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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118762
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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In January, I went to get my license plate from the DMV. They

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In January, I went to get my license plate from the DMV. They informed me I need to get emissions done. I bought a temp plate so I was valid to drive. I asked the Dmv employee if I need to do anything with my metal plate she said no. Two days later, January 7th, I received a violation because my car was parked on the street with the metal plate on my bumper and the temp. plate on the window. I have been sick (i have medical documentation to back it up) and haven't been able to make it down to the Magistrates office till today. When I saw the parking magistrate, He told me that I should just know the law and that the DMV was not authorized to inform me of any laws, they were two different entities. I asked him how am I suppose to know the law if it is not posted unless you know the code it self? He told me that was besides the point. Anyways he dropped my fee to 170 instead of 190. I told him I wanted to go to court. Did I make the wrong decision? Should I just pay the 190 or do I have a chance to win or at least get the penalties knocked off? the fine would be 225 if I lose in court. ( the price isnt the issue its that I tried to be informed, I tried to do the right thing.

Sec. 54-62. - License plates.

License plate required. It shall be unlawful for any person to drive, stop, park or for the owner or person in charge of any vehicle to cause or knowingly permit to be driven, stopped or parked on any street or highway within the city or any property that is owned by the city, any vehicle that has been assigned a license plate or plates, pursuant to Colorado law, unless the license plate or plates assigned to the vehicle for the current registration year is properly attached to and displayed on the vehicle, in accordance with the laws of the state.
"License plate" construed: For purposes of this section, the term "license plate" shall include license plates, number plates, personalized license plates, special license plates and other plates, both permanent and temporary, issued pursuant to Colorado law.
(Code 1950, § 503.10; Ord. No. 122-85, § 1, 3-11-85; Ord. No. 51-06, § 3, 1-23-06)
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Unfortunately, as harsh as it sounds, the judge was correct in that DMV is not supposed to be giving people such advice. Furthermore, what is worse for your case is getting the person in DMV who told you this to admit saying that they told you that you did not have to remove the metal plate when you placed the temporary plate on the vehicle. If you cannot prove DMV actually told you this, the court has no choice but to rule against you. If you can get the DMV person who told you this to testify in your behalf the court would have to dismiss because even though the government agent is not supposed to be giving out this advice, they did so and you were reasonable to rely upon that information.

Thus, if you are not going to be able to get the DMV agent to testify on your behalf that they told you that you could leave the metal plate on with the temporary plate, you need to reconsider taking the offer of the court, because absent that evidence the court has no real choice under the statute but to find you guilty, even though you tried to do the right thing and would have been reasonable to rely on DMV agents if you can produce them to testify in your behalf.

If you can get the DMV agent to testify that they did tell you it was permissible, then you need to continue to trial and argue your case as you did reasonably try to comply with the law and reasonably relied on the agent's advice.

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Law Educator, Esq. and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks so much. I will see if I can get the DMV employee down to the court.

Thank you. I wish you the best in pursuing this as it is so unfair when a government employee tells us something and it is wrong.