driving without insurance is a serious traffic violation in new york. Although driving without insurance is only an infraction, the penalties are anxiety-provoking. a conviction for driving without adequate insurance carries a maximum penalty of 15 days in jail, a fine of $1,500.00, and loss of driver’s license for one year.
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If you or someone you know has been charged with driving without insurance, speak with our experienced New York traffic attorneys today. Our experienced New York traffic attorneys can help you keep your driver’s license, stay out of jail, or reduce your fine. Call us today for a free consultation.
Unfortunately, the provision requiring a convicted person to lose their driver’s license for one year is required by statute, the judge does not have the ability to reduce that aspect of the punishment unless the charges are reduced.
all drivers in new york must carry insurance cards showing the policy and the dates the policy is in effect. Every time a police officer or magistrate asks for such an insurance card, they must hand it over. If you don’t turn in your insurance card, you are presumed to have been driving without insurance. this presumption may be rebutted by evidence that the insurance policy was in full force and effect when the defendant received the traffic ticket, or a letter from the defendant’s insurance company showing that the policy was in force on the date the traffic ticket was issued. issue.
If a person does not own a vehicle, but is driving without insurance, the prosecution is not in as strong a position. This is because there is an additional element of intent that the prosecution must prove in the case of non-owner drivers, knowledge that the vehicle is not insured. Due to the fact that prosecutors must prove this element of intent, in the absence of a confession, prosecutors often offer plea deals. on the other hand, when one presses for a trial, the prosecutor may end up offering more favorable terms for the plea deal. The fact that the presumption of no insurance is raised when the insurance card is not presented does not affect a defendant who is not a homeowner in the same way. the presumption that the vehicle is uninsured is lifted, but the non-owner is not presumed to know that the vehicle is uninsured. furthermore, no law requires the non-owner to inquire about the insurance status of the vehicle.
In court, the insurance card is generally not acceptable proof of insurance. the courts will accept the following evidence:
- original letters signed by the insurance company, not photocopies or scans.
- Letters must be typed and on insurance company letterhead.
- The letter must say when the coverage was and that the coverage included the dates the defendant was ticketed.
- the letter must state that the coverage was in full effect on the day of the traffic ticket.
- the letter must contain the make, model, year and serial number of the vehicle.
Upon showing such a letter, it is the general practice of the courts to dismiss citations for driving without insurance. one must not become overconfident. planning is necessary as letters executed in the prescribed manner, with particular requirements, are difficult for insurance company personnel to get right. multiple calls to an insurance company may be required for the letter to be written correctly, including all required information to be submitted.
If you or someone you love has been charged with driving without insurance, our New York traffic violation attorneys can help you get the charges dropped, reduce your fine, and keep you from going to jail. Call our office today for a free consultation.