Driving without insurance could lead to criminal charges

On Behalf of | May 30, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Auto insurance can protect you against costs that may arise during an accident. It will cover any injuries you sustain and damage to your car in emergencies. If an uninsured driver was at fault for the accident, your insurance could cover property damage. Insurance will help pay for all these sudden expenses if you continue to pay premiums.

You might think that because insurance is an added expense, you can get away with not buying coverage for as long as you drive as safely as possible. However, driving without insurance in North Carolina is illegal, and you can get into more trouble than if you had just bought a policy.

Penalties for driving without insurance

If officers pull you over and discover that you don’t have auto insurance, they could charge you with a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries probation or jail time for up to 45 days. Authorities will also suspend your driver’s license for 30 days.

On top of these penalties, a court will ask you to pay fines depending on how many times you’ve incurred the offense:

  • First offense: A civil penalty fine of $50 and a license reinstatement fee of $50
  • Second offense: Civil penalty fine of $100 and a license reinstatement fee of $50
  • Third and later offenses: Civil penalty of $150 and a license reinstatement fee of $50

Drivers who have insurance but don’t have proof of coverage to show to the officers will have to later report to the state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and prove they have a policy. If they can’t, the authorities will charge the drivers as if they didn’t have insurance.

Additionally, even if law enforcement doesn’t pull you over and catch you without insurance, your insurer can report that your policy has lapsed to the DMV.

Driving without insurance may be one of the lesser traffic violations you could be charged with, but it’s a violation, nonetheless. It would be best if you considered fighting the charge with the help of a legal professional. A traffic offense attorney can review your case, represent you in court, and request that your charges be dismissed or reduced.