First-Offense NJ ‘Driving Without Insurance’ Tickets Allow Argument To Withhold Suspension of License in 2014
If you are charged with an Uninsured Motorist violation under N.J.S.A. 39:6B-2 (commonly referred to as “Driving Without Insurance”), you currently face up to a one-year license suspension that may be imposed by the Judge. However, a new option for first-time offenders may be present due to a revised statute effective January 17, 2014. This statute now enables Judges, at their discretion, to reduce or eliminate the suspension period associated with Driving Without Insurance convictions, provided that the defendant show proof of valid liability insurance coverage at the time of the hearing.
NJ Attorneys to Reduce or Eliminate License Suspension Due to 2014 ‘Driving Without Insurance’ Statute
The new language for N.J.S.A. 39:6B-2 (Uninsured Motorist) states that:
An owner or registrant of a motor vehicle registered or principally garaged in this State who operates or causes to be operated a motor vehicle upon any public road or highway in this State without motor vehicle liability insurance coverage . . . and an operator who operates or causes a motor vehicle to be operated and who knows or should know from the attendant circumstances that the motor vehicle is without motor vehicle liability insurance coverage . . . shall be subject, for the first offense, to a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $1,000 and a period of community service to be determined by the court.
The court also shall suspend the person’s right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of one year from the date of conviction; provided, however, the period of license suspension may be reduced or eliminated if the person provides the court with satisfactory proof of motor vehicle liability insurance at the time of the hearing.
The exact language of the statute is important because it does not guarantee that a defendant may be able to avoid a suspension for the offense. Thus, it is still highly advised that an attorney be hired to represent an individual charged with Driving Without Insurance, even for first offenses. An experienced attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor and argue before a Judge as to why a particular defendant should not see a license loss for Driving Without Insurance on a first offense.
Driving Without Insurance: Second or Subsequent Offense
There are still considerable mandatory penalties for a second or subsequent offense of Driving Without Insurance in New Jersey. The statute details these penalties as follows:
Upon subsequent conviction, the person shall be subject to a fine of up to $5,000 and shall be subject to imprisonment for a term of 14 days and shall be ordered by the court to perform community service for a period of 30 days, which shall be of a form and on terms as the court shall deem appropriate under the circumstances, and shall forfeit the person’s right to operate a motor vehicle for a period of two years from the date of the conviction
In any case where an individual is charged with Driving Without Insurance, it is important to consider an experienced attorney to handle the case from start to finish. Not handling Driving Without Insurance tickets the right way could cause a significant loss of driving privileges that impact a driver’s ability to work and provide for his or her family.
Contact our office at 1 (877) 450-8301 if you or a loved one have been charged with Driving Without Insurance in New Jersey. We offer free, confidential case consultations and are available 24/7/365.