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Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly, Crim Defense Atty
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1801
Experience:  CA Atty since 1976, primarily criminal law. 150+ jury trials.
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I am handicapped and live in Arizona, my handicapped hang tag

Customer Question

I am handicapped and live in Arizona, my handicapped hang tag fell on the floor of my car when I parked in a handicapped parking place. I received a ticket, I took the hang tag with me to court and Scottsdale Court still fined me 90.00 to park in a parking place that was designated for me. I want to appeal this ruling and fine, has there ever been a case of this nature in Arizona ?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Jim Reilly replied 5 years ago.
The Arizona code section for parking in a handicapped space is ARS section 28-884. As far as it applies to your situation, it reads:

28-884. Parking space for physically disabled persons; prohibition

A. Except as provided in subsection B, a person shall not stop, stand or park a motor vehicle within any specially designated and marked parking space provided pursuant to this article unless the motor vehicle is transporting a person who has been issued a valid placard or international symbol of access special plates and either:

1. The motor vehicle displays the valid permanently disabled or temporarily disabled removable windshield placard.

2. The motor vehicle displays international symbol of access special plates that are currently registered to the vehicle.


(Subsection B relates to temporary stops to unload handicapped persons from vehicles not displaying the required placard or plates.)

The code section is clear and unequivocal. It requires that you either have the special plates or have the windshield placard in place. The fact that you may be entitled to use the space is not a defense to parking in it without having the windshield placard on display.

I could find only one reported appellate court case on the subject of handicapped parking, which is not surprising since parking tickets rarely end up in the court of appeals. It is a Maricopa County Superior Court case; however, it addresses a different issue than the one you raised so won't help you. If you want to, you can see it at:

http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/SuperiorCourt/LowerCourtAndAdminAppeals/docs/trafficIssues/LC2002000231.pdf


The statute you were charged with violating requires that the tag be in the windshield. Since it was on the floor, you were in violation of the section. The judge could have given you a break, but apparently chose not to.

Unfortunately, the appeal court does not have the same discretion. On appeal, the court can consider only whether the trial court made an error of law in arriving at the conviction. In my opinion, an appeal of this conviction has no chance of succeeding.
Jim Reilly, Crim Defense Atty
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1801
Experience: CA Atty since 1976, primarily criminal law. 150+ jury trials.
Jim Reilly and 9 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The part that I didnt tell you was that the handicap hang tag was broken because of the Az sun and it wouldnt hang up on the rear view mirror. It just happened and I hadnt gotten to DMV to replace it, when I pulled into the parking spot the tag must have slipped of the dash of my car and I didnt notice it missing. My friend and I went to the movies and came out to find the ticket. When I wrote the court I told them that it was on the floor so that when the officer came into court he said it wasnt. I didnt take my friend with me to rebutt the officers testimony but she is willing to sign an affidavit under oathe that the

hang tag was on the floor. Would this help me win the appeal since the hang tag couldnt hang and it had just broken ?

Expert:  Jim Reilly replied 5 years ago.
The court of appeal is prohibited from considering new evidence as part of the appeal process. Therefore, an affidavit from your friend would be of no help, as the court will not even receive it, much less consider it.

The trial judge might have been willing to consider an affidavit, though technically, even in the trial court an affidavit would not have been admissible. Only the live testimony of your friend would actually have been admissible evidence.

As I mentioned, on appeal the court will consider only legal errors ... reconsideration of the evidence is not permitted. The trial court either believed the officer when he said the hang tag wasn't on the floor or felt that even if it was, it was still a technical violation of the statute. Either way, the appeal court is bound by the evidentiary decisions of the trial court (such as who to believe) and can determine only if the trial court made an error of law in finding you guilty.

There does not appear to have been any error of law, which is why I think that an appeal would fail. Frankly, I think you would be wasting your time and energy trying to appeal. You should pay the fine, get the hang tag fixed and spend the time doing something else that you would undoubtedly enjoy a lot more.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for the advice. Im sure its good, but I do enjoy writing and love the process.

 

I hate this about Scottsdale, and I will get even with them over this one. This is a travesty and an obvious attemp to screw one of its citizens. The appeal only cost 17.00 so even if I write it which is fun and lose and add in the other evidence which they wont read it still costs them time and trouble to go through the process, probably more than the 90.00 plus the 17.00 I paid, so rather than let them just take my money, I will enjoy writing the appeal and I just hope that it takes up most of the 117.00 I paid. Amazing that they would screw the handicapped. Might just call channel 3 and see what they about a judge that believes that this was fair.

Expert:  Jim Reilly replied 5 years ago.
A Civil Disobedient! criminal-law.justanswer.com/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-sealed.gif" border="0" alt="Sealed" title="Sealed"/>

Having given you my best legal response, let me add that I admire your feistiness and willingness to tilt at windmills. I've been know to do that myself on occasion (well, maybe a lot of occasions).

Good luck with this one. Let me know how you make out.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for that too, I have written several responses to lawsuits in court and won against real attorneys so this should be fun. Hopefully they have to read my response in full and I love windmills. I will let you know what happens with this one.

Jackasse Judge here I come!

 

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