In the State of Florida, and across the whole of the United States, it is against the law to drive any vehicle if you do not have motor vehicle insurance. If you are caught, you could face the loss of your driver’s license and other serious penalties. But despite this, as many as 1 in 4 drivers on the roads of Florida are thought to be driving with no coverage whatsoever.
If you have been accused of, or have been charged with, having no motor vehicle insurance in Fort Myers, Florida, you should seek representation from an experienced Traffic Defense Lawyer immediately. Here at The Law Place, we offer a comprehensive defense against any charges that you may be facing. If you need legal advice, call us now at (941) 444-4444 for a free consultation.
What Are the Motor Vehicle Insurance Requirements in Fort Myers, Florida?
Auto Insurance is compulsory for anyone driving a four-wheel vehicle in the United States. According to Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV), the law requires drivers to maintain:
- A minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection or PIP.
- A minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability coverage.
Surprisingly, bodily injury liability coverage is not required by Florida state law. There are a select few drivers who are required to have it, such as anyone who has been convicted of a DUI, according to Florida Statute 324.023, and anyone who has caused a serious car accident whilst uninsured. The minimum limits are usually $10,000 per injury victim and $20,000 per car accident. Your bodily injury liability should cover damages such as serious and permanent injury, as well as a death that occurred due to a traffic accident that was your fault.
If you are a new resident of Fort Myers and the State of Florida, you will need to take out new car insurance; you cannot simply use the car insurance you had in place at your old address. Your new insurance should be issued by a Florida insurance company that is licensed to sell it in the State of Florida. Most insurance companies work nationwide, so it may simply take a call to your insurance provider to have your insurance transferred over.
It is unlikely that a court will accept the argument that you were not aware of the insurance requirements. As a driver, it is your duty to be aware of them. If you own a registered vehicle, it must be insured.
For more information regarding the requirements under Florida law, contact us now for a free consultation.
For a free legal consultation with a lawyer serving Fort Myers, call 941-444-4444
What if My Car Insurance Expires?
If your auto insurance expires and you do not get it renewed straight away, the FHSMV have the right to suspend your license plate and your vehicle registration for up to three years, unless you can provide proof of insurance.
If you have had your license suspended because you were not insured, the reinstatement fee could be as much as $500. The fee will be based on whether or not you have had any prior insurance lapses, as detailed below.
Drivers in Fort Myers should be aware that, under Florida law, there are no temporary licenses available for those who have had their licenses suspended because they have not maintained their insurance.
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What Charges Will I Face for Having No Motor Vehicle Insurance in Fort Myers?
If you are stopped and found to be driving without the proper insurance, you could face the following penalties:
- First Offence – Suspension of license and registration for up to three years, and a reinstatement fee of $150 when you renew your insurance coverage.
- Second Offense – Suspension of license and registration for up to three years, and a reinstatement fee of $250 if the offense occurs within three years of your first offense.
- Third and subsequent offenses – Suspension of license and registration for up to three years, and a reinstatement fee of $500 if the offense occurs within three years of your first offense.
An experienced lawyer can help you to avoid the most serious penalties. Call The Law Place now for a free consultation.
Will I Face Criminal Charges for Having No Car Insurance in Fort Myers, Florida?
Unlike some other states in America, you will not face criminal charges if you fail to maintain your car insurance. This is probably why the rates here are so high! However, you will still need help from an experienced lawyer that can address the situation straight away and avoid the more serious penalties, such as license suspension.
Law enforcement agencies in Florida routinely run uninsured driver crackdowns where they issue many citations for driving with no insurance, so it is not something residents should assume that they can get away with.
If you are stopped by Florida law enforcement and present insurance that you know is out-of-date, you could face first-degree misdemeanor charges and a one-year jail term as laid out in Florida Statute 316.646.
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How Will the FHSMV Know if I Have No Insurance?
Many drivers wrongly assume that the FHSMV won’t know if they are driving with no insurance. All drivers in Fort Myers must be aware that their insurance carriers will immediately notify the FHSMV if their insurance lapses. You will receive notice of suspension in the mail with an opportunity to provide sufficient proof of new Fort Myers auto insurance before the date of suspension. You must prove that it was in place before your previous policy was canceled or expired. With regard to car accidents, your details will be checked at the scene of the accident.
What If I Cause a Car Accident in Fort Myers, FL., Whilst I Have No Motor Insurance?
Things get more complicated when you have been involved in a Fort Myers car accident, and you do not have car insurance.
Florida is a “no-fault” state, meaning that even if the car accident is your fault, the other driver’s insurance policy will cover all minor injuries and damages sustained. If the other driver has uninsured motorist coverage, this makes things very easy for you because their insurance will pay for all damages that may be claimed for, including lost wages and pain and suffering. However, if permanent or serious injuries were sustained by the other driver, they could pursue a civil lawsuit in order to claim further damages. Furthermore, in the case of serious injury or death, you will be required to provide an SR22 certificate that will require you to take out extra coverage than what would normally be required. This extra coverage will include bodily injury liability coverage, which is very expensive.
Following a serious car accident, you may struggle to find a company that will be willing to cover you and would be left unable to drive legally.
Whatever the nature of the injuries or damage that has been caused, we highly recommend that you speak to an experienced lawyer right away. They can help you navigate Florida law and prepare for any lawsuits that you may be about to face following your Fort Myers car accident. Contact us now for a free consultation with one of our Fort Myers car accident lawyers.
What if the Car Accident Wasn’t My Fault?
This is where having no motor insurance can really impact you. If you are involved in a Fort Myers car accident that was not your fault, and you have no car insurance, you will be forced to pay for all of your own damages. Any medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage will not be covered, and you will be seriously out of pocket following the car accident. Furthermore, you will face the penalties mentioned above, such as license suspension.
If you have suffered serious or permanent injuries in a Fort Myers car accident, you will be able to pursue a civil lawsuit against the driver who was responsible for the car accident. With the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer, you could claim compensation for:
- Pain and suffering.
- Medical costs.
- Lost Wages.
- Future loss of earnings.
Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our experienced car accident lawyers.
What Can a Traffic Offense Lawyer Do for Me?
Ignorance is never accepted as an excuse when it comes to a lack of car insurance. However, an experienced lawyer may be able to put forward a valid defense for you. Some examples are:
- You were covered under another person’s policy.
- You were covered by your company policy.
- The FHSMV database was not up to date.
- There were extenuating circumstances in your case, such as having to take someone for emergency medical treatment. In this case, a judge may be more lenient.
These cases are complex and difficult to navigate. A lawyer can take the pressure off and do all of the work for you. We can mitigate your damages by securing your SR-22 or FR-44 certificates in order to get you back on the road legally. These certificates are required for traffic offenses such as reckless driving, DUI, and causing a car accident whilst uninsured.
Finally, having a lawyer on your side shows that you are taking matters seriously, which will work in your favor.
When Should You Hire a Lawyer?
The answer to this question is simple; the sooner you hire a lawyer, the better.
If you have been accused of driving without car insurance in Fort Myers, you should waste no time and get in touch with a lawyer immediately. If you have a lawyer on board from the start, you will improve your chance of being acquitted of the traffic offense you have been accused of.
A Fort Myers lawyer will protect your constitutional rights and prevent the common mistakes that are made in criminal investigations. Drivers who have been accused of a traffic offense often believe that they can talk their way out of their situation, but usually end up damaging their defense instead. Law enforcement agencies will use any statements against you in court. Our experienced traffic offense attorneys can stop this from happening.
How soon you decide to hire a lawyer may mean the difference between a positive and a negative conclusion in your traffic offense case, don’t hesitate, call us now for a free consultation!
How Much Will a Traffic Defense Lawyer Cost Me?
The cost of a traffic defense lawyer in Fort Myers depends on a number of different factors, such as your criminal background, the seriousness of your charges, and any aggravating factors relating to the case. The case will be more complicated when car accidents are involved, as it then becomes a personal injury case. All of our costs will be laid out in your free consultation. There will be no surprises from your lawyer when your case is settled, transparency is at the heart of our practice, and this is something we take pride in. Call us now for your free consultation, and all your questions regarding costs will be answered.
Contact The Law Place Now for a Free Consultation
If you have been caught driving with no motor vehicle insurance in Fort Myers, you should contact a skilled Traffic Defense Lawyer as soon as possible.
No-one wants to face the loss of their driver’s license or expensive fines. A traffic defense lawyer from The Law Place can help you fight any charges that you may face for driving with no motor insurance, and we can negotiate an agreement to legally get you back on the road. Our team of lawyers has a combined experience of 75 years and handles cases like yours every day. Call us now at (941) 444-4444 to arrange your free consultation.