Florida parking tickets are issued for a number of parking violations. A parking violation can be defined as any form of illegal or unsafe parking position. Parking citations are commonly issued if you park in a permit-only area, let your meter run out, park in a manner that obstructs traffic or pedestrians, park your car facing the wrong direction on a street or improperly use a designated parking space, such as a handicap parking stall. Most parking citations are issued by cities and local municipalities rather than state agencies. However, you can get a parking ticket from a state officer for illegally stopping on a state highway. Many tickets for parking improperly result in small fines and you may settle your ticket simply by making a payment. However, if you fail to pay parking tickets, you will face a number of consequences. On the other hand, some people choose not to pay a parking ticket because they feel it is unjustified. A better way to dispute an FL parking ticket is to follow the proper legal channels for fighting tickets. In the sections below, learn how to pay parking citations in Florida and discover your options for fighting parking tickets.
Florida Parking Ticket Penalties
While getting parking tickets in Florida is usually not serious for most people, failing to handle the ticket in a timely manner could lead to consequences. When a municipal parking authority issues a ticket, you can simply make a payment to settle the ticket. Additionally, most parking citations do not lead to added points to your driving record. However, if you park in a manner that causes an accident or other type of traffic incident, then additional penalties, such as driving record points, could be assessed.
If you fail to pay a Florida parking ticket, then you will face greater penalties. Refusing or forgetting to pay parking tickets will result in varying consequences. The parking authority that issued the ticket will determine your penalties. Each municipality differs in the way it assesses additional fines and other penalties. Depending on where you got a parking ticket in Florida, you could face any of the following consequences for not paying your fine on time:
- An additional fine, which is usually charged after 10 or 14 days
- A fine that continues to double after a set number of days have passed
- A hold on your car registration renewal
- Having the parking authority install a wheel clamp or similar device on your vehicle
- Receiving a court summons if your fines increase to a certain level
- Notations on your driving record about unpaid tickets
How to Pay Parking Tickets in Florida
Unless you have a reason to dispute a parking citation in Florida, then it is in your best interest to make a payment as soon as possible. Almost all parking ticket fines increase after only a short period of time has gone by. Payment methods vary based on where your ticket was issued. Most municipalities accept payments online, over the phone, by mail or in person. FL parking citations will include instructions on the best way to make a payment. You will want to have your parking citation in hand so you can refer to the ticket number and other important information when using any payment method. Unless you are paying in person, you cannot use cash. Personal checks, money orders and credit cards are the most commonly-accepted payment methods for tickets.
How to Fight a Parking Ticket in Florida
After receiving a parking citation in Florida, there are many reasons that you may wish to contest the charge. For example, you may believe parking tickets were issued as a result of unclear parking instructions. Municipalities have their own instructions for fighting tickets, especially if you wish to contest a ticket for a specific reason. Usually, you must file an appeal form that includes information about your vehicle, the citation number and a description of your reason for appealing. Your parking citation may include a portion that you can return to the parking authority to file an appeal. If not, a separate form may be required.
Some cities in Florida allow you to appeal a parking violation by mail, while others may require that you appear in municipal court. When fighting Florida parking tickets, the most important thing to do is follow deadlines given. If there is a short period of time in which you can contest a ticket, then make sure your appeal is received within that period. Similarly, if you need to fight a parking violation in person, then make sure you appear on time on your scheduled appearance date.