Driving without Insurance Ticket in NJ – NJSA 39:6B2
Defense Attorney for No Insurance Charges
Operating an uninsured vehicle in New Jersey is a serious offense. Under NJSA 39:6B-2, driving without insurance can result in expensive fines, community service time, and losing points on your license. In some cases, it can even result in jail time. The consequences are far-reaching, too, making it difficult to get to work and expensive to obtain insurance in the future. It’s often in your best interest to try to fight these charges and try to get them reduced or even dismissed. This may require the help of an experienced traffic violation attorney.
Often, driving while uninsured is unintentional. You may be unaware that your insurer canceled your policy or it could be a mistake made by the insurance company itself. You may have been unaware of the vehicle’s insurance status or could be borrowing the car of a friend who let their policy lapse. Whatever the cause of the offense, if you are facing these charges, you need to be well-informed before you go to court. It’s critical that you know what to do, how to proceed, and where you can find help to fight the charges.
Insurance Requirements for New Jersey Drivers
The law requires you to carry motor vehicle insurance, but the requirements vary by state. New Jersey minimum requirements for insurance are:
- Bodily injury coverage. This will help keep your assets safe if you are legally responsible for the death or injury of another person in a motor vehicle accident. You must carry $15,000 for injury or death per person, with a $30,000 maximum, on your vehicle.
- Property damage coverage. This coverage will help with the expense of repairing or replacing property you’ve damaged in an accident. This includes the other person’s car. You must carry at least $5,000 worth of property damage coverage.
You should be aware of the minimum coverage requirements. That’s because it’s not only uninsured drivers who could face insurance-related traffic violation charges. Underinsured drivers are at risk, too. Failing to meet the minimum coverage requirements can still result in criminal charges.
Punishments for Driving Without Insurance
New Jersey hands out harsh punishments for those who operate an uninsured vehicle. These punishments are often harsher than what you’d face for other more serious criminal offenses. Because of that, many people choose to hire a lawyer to help them reduce the fines, jail time, and community service hours they may be facing. What punishments you could get will largely depend on whether this is your first offense or not.
First Time Offense
The first charge of driving without insurance may include penalties such as:
- Fines between $300 and $1,000
- Community service hours
- Having your license suspended for at least 1 year
Repeat and habitual charges for driving without insurance may face much harsher penalties, including:
- Fines up to $5,000
- 9 points off your license
- Having your license suspended for at least 2 years
- Mandatory jail time of 14 days
Habitual offenders will also find it much harder (and more expensive) to get motor vehicle insurance in the future. Additionally, if you have other violations on your record, the consequences could be even more severe.
Defense for Driving Without Insurance
Not all driving without insurance cases are the same. Depending on the facts surrounding the case, charges may be dropped, dismissed, or reduced. This is even more likely with a strong defensive argument, particularly with the help of an attorney. Some of the more common defensive arguments for uninsured vehicles include:
- The vehicle wasn’t in operation. What constitutes “operating a vehicle” is different for these cases than for something like a DUI charge, so it’s best to consult an attorney first. It may be that your vehicle was on your private driveway or another car was towing it. In either case, you may be able to prove you were not operating it at the time of the violation.
- Insurance was canceled without your knowledge. By law, the insurance company has to notify you that they’ve canceled the policy. If they fail to do so, you are not at fault. In some cases, your insurance agent may have failed to forward the payment to them. Under those circumstances, you have no way of knowing the vehicle wasn’t insured.
- You are not the owner of the vehicle and unaware it wasn’t insured. If you don’t own the vehicle, you aren’t responsible for its insurance coverage. However, you’d still need to have your own liability coverage as the driver.
- The vehicle was not registered in New Jersey. If you drive the vehicle of someone who only recently moved to or is just visiting New Jersey, then they are not required to have insurance the meets New Jersey’s requirements.
- You were actually insured and can provide proof. Perhaps you didn’t have the right documents in your vehicle at the time you were speaking to the police. If you can prove you were actually insured at the time, you may be able to get a lesser charge, such as failing to exhibit documents.
Hiring a Driving Without Insurance Attorney
Unfortunately, most driving without insurance charges are not easy to defend. Defendants may benefit from the help of an experienced traffic offense lawyer who can help them build a solid case and present it to the court.
These charges can have a huge negative impact on your life. That’s especially true if this isn’t your first charge or you’ve had other traffic violations on your record. Hiring an attorney could help you get the best results for your case. They can also help ease the strain of trying to fight the court system yourself, doing the hard work for you, and walking into court by your side.
If you are looking for an experienced traffic violation attorney in New Jersey, contact our legal team today. We can provide you with a free, fair evaluation of your case and give you some options about how to move forward. Call or fill out the contact form today and a member of our team will get back with you right away to schedule your consultation.