use an expired placard, use a placard that does not belong to you, display or be in possession of a placard that is counterfeit, or use incorrect information to obtain a disability placard. The same laws apply if you have a placard revoked or cancelled because it’s no longer considered valid. In addition, it’s illegal to lend your placard to another person if they are not actively providing your transportation. These situations are considered placard abuse, and there are legal consequences if caught.
Possible Penalties for Disability Placard Misuse
An investigation of the case circumstances is going to determine if the handicapped parking fraud is charged as a simple infraction or a misdemeanor. The lesser charge is a $250 to $1,000 fine that must be paid by the defendant that was illegally parked in a handicap spot. An individual is going to have the same fine, in addition to a maximum of six months in jail, for a first-time misdemeanor conviction. The court might also add a civil penalty of $1,500 in some circumstances. Repeat offenders of handicap parking fraud might have their fine raised to a maximum of $3,500.
Circumstances that would result in additional charges include the production of counterfeit placards, attempting to pass a false or forged handicapped parking placard, or unlawfully selling a placard.
If caught misusing a disabled parking placard, providing false information to the police officer is an additional misdemeanor offense. Fraudulently using a service dog or claiming to be a trainer is a misdemeanor offense that could result in six months in county jail with a $1,000 fine.
Legal Representation in Your Disability Placard Misuse Case
Plenty of defendants facing charges of misusing disability placards do not realize that it’s considered a serious offense. Our experienced defense attorneys will discuss your case with confidentiality and without judgement. It’s in your best interest to have our firm on your side to ensure the best outcome in your criminal case. We will do what it takes to evaluate the details of your case to provide the absolute best defense.