Wednesday, October 6, 2010

'I DON'T HAVE CAR INSURANCE!": DRIVING WITHOUT INSURANCE IN ILLINOIS

Money is tight so something had to give. As a result, you didn’t pay your car insurance. Next thing you know, the police stopped you for speeding and also cited you for driving an uninsured motor vehicle.

What are the penalties, and what can you do?

In Illinois, if you actually had valid insurance the day you were stopped but simply didn’t have the proof on you, then you can show the judge your insurance card at court. The driving without insurance portion of your case will likely be dropped, although you may still need to fight any other violations.

If you did not have insurance and this is a first offense, you may be eligible for late compliance. You must then provide proof that you have valid insurance as of your court date. You may still be subject to a fine and court supervision.

If you had no valid insurance and do not qualify for late compliance, the penalties become more severe. Besides a fine of at least $500 for a first offense, you can lose your driver privileges for three months. Should you continue to drive, you can face greater fines and penalties. If you continue to drive on a license that was suspended for no insurance, you could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $2,000 and a jail term up to 6 months. You are best advised to consult an attorney regarding whether you have a defense. Even if you don’t, an experienced attorney may be able to obtain a more favorable plea bargain than you could on your own.

If you are considering faking your insurance card to get out of hot water, think again. If you show police a falsified card, you may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. To convict you, however, the state must show beyond a reasonable doubt that you either knew you had no valid insurance or you knew that the evidence your presented had been illegally altered or otherwise invalid. An attorney can help you fight these charges.

If you have any questions about driving without insurance or other traffic or criminal matters, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or matt@mattkeenanlaw.com

See our related DUI blog at http://duilawyerskokie.com.


SOURCE: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=062500050HCh%2E+3+Art%2E+VII&ActID=1815&ChapterID=49&SeqStart=52100000&SeqEnd=53500000

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves clients in the communities of Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Palatine, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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