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  1. #1
    afto is offline Junior Member
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    Tucson, AZ Parking violation by ghostwriter

    Yesterday, in the mail, I received a parking ticket for stopping - and blocking traffic - in a travel lane. Scrawled in yellow highliter at the bottom of the ticket were the words" driveaway".The infraction supposedly occurred on Sept 19 in front of a school. As it's is a small charter type school located in the city center there are very few parking options and most parents just drop off and pick up their kids from the street.
    The last time I fought - and lost - a traffic ticket ($538 fine on same street for blocking handicap access whilst in car for 1 minute) I was told by the judge that they do not require the traffic warden/ticket writer to attend court to face the defendent.
    My question is thus - if I can't remember what I ate for breakfast two days ago how am I expected to remember the circumstances of something that supposedly happened three weeks ago at 3.33 pm on a Tuesday afternoon. There is no photo - just the say so of a ParkWise employee.
    So I likely will not be able to question the ticketwriter on whether there was a car stopped in front of me, were students crossing the road, was I waiting for a pigeon to take off etc etc.
    I intend to contest the ticket but my experience of Tucson traffic court is that reason, moderation and mercy are in very short supply there. Should I plead guilty with mitigating circumstances (I couldn't possibly have stopped longer than 10 seconds and any cars behind me were likely parents doing the same thing) or plead not guilty, knowing that my accuser will almost certainly not be in court.

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? AZ
  2. #2
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by afto View Post
    Yesterday, in the mail, I received a parking ticket for stopping - and blocking traffic - in a travel lane. Scrawled in yellow highliter at the bottom of the ticket were the words" driveaway".The infraction supposedly occurred on Sept 19 in front of a school. As it's is a small charter type school located in the city center there are very few parking options and most parents just drop off and pick up their kids from the street.
    The last time I fought - and lost - a traffic ticket ($538 fine on same street for blocking handicap access whilst in car for 1 minute) I was told by the judge that they do not require the traffic warden/ticket writer to attend court to face the defendent.
    My question is thus - if I can't remember what I ate for breakfast two days ago how am I expected to remember the circumstances of something that supposedly happened three weeks ago at 3.33 pm on a Tuesday afternoon. There is no photo - just the say so of a ParkWise employee.
    So I likely will not be able to question the ticketwriter on whether there was a car stopped in front of me, were students crossing the road, was I waiting for a pigeon to take off etc etc.
    I intend to contest the ticket but my experience of Tucson traffic court is that reason, moderation and mercy are in very short supply there. Should I plead guilty with mitigating circumstances (I couldn't possibly have stopped longer than 10 seconds and any cars behind me were likely parents doing the same thing) or plead not guilty, knowing that my accuser will almost certainly not be in court.

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? AZ
    Well, since you all but admitted you did do it in your post, I'd recommend pleading guilty. If there is a "guilty w/explanation" option, then might as well try that and hope for some leniency. (If you are thinking of using "everyone else was doing it" as your explanation, that the surest way to piss off the judge. Not recommended).
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.
  3. #3
    afto is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you but, no, I'm not daft enough to use the "everyone else was doing it" defense.
    My main concern is whether this court can get away with collecting fines when the only evidence offered in court is a parking ticket that was never served at the time of the supposed infraction.
    In my case, the chances are that I probably did stop briefly to pick up my kid. If I was given a ticket or a warning on the spot then fair cop- no excuses. If there was a couple of time stamped photos that proved my vehicle was stationary for 10 seconds then again -fair cop.
    However, I was not given a ticket on Sept 19 and I don't know for sure whether I did stop or not and I'm not willing to cough up $175 on the basis of
    it being a likelyhood.
    So, theoretically at least, any employee of ParkWise (private company contracted by Tucson City to issue parking tickets on its behalf) can write out a ticket of their choosing for any private vehicle that crosses their path in Tucson, scrawl "driveaway" on it and mail the ticket to the car owner two weeks later knowing that the onus is on the driver to prove that his/her innocence.
    Am I missing something but I always believed that there was a presumption of innocence in America. Maybe I'm a little behind the times.



    <Well, since you all but admitted you did do it in your post, I'd recommend pleading guilty. If there is a "guilty w/explanation" option, then might as well try that and hope for some leniency. (If you are thinking of using "everyone else was doing it" as your explanation, that the surest way to piss off the judge. Not recommended).>
  4. #4
    HighwayMan is offline Senior Member
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    New York City is similar. You can have a hearing for a parking violation but the issuer is not there. There are way too many of these written.

    The judges here can only make a decision based on the violation, and the testimony of the respondent. It's usually not that hard because most people can't seem to explain their way out of a paper bag, or most excuses that people think are reasonable are not a justification for the violation.

    You have to work with the system, that's all. And it's kind of hard to defend yourself when you have absolutely no recollection of the incident. MAkes it alot harder unless you totally make up a story.
  5. #5
    The Occultist is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by afto View Post
    Am I missing something but I always believed that there was a presumption of innocence in America. Maybe I'm a little behind the times.
    Not only are you behind the times, but you were never with them to begin with. You should research a little more into what all that means, because, really, you sorta got it wrong. I understand your misconception, as it is the popular misconception these days, but please understand that it is, indeed, a misconception.

    (and just because I feel I didn't use "misconception" enough in that paragraph... misconception misconception misconception misconception misconception misconception misconception misconception misconception )
  6. #6
    afto is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you for your response. I take it that you are saying
    that, in this instance, the Court has no obligation to allow a defendent to cross exam his/her accuser.


    <Not only are you behind the times, but you were never with them to begin with. You should research a little more into what all that means, because, really, you sorta got it wrong. I understand your misconception, as it is the popular misconception these days, but please understand that it is, indeed, a misconception.

    (and just because I feel I didn't use "misconception" enough in that paragraph... misconception misconception misconception misconception misconception misconception misconception misconception misconception )>
  7. #7
    The Occultist is offline Senior Member
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    Ah, see, you are confused about who your "accuser" is. You think the accuser is the officer, but you are wrong; the accuser is the state. It is the State of Arizona vs you, NOT Officer so-and-so vs you.
  8. #8
    afto is offline Junior Member
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    Ok, got it. It does appear that the odds are stacked against Joe Public, particularly in traffic court and particularly when the State/City revenue base is drying up in other areas.
    My daughter tells me that I attract parking tickets like honey to a bee. I guess that when you start to have dreams about parking violations that its time to let go and focus ones energy on more productive areas.
    Thanks to everyone for your advice.

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