Disputing a parking ticket in California can be a daunting task, but it is not impossible. If the recent street sweeping effort caught you off guard, or if you're caught a few minutes over the meter, a parking ticket can be a few extra hundred dollars you don't have sitting around. In this blog post, I will guide you through the steps you need to take to dispute a parking ticket in California.

Step 1: Review the Parking Ticket

The first step in disputing a parking ticket in California is to review the ticket carefully. Look for any mistakes or errors on the ticket, such as incorrect license plate numbers or vehicle descriptions. If you find any mistakes, note them as they can be used as evidence to dispute the ticket.

Step 2: Gather Evidence

Next, you need to gather evidence to support your case. Take pictures of the parking sign and the surrounding area to show that the signage was unclear or incorrect. If you were parked legally, take pictures of the parking meter showing that you paid for the time you parked. If you were parked in a private lot, gather evidence showing you had permission to park there. Document everything you think is essential, and then some. You can use it in your appeal.

Step 3: Submit a Contest by Mail

Once you have reviewed the ticket and gathered evidence, you can fill out the form to contest the ticket. Fill out the "Notice of Appeal" form and mail it to the address listed on the ticket. In the appeal, explain the reason why you are disputing the ticket and include any evidence that supports your case. Make sure to send the appeal by certified mail with the return receipt requested so that you have proof that it was received.

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Step 4: Wait for a Response

After you submit the contest, you must wait for a response from the California Superior Court. The court will review your contest and evidence and make a decision. If your appeal is approved, the ticket will be dismissed. If your appeal is denied, you must pay the fine or request a hearing.

Step 5: Request a Hearing

If your contest is denied, you can request a hearing to dispute the ticket in person. You can request a hearing online, by mail, or in person at the court listed on the ticket. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present your case and evidence to a judge. The judge will make a decision based on the evidence presented.

Step 6: Pay the Fine

If the judge denies your appeal, you will be required to pay the fine. Failure to pay the fine may result in additional penalties, such as late fees or even a suspension of your driver's license.

Disputing a parking ticket in California may seem overwhelming, but it is possible if you take the proper steps. Start by reviewing the ticket and gathering evidence, then submit an appeal request by mail. Always pay the fine if required, as failure to do so may result in additional penalties. With a little effort and persistence, you too will successfully challenge a bogus parking ticket in California.