Driving Without Insurance in New Jersey
Driving without Liability Insurance is one of the most serious motor vehicle tickets a driver can receive. Indeed, the penalties associated with these offenses are among the most severe. As a result, if you are charged with Driving without Insurance you must protect your rights by retaining an experienced defense attorney.
New Jersey statute 39:6B-1 provides:
1. a. Every owner or registered owner of a motor vehicle registered or principally garaged in this State shall maintain motor vehicle liability insurance coverage, under provisions approved by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance, insuring against loss resulting from liability imposed by law for bodily injury, death and property damage sustained by any person arising out of the ownership, maintenance, operation or use of a motor vehicle wherein such coverage shall be at least in: (1) an amount or limit of $15,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs, on account of injury to, or death of, one person, in anyone accident; and (2) an amount or limit, subject to such limit for any one person so injured or killed, of $30,000, exclusive of interest and costs, on account of injury to or death of, more than one person, in anyone accident; and (3) an amount or limit of $5,000, exclusive of interest and costs, for damage to property in anyone accident.
b. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section, an owner or registered owner of an automobile, as defined in section 2 of P.L. 1972, c.70 (C.39:6A-2), registered or primarily garaged in the State may satisfy the requirements of subsection a. of this section by maintaining a basic automobile insurance policy containing coverages provided pursuant to subsections a. and b. of section 4 of P.L.1998, c.21 (C.39:6A-3.1).
c. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section, an owner or registered owner of an automobile, as defined in section 2 of P.L.1972, c.70 (C.39:6A-2), registered or primarily garaged in the State may satisfy the requirements of subsection a. of this section by maintaining a special automobile insurance policy containing coverages provided pursuant to subsection b. of section 45 of P.L.2003, c.89 (C.39:6A-3.3).
In order to win a conviction under this law, the State must prove the following:
1. The driver is owner of the vehicle and/or;
2. Knew or should have known that the vehicle is uninsured; and
3. The vehicle is principally garaged and registered in the state of New Jersey.
As noted above, the penalties for violating this law are extremely serious:
Fines: $300.00 – $1,000.00
Suspension: 1 year
Community Service: Period determined by the Court
DMV Surcharges: $250.00 for 3 years
Court costs and fees
Fines: Up to $5,000.00
Suspension: 2 years
Jail: 14 days (mandatory)
Community Service: 30 Days
Depending on the facts of your case, certain defenses may be available. For instance, if your insurance company cancelled your policy without your knowledge that may be grounds for dismissal. Additionally, your lawyer may also be able to demonstrate that the cancellation of your insurance policy was improper. Furthermore, it may be possible to show that the vehicle was covered by insurance provided on a different vehicle in the same household. Finally, location matters. If the vehicle is principally garaged in another state with conflicting laws that may also be grounds for dismissal.