Does a California Police Officer have discretion on which vehicle code (criminal infraction) to cite for failing to obey a Regulatory Parking sign or does he have to use a parking civil administrative code?
R.H. SMITH, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. CITY OF LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Defendant and Respondent.
The California Legislature has made all parking citations a civil administrative fine per vehicle code section "40200. (a) Any violation of any regulation that is not a misdemeanor governing the standing or parking of a vehicle under this code, under any federal statute or regulation, or under any ordinance enacted by local authorities is subject to a civil penalty. The enforcement of those civil penalties shall be governed by the civil administrative procedures set forth in this article."
And this part of the vehicle code seems to preclude them from using a more serious criminal infraction:
" 21100. Local authorities may adopt rules and regulations by ordinance or resolution regarding all of the following matters:... (o) (1) This section does not authorize a local authority to enact or enforce an ordinance or resolution that establishes a violation if a violation for the same or similar conduct is provided in this code, nor does it authorize a local authority to enact or enforce an ordinance or resolution that assesses a fine, penalty, assessment, or fee for a violation if a fine, penalty, assessment, or fee for a violation involving the same or similar conduct is provided in this code."
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