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Most people would believe misusing a handicapped parking placard is no big deal since you’re not hurting anyone, right? Actually, misusing a handicapped parking placard is a serious offense in California and can be punishable with fines, jail time and even a criminal record. Our attorneys can help you fight a charge of misusing a handicapped parking placard and help you get a successful outcome for your case.
Handicapped Parking Fraud
A handicapped parking placard is prescribed by a health care physician. This abuse of a handicapped parking placard is considered fraud and under the California Vehicle Code Section 4461, it is considered fraud if:
• An individual lends a valid handicapped parking placard to a friend that is not entitled to use it
• An individual allows another individual to use the handicapped parking placard that is not entitled to use it
• An individual displays a handicapped parking placard that was either not issued by or was revoked or cancelled the DMV
• An individual drives someone else’s car that displays a valid handicapped parking placard and then parks in a disabled person’s parking spot
Here’s an example, your father is disabled and has a handicapped parking placard and you use his car that has the handicapped placard and you go to the store for him while he is sick. You have trouble finding a parking space so you park in a disabled parking spot for the fifteen minutes you are shopping. You can be charges for handicapped parking fraud under the Vehicle Code Section 4461. The most commonly misused areas of handicapped parking placards include college campuses, mall parking lots and business districts.
Handicapped Parking Fraud Charge Defense
If you are charged with Handicapped Parking Fraud, you could be facing jail time plus fines.
The best possible defense to this charge is if you were transporting the disabled individual when the incident happened. An example is you were taking your father to the store and he has a valid Handicapped Parking Placard and you had dropped him off at the door of the building and then went and parked the vehicle. Even though you were along in the car when you parked, you were still transporting him and cannot be charged for handicapped parking fraud.
Penalty for a Handicapped Parking Fraud Conviction
The punishment can range from an infraction to a misdemeanor. An infraction will see a fine of up to $1000 while a misdemeanor could have a sentence of a fine of up to $1000 and up to six months in county jail. An additional civil penalty can also be imposed of $1,500 and any subsequent offense can have a fine of up to $3,500.
Misuse of Handicapped Parking Placards Additional Charges
There can also be the additional charges of:
• Creating Counterfeit Handicapped Parking Placards
• Making someone else display a Counterfeit Handicapped Parking
• Possessing or forging a Fraudulent Public
• Lying to the DMV or CHP
• Lying to a Peace Officer
All of these charges can carry fines and possible time in a county jail.
If you are facing a charge of Handicapped Parking Fraud, call our attorneys immediately to help get your case resolved. Our attorneys will look at the facts of the charge and help you receive the best possible outcome for your case.