Fighting traffic tickets for "stopping or parking on a highway" in Nevada
(NRS 484B.440)

Nevada law prohibits drivers from stopping, parking or leaving their car standing on a highway. The fine for this infraction varies depending on the city or county where it took place. Parking tickets do not carry Nevada driver's license demerit points or the requirement to do traffic school.

Drivers with disabled cars are expected to move the car off the highway if practicable. Otherwise, drivers in stalled cars should not face parking tickets for stopping on the highway at no fault of their own.

In this article, our Las Vegas traffic ticket attorneys will discuss:

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys to discuss your options for getting a financial reward.

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Stopping a car on a highway is against Nevada law.

1. Can I stop, stand, or park my car on a highway in Las Vegas, Nevada?

No. NRS 484B.440 is a "common sense" rule that prohibits drivers from stopping or parking their cars on a highway. It does not matter whether the driver leaves the car standing with the engine running. Nor does it matter if the driver remains in the car while it is stopped.

If a car stalls, the driver should try to move the disabled car to a parking spot or shoulder if practicable. The stopped car should leave an "unobstructed width of highway" so other vehicles on the road have free passage to drive. And the stopped car should be visible to drivers 200 feet away in either direction.1

1.1. Businesses and residential districts

Note that NRS 484B.440 pertains only to roadways outside of business or residential districts. A separate "no parking law" under NRS 484.450 applies to businesses and residential districts.

For instance, a person who illegally parks on a crosswalk would get a parking ticket under NRS 484.450 and not NRS 484.440. Read more about the Nevada traffic offense of illegal stopping or parking on non-highways.

2. How do I fight charges for highway stopping or parking in Las Vegas, Nevada?

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Common defenses to NRS 484B.440 violations include:

  • Disabled car. If the driver's car was disabled and the driver had no way of moving it, he/she should not be issued a parking ticket. Drivers are expected to try to move disabled cars off the highway only if practicable. If they cannot, it is not an infraction.   
  • Emergency or public necessity. If the driver reasonably stopped the car to avoid an accident or other emergency, then he/she committed no infraction. Sometimes the weather or other "acts of God" cause driving conditions that require a driver to stop on a highway. And sometimes other drivers make mistakes that require nearby drivers to stop in order to avoid injury.

Note that it is not a defense if there is no traffic on the highway at the time of the stopping. Even on an empty road, drivers can still be cited if a cop finds their parked car on any roadway outside of a residential or business district.

Either way, a criminal defense attorney would try to show that the state has insufficient evidence to prove that the driver had illegally stopped the car. If there is no video or eyewitness testimony to support the police's claims, it may be possible to get the infraction dissolved.

3. What are the penalties for highway stopping or parking in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Illegal stopping on a Nevada highway carries a civil fine, usually in the low hundreds. The amount varies by location.2

4. Can I get the ticket dismissed?

Maybe, depending on the circumstances of the case and the evidence (if any). If the driver can show the car was disabled or that there was an emergency situation, the city is more likely to drop the matter.

5. How many points will go on my Nevada driver's license?

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Illegal stopping or standing on the highway carries no demerit points in an of itself. But if the stopping impeded forward traffic, the driver may be cited under the separate offense of NRS 484B.627. This misdemeanor carries two (2) demerit points.

Note that demerit points stay on a person's license for only one (1) year. If a driver ever gets twelve (12) or more demerit points, then his/her license will be suspended for six (6) months by the Nevada DMV.3

It is important that people with a suspended license not drive. Driving with a suspended license is a misdemeanor carrying up to six (6) months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines. Instead, people with license suspensions can try to fight the suspension by requesting a DMV hearing.4

6. Will my auto insurance rates go up?

Probably not, but it depends on the insurance company and what the cop cites the driver with. Consult with an attorney about whether illegal stopping on a highway can increase car insurance premiums.

7. Do I have to do traffic school?

Courts do not require that drivers cited for violating NRS 484B.440 complete traffic school. Judges usually reserve traffic school for defendants accused of moving violations such as speeding.

8. What will happen if I ignore my traffic ticket?

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Parking ticket fines keep going up if the driver does not pay on time or officially contest the ticket. Therefore, people with parking tickets are strongly advised to handle them as quickly as possible.

9. What will happen to my Nevada commercial driver's license?

The Nevada DMV treats commercial driver's licenses (CDLs) and non-commercial ones the same way. So an NRS 484B.440 violation should not affect a CDL. But if the defendant was accused of impeding forward traffic under NRS 484B.627, his/her CDL will get two (2) demerit points.

10. What will happen to my out-of-state license?

Every state's DMV is different. So non-Nevadans who pick up a traffic ticket in Nevada are advised to contact an attorney in their home state. A local attorney should know how to try to safeguard their license, if necessary.

11. When can I seal my case in Nevada?

Fortunately, parking tickets usually do not appear on a person's criminal record. Therefore, there is no need to seal them.

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12. Should I fight my citation or just pay the fine?

Consult with an attorney before making a final decision. It may be easier just to pay the fine and be done with it. But it also may be worth it to fight the case in pursuit of dissolving the ticket.

13. Can I go to trial?

Unless the parking violation is charged as a misdemeanor, the ticket-holder is not entitled to a criminal trial. But it may be possible to request an administrative hearing to fight a parking ticket. For instance, the City of Las Vegas has an appeals process that allows people to contest their parking tickets not once but twice.5

In the vast majority of cases, though, the driver either pays the fine or settles the matter without a hearing.

14. Do I need an attorney?

It can never hurt to get the opinion of experienced legal counsel. They know the ins and outs of driving and parking laws, and they can explain options and strategies the average driver may be unaware of.

15. Other parking offenses in Nevada

Traffic ticket? Call a Nevada criminal defense attorney...

Were you ticketed for illegal stopping or parking on a Nevada highway? Our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys are waiting for your call 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) to give you a FREE consultation right now.

Were you or a loved one injured because a car was illegally stopped on a Nevada highway? Our Las Vegas car accident attorneys may be able to win you a hefty financial settlement to cover your expenses and more. And it is risk-free because you pay us nothing unless we win your case.

See our related article on the Nevada traffic offense of illegal stopping or parking on non-highways and unsafe turning from private roads onto public roads.

Legal References:

  1. NRS 484B.440. Stopping, standing or parking outside of business or residence district.

          1. Upon any highway outside of a business or residence district no person shall stop, park or leave standing any vehicle, whether attended or unattended, upon the paved or main-traveled part of the highway when it is practicable to stop, park or so leave such vehicle off such part of the highway, but in every event an unobstructed width of the highway opposite a standing vehicle shall be left for the free passage of other vehicles and a clear view of such stopped vehicles shall be available from a distance of 200 feet in each direction upon such highway.

          2. This section shall not apply to the driver of any vehicle which is disabled while on the paved or main-traveled portion of a highway in such manner and to such extent that it is impossible to avoid stopping and temporarily leaving such disabled vehicle in such position.

  2. See, e.g., Clark County Code 14.40 Stopping, Standing and Parking; NRS 484B.627.
  3. NAC 483.500; NAC 483.510(5)(c).
  4. NRS 483.560.
  5. City of Las Vegas Parking FAQ and Fee Schedule.

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