What are the consequences of failing to carry motor vehicle insurance coverage?
If you operate a motor vehicle (car, truck or motorcycle) on any public road or highway in this State without liability insurance coverage you are subject, for the first offense, to a fine of not less than $300 but not more than $1,000 and a period of community service to be determined by the court, and forfeit your driver’s license for a period of one year from the date of conviction. If convicted again, you are subject to a fine of up to $5,000 and subject to imprisonment for a term of 14 days, and community service for a period of 30 days, and you forfeit your driver’s license for a period of two years from the date of conviction. After the expiration of the two years period, you must then make an application to the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles for a license to operate a motor vehicle, which request may be granted or denied at the discretion of the director of motor vehicles. What a scary prospect.
The key words of the statute are: “owner or registrant,” of a motor vehicle,” “registered or principally garaged,” who knew or should have known by the attendant circumstances.” The most obvious defense for you is to prove by competent evidence that although you were the operator, the vehicle was owned by another and you had no reason to believe that the vehicle was uninsured. Here is where the assistance of an experienced New Jersey Municipal Court attorney can come to your assistance.
In the event your insurance coverage was cancelled by the insurance company, the state and prosecutor must prove that it was lawfully cancelled and that you were sent or received, actual notice of cancellation. It follows that if the cancellation was not lawful or without written notice of the cancellation then a finding of not guilty can be entered. Again, having the right advocate on your side makes all the difference.
Have you been charged with driving without insurance? If so, contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. today for a confidential consultation. You can reach him toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a New Jersey Municipal Law Attorney