Almost everyone gets cited for a parking violation at some point. This is not necessarily a major problem since most non-moving violations don’t result in points or license suspensions by themselves. Unfortunately, people often misunderstand their severity and forget about them. This leads to missing the court hearing or failing to pay the ticket by the date required. And as a result, they now have unpaid tickets following them—and causing more serious problems.
Generally, you wouldn’t need a traffic lawyer to handle a parking ticket. You’d only really need legal help if your unpaid tickets accumulated to a point where your driving record is in jeopardy. In fact, even contesting or appealing parking violations is fairly straightforward.
Unpaid Tickets in Columbus
Everyone hates tickets, especially annoying ones for parking and minor violations. That doesn’t mean you can ignore them. Unpaid parking tickets still have consequences, and the longer you pretend they don’t exist or refuse to pay, the more trouble you face.
Consequences of Unpaid Tickets
The following are all common consequences of unpaid tickets in Central Ohio.
- Late Fees & Fines: Not only will you face the same fines you were originally assigned, but you will also face additional late fees and collection fees when you miss the due date. This can double or even triple the amount you owe.
- Bench warrants and jail time: If you fail to appear in court and don’t pay your ticket, a judge can issue a bench warrant for you. This means that police can pick you up at any time and take you to jail to force you to face the fine. You can even be arrested for failure to follow a court order, which will lead to further jail time.
- Loss of your driver’s license: Your license can be suspended or even revoked for unpaid tickets, depending on how much you have owed and for how long.
- Towed or booted car: If police find your car in public, they can impound and tow your car or simply boot it to force payment.
- Increased insurance premiums: If you are cited for failure to pay a traffic citation, your insurance premiums are likely to rise. This is extra damaging if the original citation was simply for a parking violation, as most insurance companies won’t raise rates for non-moving violations.
How to Handle Parking Tickets in Columbus?
To avoid penalties in Columbus, you must pay parking tickets within 10 calendar days from the date of the ticket, or a $15 penalty is added. If the ticket is still not paid within 30 days of the penalty being added, an additional $20 penalty is added.
Current and past-due parking tickets can be paid online, By Phone: 844-565-1295, or By Mail:
City of Columbus
Division of Parking Services
2700 Impound Lot Road
Columbus, OH 43207
You must have your parking ticket number or vehicle license plate number available. If you are paying by check or money order your parking ticket number or plate number must be written on your check.
You may also pay in person at the Division of Parking Services:
2700 Impound Lot Road,
Columbus, Ohio 43207
Failure to respond to a parking citation within ten 10 days causes an automatic fifteen dollars ($15.00) penalty to be added to the base amount of the ticket. If the citation is still unpaid thirty (30) days later, an additional twenty dollars ($20.00) penalty is added.
Anyone who accumulates 3 or more unpaid parking citations, or 1 or more unpaid Handicapped violations, is subject to Registration Hold. Registration Hold prohibits you from renewing of registering any vehicle in Ohio.
Vehicle owners on registration hold can pay parking citation in person at:
2700 Impound Lot Road
Columbus, OH 43207
Do I Need a Lawyer for Unpaid Tickets?
As you can see, the consequences of unpaid tickets are still serious. But unless you are looking at possible arrest for failing to appear in court, this is something you can usually handle on your own.
Failure to pay a parking ticket within 10 days will be considered an admission of guilt and result in the addition of a penalty. Parking tickets that remain unpaid within 40 calendar days of issuance will result in additional penalties and subject your vehicle to impoundment.
However, you may request to have your parking ticket reviewed. This is where a reviewer will verify whether the ticket was legally written within the guidelines of the City of Columbus Code. You will receive the results of your review within 7-10 business days of your appeal. If you are unsatisfied with this review, you may request a Hearing Officer review your ticket.
There are 3 options for requesting a Hearing to review a parking ticket:
- In-Person Hearing – Held at Parking Services, 2700 Impound Lot Road
- Phone Hearing – Participants must have a valid email address to send documents and access to a touchpad telephone.
- Web Hearing – Held virtually utilizing WebEx software. Participants must have a valid email address, the ability to send documents, and a device with a reliable internet connection and a camera.
The full parking ticket appeal process can be seen here.
That being said, if you have unpaid tickets or other traffic infractions haunting you, and they are endangering your ability to drive because of a license suspension or bench warrant, it’s not too late.
Call the Columbus traffic lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates at (614) 500-3836 for a free consultation. Let us determine the best way to keep you on the road.