NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - New York City authorities arrested eight people for allegedly using phony parking placards on city streets. This came to the attention of law enforcement when the defendants mailed in copies of the fake placards as a defense in order to get off paying parking tickets.
Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett said that some used phony handicapped parking permits and others made or doctored copies of city agency and post office dashboard placards.
The suspects were charged with various class-E felonies related to false documents. All pleaded not guilty.
Glenn Hardy, a defense attorney who represents one of the people charged, said he will investigate the matter and make sure the district attorney meets "the burden of proof."
The Department of Investigation receives a dozen to two dozen phony placards cases each year.
Is prosecuting working people as criminals on felony charges over this type of offense a bit harsh?
"You don't get a free pass to present fraudulent city documentation, even if you are a low- or moderate-income person," Garnett said.
If these suspects are convicted, they're looking at up to four years behind bars.
The Department of Transportation is currently working towards electronically scanned placards, which would be linked to a specific vehicle ID and plate number.