Disabled Parking Placards Fraud on The Rise (CA Vehicle Code 4461 and 4463)

Most of us would never think of lying in order to get a better parking spot, or so you would think.  Evidently, the problem of falsifying documents in order to receive a disabled placard for your vehicle has become rampant.  So, local law enforcement officials think they’ve found a solution:  “Operation Blue Zone.”  It sounds like a military strategy, something that might have been employed during the Second World War, but all that it really amounts to is that police are cracking down on falsely given disabled placards.  What this also means is that people who thought they were safe from being caught are now spending their time in county jail, possibly re-thinking their missteps.

The most widely publicized case has been that of a 50-year-old and her 29-year-old son (names withheld in order to protect the privacy of the accused).  Allegedly, they falsified the signature of a local doctor in order to receive a disabled placard due to their non-existent lung disease.  And what may surprise you the most about this crackdown is that these charges are not misdemeanors, they are felonies!  California Vehicle Code 4461 states that it is not only a crime to falsify information, but also to lend your placard to someone else or to borrow it from a friend for the use in your vehicle.  Now, if you are caught doing either one of these things, you will only face a maximum $1,000 fine and a possible misdemeanor charge that means you might spend up to 6 months in county jail.  However, CA Vehicle Code 4463 states that to defraud the Department of Motor Vehicles by issuing false statements, paperwork, etc is a felony.  You could spend up to 3 years in prison (CA Penal Code 1170) or at least a maximum of 1 year in county jail.