The state of New Jersey is very serious about the fact that all drivers need to be insured. In fact, it is against the law to drive without insurance. Violating this law comes with serious consequences including fines, loss of license, and even jail time. In order to correctly follow the law, New Jersey drivers need a policy with a minimum coverage of $15,000 for the injury and death of another person, $30,000 for the injury and death of more than one person, and $5,000 for property damages. Therefore, a New Jersey attorney is essential.
For those that are pulled over and are found to have no insurance, the penalties vary based on if it is your first offense or if it is a repeated offense. If you get into an accident and don’t have insurance, you will face penalties, but it will also affect your chance of receiving damages of unquantifiable distress like pain and suffering. If you have been charged with driving without insurance, the best course of action is to contact a New Jersey attorney like Leon Matchin as soon as possible. A lawyer can help get charges completely dropped or at least downgraded in order to avoid certain penalties.
Driving Without Insurance – It’s Against the Law!
New Jersey Statute N.J.SA 39:6B-2 defines the law with regard to driving without insurance. The law states that owners and operators of motor vehicles must possess liability insurance. Failure to have an insurance policy can lead to a charge and various penalties.
Penalties and Consequences
Driving without insurance comes with some serious consequences. The level of penalties depends on if it is a first-time offense or a repeated offense. Here are the penalties associated with a first-time offense:
· Minimum fines of $300, maximum of $1,000
· Period of community service defined by the court
· DMV surcharges of $250 for 3 years
· License suspension for a year
If this is your second offense, the penalties get steeper:
· Fines up to $5,000
· Jail time of 14 days
· Community service for 30 days
· License suspension for 2 years. After this period, the driver must go through an application process with the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to get back their license.
The driver also pays all required court fees before their license is reinstated.
What Happens If You Get in an Accident Without Insurance?
Getting into a car accident means a lot of back and forth with your insurance company during the claim filing process. Well, what happens if you don’t have insurance? There are even more issues than getting a “driving without insurance charge” and facing the penalties listed above.
· What if you are the one to cause the accident? The state of New Jersey is a no-fault state. This means that when an accident occurs, each driver makes a claim through their own insurance. They are also not allowed to sue other drivers unless it is a case of extreme injury. Basically, even if you cause an accident and don’t have insurance, the other drivers involved will still be able to seek damages from their own insurance company.
· What if someone else causes the accident? New Jersey goes by the “no pay, no play” policy. This means that if you don’t pay for insurance, you are not able to sue another driver for unquantifiable damages after an accident. This includes things like pain and suffering. Also, because you don’t have insurance, you will not be able to file a claim. You could face massive expenses to get your car fixed and to pay for medical bills.
How Can a New Jersey Attorney Help?
After getting charged with “driving without insurance”, it is important to seek out the help of an attorney. Leon Matchin, a New Jersey attorney, has years of experience working with drivers who have been charged with not having insurance. His number one goal is to always get charges dismissed. This is the best-case scenario as then the driver will face no penalties. If this isn’t possible, Leon will work to get charges downgraded to a lesser offense. For example, “failure to exhibit insurance card” comes with less penalties. The court will often agree to lessening this charge if the driver can show a valid insurance policy by the time they go to court.
An attorney will analyze your situation to determine what defense to use in court. When it comes to driving without insurance, a common defense is that the person did not realize they were driving without insurance. This can happen when a person’s policy expires without them knowing. Better yet, the policy may be canceled and the insurance company did not properly notify the driver. Perhaps the driver incorrectly thinks that they were insured under a policy owned by another member of their family when in fact they were not. Given that this charge is a strict liability offense it’s the burden of the driver to prove these things in court.
Call a New Jersey Attorney
New Jersey takes seriously driving without insurance. They want to make sure drivers are covered in case an accident happens. The penalties for this offense include fines, community service, loss of license, and even jail time for a second offense. While this can seem overwhelming, having a New Jersey attorney on your side can help get charges dropped or downgraded. An attorney can analyze all the details and evidence in your case to create a successful case.
If you or a loved one have been charged with driving without insurance, give Leon Matchin, a New Jersey attorney, a call at 732-887-2479 or contact him via email at [email protected]. He will set up an initial consultation to learn more about you and your case.