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Is an unpaid parking ticket a criminal offense with a permanent record?

Discussion in 'Parking Tickets, Towing, Impound' started by blue66, Jul 27, 2008.

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  1. blue66

    blue66 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I received a parking ticket in California 8 years ago that I don't remember paying. I moved out of state soon after, and have never been contacted about the ticket.

    I am applying for a UK family visa and I am asked what criminal offenses I have ever commited, which include traffic offenses. I called the California DMV and City Hall and was told that there is no record of any unpaid ticket.

    I have 2 questions:

    1. Is an unpaid parking ticket considered a criminal offense? (and something I would need to mention on the visa application)

    2. Since there was no record of it when I recently called California (I offered to pay, but they said there was nothing I could do with no record of it) would there be a record of it anywhere else? In other words, if I don't mention it as a criminal offense on the visa application, will there be a record of it somewhere besides the DMV and City Hall where the visa officials might find evidence of it?

    I can't 100% remember if I didn't actually pay it, but I don't think I did, so I want to make sure it isn't classified as a criminal offense (with it being unpaid) and that there isn't a record before I don't mention it on the visa application. I don't know how to find out if I even paid it for sure. Thanks.
     
  2. CdwJava

    CdwJava Moderator

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    If it was left on your car, then it is not a criminal offense that can be tied to you. If it was issued to you personally, it might be a criminal offense especially since it might have gone to warrant if you never showed up.

    The city or parking enforcement agency that issued the citation (assuming it is a parking citation) will be the only place that will have a record of it unless they reported the license plate to the DMV.

    There should be a definition of what is covered under "criminal offense" somewhere. I doubt that ANY traffic infraction will be covered.


    - Carl
     

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