Like in all other states, you must have liability auto insurance in order to drive a motor vehicle in North Carolina. You should not take this duty lightly. If you are caught driving without it, you could be charged with a crime.
What Insurance Are You Required to Have in Mecklenburg County?
Under North Carolina law, all owners of a registered motor vehicle operated in our state must carry these minimum amounts of liability auto insurance:
- $30,000 for bodily injury per person and $60,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage
While you do not have to buy more than the minimum amount required, it is best to purchase additional coverage. This would protect you if you cause an injury in an accident or if you are hurt in a crash caused by another driver who has insufficient insurance to fully compensate you.
Charges and Penalties for Driving Without Auto Insurance
Driving without required motor vehicle insurance is a Class 1 misdemeanor in North Carolina. In addition to a criminal sentence, you would also owe civil penalties and could lose your license plates for 30 days if you fail to provide proof of new insurance and pay the civil penalties within 10 days.
The sentence that you could face would depend on how many times you have violated the law. Here are the possible punishments:
- First Offense. You could be sentenced to probation for 1 to 45 days. In addition, you would currently owe a $50 civil penalty and a $50 license reinstatement fee.
- Second Offense. Your punishment could be a jail sentence or probation for between 1 and 45 days. The civil penalty would increase to $100, but the license reinstatement fee would still be $50.
- Third or subsequent offense. The criminal penalty and civil reinstatement fee would be the same as for a second offense. However, you would have to pay a $150 civil penalty.
If you are convicted of this crime, you would also have a permanent criminal record that can have long-term consequences on many aspects of your life.
Were you charged with failing to have auto insurance or another traffic offense? Our knowledgeable traffic ticket defense lawyers are here to explain your options to you and to raise a strong defense so that you achieve the best outcome given your situation. To learn more, call our Charlotte office to schedule a free consultation today.