Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Need some Legal advice........

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Funkee1, Mar 25, 2004.


  1. Funkee1

    Funkee1

    Jul 19, 2002
    Texas
    Ok. I got a parking ticket that I intend to fight. Handicapped zone violation.

    Here's the situation:

    I have been gigging at Dick's Last Resort for about 2 years. We always double Parked in order to load. We would turn on our blinkers, and make it obvious that load/ unload was going on, and get in and out ASAP. This was fine, and we never got bothered by the police. Once, I was asked "Is this your car?" When I explained what I was doing, the cop said "I'll give you 15 minutes. If you're not done I'll ticket.,

    March 10th, I did this, and the cops came to harass me. I told them what I was doing, and they wouldn't budge. I moved the car to the blue curd, put my flashers on, and asked "Is this ok?/ I know it's a handicapped spot, but I am not double parked. Once I move my 140lb speaker cab, I'll move the car!". They said OK. As long as you're loading in, but be quickl about it.

    Fast forward to last night:

    I pull up to the blue curb, put on my flashers, carry in the speaker, come out , and the same cops are writing me a ticket.

    I say "Are You Kidding? They say "You can't park in a handicapped zone!" I say "You told me to last week when you wouldn't let me double park!" Cop "We never told you that! You would have done better in the Red curb!"
    Me: "So the red curb is ok for loading and unloading?"
    Cop "No. Basically, I am going to ticket you no matter where you park unless it is a legitimate space."

    There is none. This is ludicrous, and bogus. Do I have a leg to stand on here?
    Help.
     
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Some good reading re: getting tickets. Anecdotal and light hearted, but still informative.

    Cockeyed: Traffic Court
     
  3. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    A relationship has been established there from prior episodes that the police tolerated a violation of sorts, if only temporarily. Make sure you have good notes. I recommend you plead: guilty: with explaination, and tell your side of it. Heck, you've got the ticket, how much worse off could you be contesting it? These are winnable, but don't look for any charity if you get caught again.

    If you are going to contest the violation, when addressing the Judge use the words: "Policeman" or "Officer", when referring to the cops. Obviously the Judge is referred to as "your Honor". Be concise and respectful, don't hem, haw, or prattle on, make your case.

    If the Judge is a good looking female; do not flirt.

    Good Luck!
     
  4. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    IMO you are stuck with the ticket - there is no defence of "unfair". Think about it this way:

    Did you break the law?

    An analogy is speeding - say you know that no one ever gets pulled over for doing 63kmh in a 60kmh zone (and the cops don't set their radars for less than 65kmh). However, you get pulled over and booked for doing 62kmh. The fact is you can't go to court and argue that "everyone" knows that you can go 65kmh. - the law says the speed is 60kmh anything over it and you are breaking the law.

    Same deal with your situation - the law says you can't park there unless you have a disabled sticker - do you ahve the sticker? If no, you've broken the law. The cops job is to enforce the law - no one says it has to be fair.
     

  5. *mental note taken*
     
  6. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Legal advice? It's cheaper to keep her! What? Sorry, what was the question?
    One other bit of advice, if you're not the first case, get a feel for the judges mood. If the judge is pretty much just crushing everyone you may not have a chance. If the judge is in a good mood, you might be OK. Good luck!
     
  7. Burn down the court house, you'll feel better. :D

    No, really though, don't fight it. Just explain the situation, so at least your side of the story is heard.
     
  8. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Sorry about this unpleasant and frustrating situation. I'm not sure what your legal rights are. However, I wonder if you might not try to work out some arrangement with the owner of the place where you gig.

    He should help you find a legal and safe way to load and unload your equipment. Afterall, venders must come to the locale to load beverages and whatever else he sellls. How do they do it? There has to be a way for an operator of such a business to accept deliveries without the deliverer risking steep fines.

    If he expects you to unload and load equipment illegally, maybe he'd better pay your tickets.
     
  9. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio

    Quit :bawl: and pay the ticket. Handicapped zones are ordinances that most citizens, business owners, and Departments take very seriously, and want enforced to the
    "T". Find somewhere else to load out that doesn't block a handicapped zone. Which is better, you having to carry your cab an extra 20ft, or someone using a walker to have to go an extra 20ft?
     
  10. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    i'm in the middle of fighting a similar ticket - mine was only $165 for pedestrian ramp, what'd they get you for???

    i'd get a written statement from the club stating that you were performing there and it was the only place you could load and unload the heavy equipment from. i'd make sure to add that you were there only for that purpose, with your flashers on, and that immediately upon returning you were moving it. i'd add that a police officer told you it was ok to do so a week before. the rest i think depends on the mood and kindness of the judge. unfortunately - same as in my case - it's cut and dry. you were parked there, you shouldn't have been, nothing else matters if they choose to look at that way. i was parked by a pedestrian ramp - there were tons of good reasons i didn't know it was pedestrian ramp but none of them may matter when my judge reads my defense. i'm mailing mine in. you can always appeal it if they say "guilty". it'll give me time to save up the $165.

    also - i don't know about the "guilty with reason" thing. I think that may compel them to fine you. you yourself admitted it and that might be the end of the story. just my opinion on that one. if anyone has any experience with such a plea i would like to hear it as i haven't sent in my own defense yet and I AM "guilty with reason."
     
  11. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    Stupid handicap spots...

    There are way to many handicap parking areas. And usually, the only people using them are people faking a back injury, or who have a slight knee problem... So walking a little farther into the store is gonna kill them, but staying in the store for hours walking around shopping, thats fine.
     
  12. Funkee1

    Funkee1

    Jul 19, 2002
    Texas

    I take them very seriously too. I only parked there because the officer in question had told me , two weeks prior, that it was acceptable.

    Parking is hideous in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego anyway, and is only gonna get worse next week, when Petco Park opens officially!!!!
     
  13. Your back isn't screwed up, is it?

    You have no problem picking up a 90 lb 4x10 and tossing it around, do you?

    I have 3 bad lumbar discs (L5, L4 and T12) and both my SI joints slide around like a patella, and I don't qualify for handicapped parking.
     
  14. Funkee1

    Funkee1

    Jul 19, 2002
    Texas
    Yes. I have mild Sciatica and an arthritic shoulder. I don't qualify for handicapped placard either.
     
  15. Exedore

    Exedore

    Nov 15, 2002
    Pasadena, Ca, USA
    It doesn't sound like the cop said it was acceptable, it sounds like he was going to let it slide for that time only as long as you were quick. It was sort of an ambiguous statement though and I can see how you could have took it that way. That may be your only valid defense.

    As far as parking in the gaslamp being a pain, yes it is. And from what I've seen when I worked around there and other similar areas, there are no hard and fast rules for delivery drivers or other people loading and unloading equipment, supplies, merchandise, etc. Well, other than "park wherever you can sort of fit, get your crap into wherever you're taking it and get the hell out of there as fast as you can". Seems like sometimes cops ticket, sometimes they look the other way. If you're not loading/unloading, park in Horton Plaza and get your parking validated at the candy store for buying 30 cent lollipop. ;)
     
  16. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I've been to traffic court to contest a speeding ticket. I had my fine reduced, but not dropped. The judge told me that he believed my story and would like to drop it but couldn't. The reason he couldn't drop it was that I did not bring in any evidence. He told me that this is the biggest problem most people have when they attempt to represent themselves in court - they come in with a compelling story, but no evidence and the judge can only make judgments based on evidence. So, I think that you do need to get a statement from the club owner that says, at the very least that you were performing there that night. If at all possible I would also bring in highlighted copies of owners manuals for your amp head and cab(s) - there is a huge difference between telling the judge that the gear is 'really heavy' or showing him in black and white that the gear weighs over 180 lbs combined (or whatever it is). Bring whatever other evidence you can. You can not win without evidence. If you plead not guilty, then you have to have evidence to prove that you were not in the handicapped zone. If you were in the zone, but had a darn good reason then you plead guilty with explanation and bring evidence that explains why you had a darn good reason. Good luck.
     
  17. Sorry, I was actually replying to Mike Money and you posted between the post I was replying to and mine.

    I think that the amount of handicapped parking is about right. I know the problems I have walking a long distance, and I know there are people with much worse problems. Like most people with back problems I have my good days and bad days and my gait reflects that.

    As far as Funkee getting the ticket...

    It's a rough call, but regardless of anything- prior permission, hazzard lights on, the law takes precedence. I guess you admit you're wrong- no excuses. Find someone to sit in the car and move it if need be while you're loading. It's the game, brother.
     
  18. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    I still think it's worth contesting. Along with Matthews suggestion that a word from the Club Owner might help too.

    Hey you've already got the ticket, what more can they do to you?
     
  19. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I'd say either stop breaking the law, or at least stop turning on flashing lights to draw attention to yourself. If you go with the latter, be prepared to pay the fines*





    *without whining
     
  20. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    Well, you can go in there and say your gear is really heavy, and that you need to park in front of the door because of this.

    The answer you could get is why not buy a hand truck?

    My advice; pay it. One cop might have been willing to let you slide for 15 minutes, but not all of them will. They can and will use their discretion as they see fit. Usually judges stand behind their police officers too-maybe not always, but more likely in this case he oe she will.

    In the future, I would designate someone who can stay outside with the van, ready to move it immediately if the cops are coimg by. It seems like the only way to keep from getting ticketed in the future IMHO.