Charged with Parking in a Handicapped Spot?

For any driver that has ever pulled into a handicap spot without a placard or permit and been caught by a law enforcement officer, you know just how seriously California takes these laws. San Diego has a variety of events throughout the year that allow vehicles with placards go to an assigned parking area.

However, people make honest mistakes and forget they have the placard and had no intention of using it to obtain a better parking spot. In an era where families assist elderly persons who may be assigned the placard with more frequency, the use of the placard may be an oversight. Any violations that involve the illegal use, selling, theft, or forgery of handicap placards involve some of the largest penalties that can be incurred in a vehicle. In fact, some of the fines and jail time can meet or exceed that of DUIs or other forms of dangerous conduct. This is why the Law Offices of Mark Deniz believes that every driver should be made aware of the traffic code surrounding handicap spots, handicap placards, and their uses.

Handicap placards and permits are issued by the DMV and are very important legal items. Drivers may receive them for any number of conditions including arthritis, blood pressure issues, respiratory complications, or any problems with mobility. Attorney Mark Deniz has seen hundreds of cases where there have been a variety of issues. The laws concerning use of handicap placards are very strict and something that all drivers should understand. This is especially true for non-handicapped drivers that may be using the vehicle of a handicapped friend or relative.

There is only one instance in which a non-handicapped driver may use a handicapped placard to park in a specially designated spot in San Diego. This can only be done while transporting a disabled person. At no point can these placards be lent, bought, sold, or copied by another party. The only time that the handicapped placard may be used without the handicapped individual in the car is if the driver dropped them off before making their way to a parking spot.

Any illegal or misuse of these placards is considered to be fraud and comes with all of the penalties associated with fraud. Minimum fines begin at $250 but can go all the way up to $1,000 for a single offense. Drivers may also be imprisoned for up to six months in jail.

The Law Offices of Mark Deniz is here to help drivers that have been charged with handicap placard violations in San Diego.

VC 4461 (a)

A person shall not lend a certificate of ownership, registration card, license plate, special plate, validation tab, or permit issued to him or her if the person desiring to borrow it would not be entitled to its use, and a person shall not knowingly permit its use by one not entitled to it.

(b) A person to whom a disabled person placard has been issued shall not lend the placard to another person, and a disabled person shall not knowingly permit the use for parking purposes of the placard or identification license plate issued pursuant to Section 5007 by one not entitled to it. A person to whom a disabled person placard has been issued may permit another person to use the placard only while in the presence or reasonable proximity of the disabled person for the purpose of transporting the disabled person. A violation of this subdivision is subject to the issuance of a notice of parking violation imposing a civil penalty of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), for which enforcement shall be governed by the procedures set forth in Article 3 (commencing with Section 40200) of Chapter 1 of Division 17 or is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six months, or both that fine and imprisonment.

(c) Except for the purpose of transporting a disabled person as specified in subdivision (b), a person shall not display a disabled person placard that was not issued to him or her or that has been canceled or revoked pursuant to Section 22511.6. A violation of this subdivision is subject to the issuance of a notice of parking violation imposing a civil penalty of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), for which enforcement shall be governed by the procedures set forth in Article 3 (commencing with Section 40200) of Chapter 1 of Division 17 or is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six months, or both that fine and imprisonment.

(d) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a), (b), and (c), a person using a vehicle displaying a special identification license plate issued to another pursuant to Section 5007 shall not park in those parking stalls or spaces designated for disabled persons pursuant to Section 22511.7 or 22511.8, unless transporting a disabled person. A violation of this subdivision is subject to the issuance of a notice of parking violation imposing a civil penalty of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), for which enforcement shall be governed by the procedures set forth in Article 3 (commencing with Section 40200) of Chapter 1 of Division 17 or is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six months, or both that fine and imprisonment.

(e) For the purposes of subdivisions (b) and (c), "disabled person placard" means a placard issued pursuant to Section 22511.55 or 22511.59. 4461.3. In addition to any fine imposed for conviction of a violation of Section 4461 or 22507.8, a city or county may adopt an ordinance or resolution to assess an additional penalty of one hundred dollars ($100). All revenue generated from imposition of the penalty shall be used specifically for the purpose of improving enforcement of the provisions of this code relating to disabled parking spaces and placards within the city or county. Revenue generated from imposition of the penalty may not be used to supplant funds used for other general parking enforcement purposes, but may be used to offset the cost of establishing a new disabled parking enforcement program.

Contact the Law Office of Mark Deniz now for a free case evaluation at 858-429-9982.