Cars that end up driving on the sidewalk can harm pedestrians and private property. That’s why California makes it illegal for all but a few motorized vehicles to operate on the state’s sidewalks.
If you’re charged with either purposefully or accidentally violating CA Vehicle Code 21663, you may face fines and points on your license. When these consequences compound with other roadway violations, your right to drive may be at risk. That’s why our team wants to help you combat VC 21663 charges in court.
The Basics of VC 21663
VC 21663 states that “no person shall operate or move a motor vehicle upon a sidewalk except as may be necessary to enter or leave adjacent property.” This means that driving on the sidewalk to avoid traffic, overcome construction, or speed up your travel time is considered illegal in the eyes of California’s law enforcement.
That said, it’s rare for a driver to face VC 21663 penalties after running over a curb. Instead, law enforcement should only approach you about a violation if they believe you engaged in the deliberately reckless or dangerous use of a motor vehicle on an area sidewalk.
For a free legal consultation with a driving on the sidewalk lawyer serving California, call (310) 896-2723
Penalties for Driving on the Sidewalk in California
On their own, VC 21663 violations tend to result in minor consequences. The most common responses from law enforcement tend to include:
If you’re accused of violating VC 21663, you can be charged with a fine of specifically $238.00. This fine does not increase depending on how long you’ve been on the sidewalk. Rather, you’ll only face additional expenses if you’re accused and convicted of other vehicle code or penal code violations.
If you’re convicted of driving on the sidewalk, you will receive a single point on your driver’s license under California’s Negligent Operator Treatment System. Alone, this doesn’t seem like a severe consequence. However, if you collect too many points on your driver’s license within a set period of time, you risk losing your driving privileges.
For example, California drivers cannot gain more than four points on their license within a single year. Drivers who do can have their licenses either suspended or revoked. The same can be said for drivers who earn:
- Six points in two years
- Eight points in three years
With this in mind, challenging your VC 21663 charges can help you keep your license and stay on the road.
California Driving on the Sidewalk Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
Defending Against Driving on the Sidewalk Charges
Both you and a traffic violation lawyer can argue against VC 21663 violation charges. Some of the most common defenses used in court include:
Emergency Sidewalk Use
If you find yourself in a vehicular emergency, you can indicate that said emergency was taking place at the time you allegedly drove on the sidewalk. This emergency can involve other vehicles on the road with you or a passenger in your car.
Submitting evidence of an emergency is admittedly simpler when law enforcement has a record of the incident on hand. If you’re involved in a car accident, request a copy of the police report. You can also bring forward some of the same witnesses that might attest to the nature of the original car accident.
If one of your passengers experiences a medical emergency, you can request witness statements from other parties in your car. While you cannot submit someone else’s medical documentation as evidence of your emergency, you can work with an attorney to establish the exact nature of your circumstances.
Use of Sidewalk While Entering or Leaving a Property
While you aren’t permitted to drive on California’s sidewalks, there are some exceptions to the rule. For example, you are permitted to drive over the sidewalk if you are either entering or leaving a property.
This exception covers you on two fronts. For example, you cannot be ticketed for driving into a parking lot or similar lot if you have to cross over a sidewalk. Additionally, you cannot be ticketed if you hit the curb of a sidewalk at a property’s entrance or exit.
If you’re not sure how long you allegedly came into contact with the sidewalk or if your behavior constitutes “entering” or “leaving,” sit down with our team. We’ll hammer out the details of your case and present it to a judge.
There is a chance that someone who reported you for driving on the sidewalk misrepresented or didn’t see how you actually behaved on the road. If you believe you’ve been awarded a mistaken ticket, you can argue as much in court.
Both you and an attorney can represent what your actual behavior on the road looked like. Evidence that can assist you throughout this process can include pictures of your car, stoplight footage, dashcam footage, and on-the-scene analysis.
Driving on the Sidewalk and Personal Injury Charges
Incidents involving an alleged VC 21663 violation and the injury of another person (or that person’s property) tend to be more serious than your standard VC 21663 charges. The person injured in a sidewalk accident can take you to either civil or criminal court.
Convictions in civil court may see you pay significant fines back to the injured party. Comparatively, criminal convictions can see you endure jail time on top of any fines you owe.
With that in mind, reach out to a professional with questions if you’re served these compounded charges. We can help you get ahead of these undue consequences.
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React to VC 21663 Charges With a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Driving on the sidewalk puts you, your loved ones, and pedestrians in danger. That said, false accusations of driving on the sidewalk can cause you and your loved ones a significant amount of strife. If you have to take your case to court, it may feel like your life is ending.
Contact us to challenge the VC 21663 charges brought against you. Our criminal defense attorneys can discuss how our team can get these charges reduced or dropped from your record.