Legal Eagle: When can you get away with not paying a parking ticket?

Parking tickets – they’re the bane of most drivers’ lives, especially if you’re parking in the city centre.
Were you only going to be five minutes so didn’t think it worth it? Did you not have the right change for the meter so take a chance?
Whatever the reason, most of drivers have found themselves with one at some point.
But can you ever argue them? And what if you can’t even remember it occurring? 
MM have teamed up with Olliers Solicitors, a leading criminal law firm based in Manchester, to answer YOUR legal questions. 
This week, Olliers shed some light on what the options are when you have a ticket. 
Our reader’s question this week:
If I have no recollection of an alleged parking contravention I have received in the post, how can I appeal against it?
There are various grounds that can be used to appeal a parking contravention but simply having no recollection of it would not be one of them. A defence ultimately depends on what the contravention is as each offence has its own potential grounds for an appeal.
However it is important to note relevant dates for determining if the PCN (Parking Contravention Notice) or the Notice to Owner arrived more than six months after the date of the alleged offence.
If a PCN which was served by a parking attendance is not paid, a notice of the penalty charge will be sent to the owner. This is known as the notice to Owner. The notice to owner or the PCN (by post) must be served within 28 days of the offence unless one of following exception rules applies.
  • Where the enforcing authority has requested details of the owner from the DVLA within 14 days of the offence, but these have not been received within 28 days of the offence, the period allowed for service is extended to within 6 months of the date of the offence.
  • If the PCN has already been issued and cancelled in relation to the same contravention (for example, in circumstances where the enforcing authority initially pursues the wrong person) the authority has 4 weeks from the date the first PCN was cancelled to reserve a new one.
If a PCN is served outside these limits then the PCN becomes invalid and you can no longer be pursued for the offence.
By way of a summary, the following non-exhaustive list of situations could be used as grounds for an appeal:
  • You were not the owner at the time of the alleged contravention.
  • You were the owner by the vehicle was used by someone without my consent.
  • You are actually a hire company and the hirer signed an agreement to be liable for any offences.
  • The imposed penalty is excessive.
  • You never received a PCN.
  • The parking attendant had no reason NOT to serve the PCN at the scene.
  • The PCN wording is incorrect.
  • The alleged contravention did not occur.
  • There was no appropriate signs warning of restrictions.
  • You were loading or unloading your vehicle at the time.

Do you have a question for the legal team at Olliers Solicitors? 

Their specialist criminal lawyers – including a specialist motor law department – are ready to answer your questions for FREE. All you have to do is email them in to our newsdesk here: newsdesk (at) mancunianmatters (dot) co (dot) uk

You can find more about Olliers Solicitors here.



Image courtesy of Dan, with thanks.

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