Once or twice a year a client or friend (or both) will call our office and explain that one of their parents received a “Parking in a Handicapped Zone” ticket. They will further explain that their parent has a valid handicapped placard, but the one that was displayed in the vehicle was expired. Hence, their fixed income parent received a whopping $450 dollar ticket. In this scenario, people are cited under the “unauthorized use” subsection, which is listed below.
Elements for a Handicapped Placard Violation – RCW 46.19.050
Unauthorized use. Any unauthorized use of the parking placard, special license plate, special year tab, or identification card issued under this chapter is a parking infraction with a monetary penalty of two hundred fifty dollars. In addition to any penalty or fine imposed under this subsection, two hundred dollars must be assessed. For the purpose of this subsection, “unauthorized use” includes (a) any use of a parking placard, special license plate, special year tab, or identification card that is expired, inactivated, faked, forged, or counterfeited, (b) any use of a parking placard, special license plate, special year tab, or identification card of another holder if the initial holder is no longer eligible to use or receive it, and (c) any use of a parking placard, special license plate, special year tab, or identification card of another holder even if permitted to do so by the holder.
If the individual does have a valid placard at the time of the citation, most courts will dismiss the ticket for no fee. Our office has even been able to email proof of the current placard to Kitsap County District Court and they have dismissed the citations with no further court action and no fee. Additionally, Witt Law group charges no fee to assist with these handicap placard citations.
Witt Law Group is a criminal defense and infraction defense law firm with offices in Gig Harbor and Bremeron Washington.