Having automobile insurance is mandatory in New Jersey. In fact, New Jersey law requires a driver to have valid liability, personal injury protection, and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverages in order to legally own and operate a vehicle. This law applies to both the owner and operator of any vehicle.
Driving without insurance or failing to have the minimum standards of coverage are considered serious violations. These offenses come with their own slew of penalties, including fines, suspension of your driver’s license, and time in jail.
The experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC will help you navigate the legal processes associated with insurance violations. Call today to schedule a free consultation and speak with us about your legal options.
Consequences of Driving Without Insurance
Auto insurance liability coverage according to N.J.S.A. 39:6B-1, must meet a minimum standard that includes $15,000 of insurance coverage in the event that one person is injured or killed in an accident, $30,000 of insurance coverage in the event that more than one person is injured or killed in an accident, and $5,000 of insurance coverage for property damage in an accident.
Failing to meet the requirements set forth in the New Jersey statutes results in serious penalties. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission requires drivers who are convicted of driving without insurance to pay surcharges of approximately $250 over 3 years before their license is eligible to be reinstated. Insurance companies can also impose monetary penalties, including high-cost premiums, when an individual is convicted of operating a vehicle without insurance and insures their vehicles in the future.
Additional consequences vary depending on driver history:
Drivers who are convicted of driving without insurance can face:
- A fine between $300-$1,000
- A minimum number of hours of community service
- A mandatory 1-year driver’s license suspension. However, the period of license suspension may be reduced or eliminated if the person provides the court with satisfactory proof of motor vehicle liability at the time of the hearing.
A second offense is treated much more seriously and includes consequences such as:
- A fine of up to $5,000
- 30 days of community service, which is determined at the court’s discretion by assessing what is considered appropriate service under the circumstances
- A mandatory 2-year driver’s license suspension
- 14 days in county jail
After meeting all of the requirements, a driver with two convictions must submit an application to the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles in order to receive a license to operate a motor vehicle. After two convictions, driver’s licenses are granted at the discretion of the Director of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission based on the Director’s assessment of whether the driver is likely to operate a vehicle without insurance in the future.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
If you were stopped and ticketed for operating a vehicle on New Jersey roads without insurance, contact the experienced criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC. We will help you understand the law, your legal options, and any defenses to the charge. Call (856) 245-5913 to schedule a free consultation today.