What is the penalty for driving without insurance in Utah?
without insurance is
often referred to as a "traffic violation" in Utah. But it is in fact a
criminal charge requiring a mandatory
court appearance, with penalties that can include jail time and
significant fines. A conviction for no
insurance or no proof of insurance can appear on a criminal
background check, and may affect expungement eligibility. Financial
consequences of a conviction can reach beyond the courtroom,
and require a
person to carry expensive SR22 insurance.
law creates criminal offenses both for driving without insurance and
for driving without proof of insurance. If you have been charged with
either of these criminal offenses, consequences of a
conviction can be serious. It is important to consult with an
criminal defense lawyer
regarding your options. Contact
us now to see how we can help you.
Driving without insurance can mean a criminal conviction in
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
impose a fine accordingly. For a second offense, the bail schedule
recommends a higher fine. But the judge may impose a higher amount if
the court determines that the circumstances justify harsher punishment.
Criminal charges carry important Constitutional protections.
Although it may be tempting to discount the severity of a no insurance
ticket, it is 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. Some cases are filed simply because a driver did
not have an insurance card in the vehicle.
In other cases, a defendant has driven another person's car without
realizing that the owner did not have insurance. In such cases, the
driver's own insurance policy may still cover the uninsured vehicle.
Understanding what your insurance policy does and does not cover can be
critical to defending a no insurance charge in Utah. If you are charged
but actually had insurance in effect at the time,
you have been charged with an insurance-related offense, understanding
your rights is critical to achieving the best result for your case. Contact
us today to learn more about your rights and how we can help you.
Actually having insurance is a complete defense to a charge
of not having "proof" of insurance.
addition to a criminal charge for driving without insurance, the Utah
legislature has also created a separate criminal offense for not having
proof of insurance in your vehicle while driving. If you actually had
insurance, but didn't have proof of insurance with
you may still be charged with not having proof of insurance. But if you
can present proof of actually having insurance in effect at the time of
the alleged offense, that may be a complete defense to the charge.
fines and penalties in Utah for having no
proof of insurance are essentially the same as those for driving
without insurance. If you cannot present proof of actually having
insurance at the time, you may be subject to jail time and substantial
fines. The burden of proof will be on you to demonstrate that
you actually had insurance at the time. In the negotiations stage,
a letter from your insurance company
stating that your insurance policy was in effect and current at the
time may be sufficient to convince the prosecutor to dismiss the case.
But if the case is set for trial, you should be prepared to present
formal proof in compliance with all of the rules of evidence and other
criminal procedural rules under Utah law.
A conviction for no insurance may prevent expungement of
other more serious charges.
ticket for no insurance or no proof of insurance may be commonly
referred to as a "traffic" offense. But under Utah expungement law,
these charges are not considered "traffic offenses" but are instead
treated as criminal convictions for the purpose of determining expungement
Utah Expungement Act does make exceptions for many traffic offenses
under the Utah Motor Vehicle Code, Title 41 Chapter 6a. But the
statutes governing criminal charges for no insurance and no proof of
insurance are found in Chapter 12 of the Utah Motor Vehicle Act, and
therefore do not come under the "traffic offense" exception in
determining expungement eligibility.
Thus, in some cases, a
person may be denied eligibility for expungement based on what may
otherwise be considered a minor traffic offense. If you find yourself
facing a denial of your request for a certificate of eligibility for
expungement from BCI, an experienced criminal attorney may be able to
help you restore your eligibility.
Choose the right criminal defense attorney to help you.
you are charged with a crime in Utah, you should speak with an
experienced Utah criminal defense
Stephen Howard has successfully protected his clients' rights in
literally thousands of serious
felony and misdemeanor charges, ranging from the most serious aggravated
to DUI and virtually everything in between. His track record
includes not guilty verdicts or dismissals for charges including aggravated
and many more.
understand that many people facing traffic-related criminal charges may
not want to take their cases to trial, but are instead looking to find
a quick resolution for the charges. We work with clients to develop a
cost-effective strategy to effectively deal with the charges and minimize the effect of a criminal charge.
Based in Salt
Lake City, criminal defense lawyer
Stephen Howard offers
legal services to clients throughout Utah. Contact us
schedule an initial consultation for your case.
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