Driving without insurance in Maryland and other parts of the United States is a severe offense, with equally stringent punishments. You can go from paying fines to having your driver’s license suspended. In more severe cases, you may face jail time. This article sheds light on the consequences of driving without insurance and how a Maryland defense attorney can help.
What Does It Mean To Drive Without Insurance in Maryland?
In Maryland, driving without insurance means knowingly or unknowingly operating an uninsured motor vehicle. The definition extends to driving with a policy that does not meet the required Maryland minimum liability coverage.
Also, if you knowingly allow someone to drive an uninsured car, or you drive someone else’s uninsured vehicle, you will face penalties. Even if you have a subsisting policy, if you operate a car without proof of insurance — an insurance card — you will still receive a ticket. You’ll have to fight the latter in court with the help of a Maryland lawyer.
What Are the Fines and Penalties for Driving Uninsured in Maryland?
Under Maryland law, driving without insurance is a misdemeanor criminal citation. It merely means that in addition to the fines you’ll face, there’s a possibility for jail time. You can also forfeit your driving privileges.
For a first offense conviction, the state issues five points on your driver’s license, a $1,000 fine, and you get up to one year in jail. For a second offense, a conviction means an additional five points, two years in prison, and a fine of $2,000.
If you get caught without a Maryland license and vehicle registration in addition to driving without insurance, you’ll face additional fines and jail time. Note that it would be more severe at this point, and you also need to appear in court.
What Are the Penalties for Driving With an Insurance Lapse?
Driving with an insurance lapse means operating a vehicle with unrenewed insurance. It means that your policy has expired, and you forgot to renew it. Maryland law doesn’t forgive a lapse, as ignorance is never an acceptable excuse for not following the rules.
The penalties for the offense are usually administrative, and you can get penalized even if you didn’t get a ticket for driving without insurance. The punishment for this offense includes:
- Loss of driver’s license and vehicle registration
- Fees of $150 for the first 30 days of the lapse, and $7 for every day after, usually up to $2,500
- A fine of $25 to restore your vehicle’s registration
- License plate confiscation once registration has been suspended
- A prohibition from registering new vehicles until you clear the insurance violations
You need legal guidance to resolve the above issues and mitigate the punishment.
What Happens When You Get Into an Accident While Driving Without Insurance?
If you operate a vehicle without insurance and get into a traffic accident, you are liable to pay for the damages. Maryland allows the other driver to sue you instead of filing a claim with your insurance company for compensation. It means that you’ll pay out-of-pocket with your money. The law applies if someone else drives your car uninsured or you operate someone else’s uninsured vehicle.
What Is the Role of an Attorney if You’re Caught Driving Without Insurance?
Driving without insurance might seem like something minor, but it long has long-lasting consequences. A conviction of any kind is harmful and will stay on your record. It would affect your life in different ways, and you’ll have to disclose it when attending job interviews.
The best chance you have to ensure you don’t have a conviction on your record is hiring an attorney. A lawyer will speak on your behalf and protect you, especially if you drove without knowing your insurance lapsed. Even if you knowingly operated a motor vehicle without mandatory coverage, an attorney can still help you.
Contact Pinder Plotkin LLC For Help
As experienced personal injury lawyers, we understand that a minor traffic offense can soon escalate to something bigger if not handled in time. We also know that legal issues of any kind can be unsettling and throw your life into a chaotic mess. But things can be different if you hire an attorney from Pinder Plotkin LLC.
Our combined years of experience guarantee that we offer you nothing but good common-sense advice that’s easy to understand. When we take your case, we will do our best to get you off or with a minor punishment. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.