Is Driving Without Insurance a Crime?

auto insurance

If you’re found driving without car insurance in Florida, you certainly aren’t alone. According to research, state officials have estimated that 1 in 4 drivers in the Sunshine State don’t have auto insurance as required by law. However, driving without proper insurance is illegal and can result in significant penalties such as steep fines and the loss of driving privileges. If you’ve received a citation for failure to present proof of current insurance, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of a talented Escambia County Criminal Defense Lawyer who can help you avoid harsh penalties. Please continue reading to learn the penalties you could face for driving without insurance in Florida.

What Are the Legal Requirements for Auto Insurance?

Like most states, Florida requires all drivers to maintain active auto insurance coverage to operate a vehicle legally. Under Florida law, drivers are required to maintain at least the following amounts of coverage:

  • $10,000 for property damage liability (PDL)
  • $10,000 for personal injury protection (PIP)

Florida, unlike many states, doesn’t require drivers to carry bodily injury coverage to pay for the costs associated with others’ injuries or death if they are responsible for an accident. However, specific drivers, such as those who are convicted of DUI, are required to carry it because they are considered high-risk drivers. They must have minimum limits of $10,000 per person and $20,000 per accident.

Nevertheless, if you intend to drop your insurance for any reason, you must surrender your plates before the insurance expires. In addition, you must meet Florida’s car insurance requirements. If you fail, your driver’s license and registration can be suspended for up to three years or until you obtain a new policy.

What Are the Penalties for Driving Without Insurance?

When you’re pulled over for a traffic stop or at the scene of an accident, law enforcement officials will ask you to show proof of insurance. You will face serious legal ramifications if you can’t produce proof of coverage. After your license is suspended, your reinstatement fee could range from $150 to $500, depending on if you have any prior insurance lapses. Unlike other states, you won’t face criminal penalties for failure to keep insurance. However, it’s beneficial to enlist the help of an experienced lawyer who can address the situation as quickly as possible to prevent severe sanctions.

If you’ve been cited for driving without insurance in Florida, please don’t hesitate to contact a skilled lawyer from The Law Office of James M. Burns, who can help you navigate your legal options. Allow our firm to represent your interests to maximize your chances of achieving the best possible outcome.