Help! I Got Arrested for Unpaid Parking Tickets – What Do I Do?Listen – you know it, we know it, everyone knows it. Parking is a pain in the neck. It’s a city problem and a state problem. There’s never enough parking and when you do find a parking spot, you usually have to pay for it. And don’t even get me started on how often you have to keep running out to keep filling up the meter or extending your time through whatever app that particular section of town is using at the time.

So, it’s annoying as heck, and it’s also often not a surprise when you end up with a parking ticket after a night out. Sometimes it happens because your meter runs out and you just didn’t get back there on time. Sometimes you accidentally park in the wrong spot without realizing it. Sometimes those signs are so dang confusing you have no idea whether you’re allowed there so you just throw the dice. Whatever the reason, though, when you get a parking ticket, it’s in your best interests to pay it.

“I know, but I just haven’t gotten around to it.”

Oh no! Are you one of those people who have unpaid parking tickets scattered all over their car? A parking ticket “collector,” as they’re known around our office? If you’re reading this blog, we imagine the state of Maryland has caught up with you and you’re looking for help. It’s okay – we got you. Let’s break this whole thing down and figure out what to do.

First, if you get a parking ticket in Anne Arundel County, you’re required to pay it within 30 days, either online or through Central Records at the Police Department. Per the County, “To schedule a court date to challenge your parking violation you must submit a written request or use the online form to request a court date.”

The MVA notes that failure to pay can result in late fees and suspension of tags. Let’s get into a little more detail on that.

What happens if I don’t pay my parking tickets?

Parking tickets are traffic violations, just like causing a car accident. They’re more than just an inconvenience and not something you should just toss in the backseat of your vehicle. Per Annapolis Code of Ordinances:

In all cases of parking or impounding violations, the police officer, parking enforcement officer or the authorized agent who discovers a vehicle illegally parked in the absence of the operator, shall attach a summons to the vehicle in a conspicuous place, or if the operator is present, deliver the summons to the operator. A copy of the summons shall be retained by the officer or the authorized agent, and shall bear certification under penalty of perjury by the officer or the authorized agent attesting to the truth of the matter set forth in the summons… All fines, penalties or forfeitures for the violation of parking and impounding ordinances, laws or regulations shall be paid directly to the authorized agent in uncontested cases.

… When notice of a desire for a hearing is given, the person summoned also shall provide written notice to the authorized agent that the person desires the presence of the officer or the authorized agent who issued the summons at the time of the hearing.

… Failure to pay the parking fine in a timely manner is subject to a fine as established by resolution of the City Council.

Now, although not paying your parking tickets isn’t technically an arrestable offense, it can lead to one. Here’s how. If you continually refuse to acknowledge or pay your parking tickets by the 30-day deadline, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) will keep making a note of it. And, at some point, they WILL suspend your license. And that’s when you’ll get arrested – when you’re driving around, having a great day, and minding your own business.

“But I’m a great driver! I’ll never get pulled over!” Yeah, we hear that all the time. But you know who’s not a great driver? That drunk dude coming up behind you, or that trucker who just pulled onto the highway who hasn’t slept in 24 hours. You can’t always control what happens to you out on the road, but you can control some things. And if you find yourself under arrest because you lost your license or registration because of unpaid parking tickets, take control and talk to Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law.

We know how to work with the MVA and mitigate any sanctions they might take against you. Our legal team can:

  • Review your case. We’ll review the circumstances that led to your license suspension and determine if there are any legal grounds for challenging the suspension. Maybe your parking tickets were given in error, or maybe you never received them. Either way, we’ll get to the bottom of every issue.
  • Help you understand the process. We’ll also help you navigate the administrative and legal process of getting your license reinstated, including filling out all the paperwork and attending hearings for you.
  • Represent you in court. That also means going to court to fight to get your license back. If we need to, we’ll present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make legal arguments on your behalf if that’s what it takes.
  • Negotiate with the prosecution. Our team also knows how to work to reduce the severity of charges against you or reach a plea bargain that allows for license reinstatement. We’re familiar with the local prosecutors and have the resources to get you back behind the wheel.
  • Help you meet any requirements. Finally, we’ll help you understand and meet any court requirements to get your license reinstated, like setting up a program to pay fines.

At Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law, we want to help. If you’re facing a loss of license or worse, get in touch with us today. Don’t wait if you’re been arrested or are facing charges – you may be looking at growing fines and penalties every single day. Call our offices in Annapolis or Ellicott City or use my contact form today to schedule a consultation.

Just remember — Keep Calm, and Call Drew!