What Are the Penalties for Driving Without Insurance? Advice from an Attorney

If you’ve been driving without the benefit of an insurance policy, you may have thought it no big deal or a victimless crime. But the state views this issue as a serious offense, and those who are convicted face surprisingly harsh penalties. New Jersey requires that every car that is registered in the state, or that spends the majority of its time garaged or kept in the state has liability insurance coverage: when a car without this type of insurance is taken out onto a public road or highway, it is considered a violation. The state also expects that if you are driving a car, you will know whether it is insured or not, or you should know, and that if it is not insured that you as driver can also be held responsible. If you have been charged with this offense, it is essential that you put yourself into the hands of an experienced New Jersey attorney who can provide you with a competent offense against these charges – otherwise you may have to pay extensive fines and other penalties. The attorneys at Wallace Law can help.

The state takes a harsh approach to both first time repeat offenders. If you are charged with a first-time violation, you may be faced with a fine of at least $300, and you may be required to perform at least $1,000 worth of community service. There is also a s$250 surcharge imposed by the Division of Motor Vehicles that you will be required to pay for three years and your license may be suspended for a year. Additionally, you will have to pay court costs and fees.

Second time offenders are treated even more harshly. The fine climbs to $5,000 and carries a mandatory jail sentence of 14 days as well as 30 days of community service. Your driver’s license will be suspended for two years, and will not automatically be reinstated at the end of that time period: instead you have to directly apply to the Director of the DMV.

Though the consequences of driving without proper insurance are very serious, there are a number of defense strategies that can be used to minimize the impact or have the charges thrown out. In some cases, the attorneys at Wallace Law have successfully argued against a conviction by providing proof that there was some kind of mix-up or mistake on the part of the insurance company and that the driver believed the car to be insured. In some cases we can show that the driver was not the car’s owner and carried their own insurance, or that the vehicle was not actually registered or principally garaged in the state. When you contact Wallace Law to represent you against charges of driving without insurance, we will determine which defense will work best for you and aggressively pursue it so that you can avoid the state of New Jersey’s severe penalties. Call us today to set up an appointment to discuss your case.