In just one month, investigators from the California Department of Motor Vehicles caught almost 500 people misusing disability parking placards. According to ABC 7 News, a Disabled Parking Placard Enforcement team in Los Angeles led 14 different enforcement operations during the month of September.
As it turns out, 443 citations of the nearly 500 citations occurred at the L.A. County fair. Apparently, the DMV “holds as many as 24 enforcement operations each month throughout the state. The operations are intended to help reduce disabled-person parking placard abuse.”
In California, misuse of a Disability placard, or disability parking fraud, is illegal under Vehicle Code 4461. Section 4461 gives a variety of situations that would result in disability placard misuse. For example, some possible violations include: letting another person borrow your disability placard, using someone else's disability placard when they are not with you, or parking in a spot reserved for those with disabilities without a placard.
Violating Vehicle Code 4461 can have various consequences. In this case, the alleged offenders from September's investigations had their placard taken away and face fines that range from $250 to $1,000. Those fines are typical and can be either a civil or criminal penalty. If the violation is charged criminally as a misdemeanor, a person could face up to 6 months in county jail and/or have to pay the fine.
If you have been accused of misuse of a disability placard, you should contact a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney. Even misdemeanor charges can have a big and expensive impact on your life, especially if the situation was merely a misunderstanding. There are several defenses to this charge including proving you did not know your placard had been cancelled, showing you did not knowingly allow someone else to use your placard, or proving you had a disabled person with you at the time of the charge and thus were parked legally.
Talking with an experienced criminal defense attorney at Kann California Defense Group can be extremely helpful in determining the best approach for your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.