As long as my car is parked on my own personal property (driveway of my home), can an officer walk onto my property and issue a ticket for an expired safety inspection?
The vehicle in question is properly registered and insured.
My property is located in fairfax county, VA.
I have not practiced in Fairfax County in sometime, so I defer to any Traffic Law lawyers with experience there.
My understanding per the FFX Co. ordinances is that law enforcement can ticket you for expired inspection stickers if the vehicle is operated or parked on a "highway" with an expired safety inspection.
FFX Co. defines "highways" as "[t]he entire width between boundary lines of every way or place of whatever nature open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel in this County, including the streets, alleys and publicly maintained parking lots in the County, and for law enforcement purposes only the entire width between boundary lines of all private roads or private streets located within any residential development containing five hundred (500) or more lots."
I assume your personal driveway is not located in an apartment building lot (because if it was, then it's considered 'parking on a highway' for FFX Co. enforcement purposes). The issue then is whether the police officer perceived sufficient evidence to believe that the car had recently been operated on a 'highway' (ex: saw the car pull into driveway from the road; heat coming off engine area while parked; etc.). As you can imagine, this situation gives you room to argue to a judge that the inspection sticker lacks sufficient evidentiary support if the officer does not remember what it was that caused him to believe that the car was recently operated on a 'highway'.
In short, it may be a dismissable ticket if you have the time and energy to fight it (or ideally, find an attorney to do so to help actually challenge how ridiculous these ordinances and enforcement procedures are).
This answer provides general advice and should not be understood as to create an attorney-client relationship between the questioner and the responding attorney.
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