Is Driving Without Insurance a Crime in New Jersey?

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Car insurance can be costly and annoying to pay, especially if you do not frequently get into accidents. If your driving record is clean, you might ask yourself why you are paying for insurance at all. However, driving without insurance in New Jersey is a crime, even for the most cautious of drivers. If caught operating a vehicle without insurance, you can face extensive fines and even jail time for repeat offenders. For assistance relating to an insurance case, reach out to a Mercer County criminal defense lawyer for legal advice and representation.

Is Auto Insurance Required in Every State?

Driver’s insurance is required in every state in the United States except for New Hampshire and Virginia. According to New Jersey state law, every driver must have enough insurance coverage to cover the following.

  • $25,000 for property damage
  • $25,000 for injuring or killing a person
  • $50,000 for injuring or killing multiple people
  • $15,000 for personal injury protection

It is important that every driver in the state has auto insurance. Being insured can help protect you and your family from significant financial losses that may be associated with a car accident.

What Are the Penalties for Driving Without Insurance?

Driving without insurance in New Jersey is considered a serious traffic offense. After an accident or during any traffic stop, a law enforcement officer may ask for proof of your car insurance. If you fail to show proof of insurance you will likely be given a ticket or citation and be required to appear in court with proof of your auto insurance provider. For your first offense, you can expect to receive the following.

  • Fines of $300 to $1,000 and an insurance surcharge of up to $250 annually for 3 years
  • Suspension of your driver’s license for one year
  • Mandatory community service
  • Vehicle impoundment

For a second offense or any additional, you can expect to receive the following.

  • Fines of up to $5,000 and an insurance surcharge of up to $250 annually for 3 years
  • Suspension of your license for 2 years or longer
  • Mandatory community service of at least 30 days
  • Vehicle impoundment
  • Up to 14 days of jail time

New Jersey has some of the most stringent rules and requirements for auto insurance providers in the country.

Should I Hire a Lawyer?

If you are facing charges related to driving without insurance, it is recommended that you acquire the help of a skilled lawyer. As you now know, the penalties for driving without insurance in New Jersey can be quite severe. To ensure competent representation and the best outcome possible for your case, contact an experienced attorney who can evaluate the details of your circumstances and offer you guidance during the legal process.

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