Criminal Defense Lawyers in Salt Lake City - Serving All of Utah
What is the penalty for driving without insurance in Utah?Utah law requires any person operating a motor vehicle on Utah roads to have insurance. Although driving without insurance is considered a "traffic violation" in Utah, it does require a mandatory court appearance and penalties can include jail time and more than $1,000 in fines and surcharge. You may also be required to carry SR22 insurance if you have been convicted of driving without insurance in Utah. Because the consequences of a conviction for driving without insurance can be serious, it is important to consult with an experienced Utah criminal defense lawyer regarding your options.
Driving without insurance in Utah is a class B misdemeanor punishable by a maximum penalty of up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 plus a 90% surcharge. The maximum penalty is seldom imposed. For a first offense, a judge is more likely to follow the Utah uniform bail schedule, and impose a fine of $400. A second offense the bail schedule recommends a fine of of $1,000. These amounts are statutory minimums, and the judge may impose a higher amount.
Although driving without insurance is sometimes considered a "traffic violation," it is also a criminal charge that brings with it all of the protections guaranteed by our Federal and State constitutions. You are entitled to a presumption of innocence and a trial by jury if you are charged with driving without insurance.
Just because you are charged with driving without insurance does not mean you are guilty. People are sometimes charged because they did not have an insurance card with them in the vehicle. If you actually had insurance in effect at the time, you are not guilty.
If you actually had insurance, but didn't have proof of insurance with you, police or prosecutors may try to charge you with "no proof of insurance." The fines and penalties in Utah for having no proof of insurance are essentially the same as those for driving without insurance. However, there is a statutory defense to driving without proof of insurance if you actually had insurance at the time. The burden of proof will be on you to demonstrate that you actually had insurance at the time. But this can usually be accomplished with a letter from your insurance company stating that your insurance policy was in effect and current at the time.
If you are charged with driving with no insurance or driving without proof of insurance, you should speak with an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney. Stephen Howard has defended literally thousands of serious felony and misdemeanor charges, ranging from the most serious aggravated charges to DUI and virtually everything in between. His track record includes not guilty verdicts or dismissals for charges including aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, fraud, drug distribution, DUI, and many more.
Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard offers legal services to clients throughout Utah. Contact us now to schedule an initial consultation for your case.