Driving an Uninsured Vehicle in New Bern, NC

In North Carolina, driving without insurance is illegal. If pulled over without an active insurance policy, you could face fines, a driver’s license suspension, and increased premiums. Driving an uninsured vehicle isn’t a minor traffic offense. Instead, it can result in a serious Class 3 misdemeanor offense, resulting in a permanent criminal record for those convicted. 

If you’ve received a traffic ticket for driving an uninsured vehicle, you’ll benefit from consulting with a skilled criminal defense attorney. At Greene Wilson Crow & Smith, we’ll provide you with experienced legal counsel. Our New Bern traffic ticket attorneys will work diligently to pursue a dismissal of the charges against you. Before you pay the ticket and plead guilty to driving an uninsured vehicle, don’t hesitate to contact Greene Wilson Crow & Smith.

North Carolina’s Auto Insurance Requirements

Driving in North Carolina is considered a privilege. Consequently, all drivers are required to purchase minimum auto insurance for their vehicles. If a law enforcement officer pulls over a driver without an active policy, he or she could receive a ticket for driving with an uninsured vehicle. 

According to state law, all auto insurance companies must notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) when a driver’s auto insurance policy lapses. Police officers can easily discover that a driver does not have an active auto insurance policy. In North Carolina, drivers must carry the following minimum amounts of auto insurance coverage:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability: $25,000 per accident
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage: $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage: $25,000 per accident

Drivers must provide law enforcement officers with proof of their auto insurance coverage when they are pulled over and asked to present it. Many drivers ticketed for driving an uninsured vehicle receive additional tickets for other traffic violations. When facing multiple traffic violation charges, seeking legal counsel from a skilled attorney is important. 

What Happens If I Receive a Ticket for Driving an Uninsured Vehicle?

If your insurance company has reported a coverage lapse to the DMV, you can be charged if pulled over. Additionally, suppose you have been paying your auto insurance premiums but can’t provide proof of coverage to the officer who pulls you over. In that case, you may receive a fine, and the officer may notify the DMV. You will receive an FS 5/7 form from the DMV in both situations. The form acts as a liability insurance termination notice. 

If you respond within ten days with proof that you have an existing or recently purchased auto insurance policy, you can usually avoid a suspension of driver’s license. If you fail to respond with the supporting documents, the DMV could take your license plates for 30 days and suspend your vehicle registration.

The Benefits of Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you’ve received a ticket, it’s crucial that you reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. Working with an attorney increases the likelihood of avoiding a driver’s license suspension, fines, and jail time. However, defending yourself in court can be time-consuming, stressful, and expensive. 

In many cases, the attorneys at Greene Wilson Crow & Smith are able to negotiate a dismissal of the charges against our clients out of court. When necessary, we frequently represent our clients in court so they don’t have to deal with the stress of going to court. You work with our team; we will make sure you don’t miss any important deadlines and handle every aspect of your case for you. 

The Penalties for Driving without Auto Insurance in North Carolina

Depending on the circumstances, a driver could face multiple types of penalties, including significant fines and a driver’s license suspension, for driving an uninsured vehicle. During these challenging economic times, drivers may let their auto insurance policies lapse because they cannot pay the premiums. However, the consequences of being convicted can be significantly more expensive for those ticketed for driving without auto insurance. 

Drivers will be required to pay a fine of up to $200. Their license and vehicle registration could be suspended, requiring them to pay for transportation to and from work. When all of the fines and other related expenses are combined, they may be more than the monthly car insurance premium cost. Additionally, being convicted of traffic violations can increase your auto insurance premiums.

Driving without the required auto insurance is considered a misdemeanor-level offense in North Carolina. Although misdemeanors are not as serious as felony charges, you will have a criminal record if you are convicted. The specific penalties depend on whether you’ve committed this offense before. 

First-time offenders can face between 1 and 45 days of probation, $100 in fines, a 30-day driver’s license suspension, and a 30-day vehicle registration suspension. Second-time offenders can face up to 45 days in jail and $150 in fines, as well as license and vehicle registration suspensions. Third and subsequent offenders can face up to $200 in fines and license and vehicle registration suspensions.

Contact a Traffic Ticket Attorney in New Bern, North Carolina

At Greene Wilson Crow & Smith, we focus on providing clients with strategic, cost-effective legal representation. With our in-depth understanding of North Carolina traffic laws, we’ll work to put forward the best defense possible. If you’ve received a ticket for driving an uninsured vehicle in New Bern, we will help you fight the charges. We will ensure your rights are protected and pursue the best outcome possible. Contact Greene Wilson Crow & Smith to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about how we can defend you.