Across the United States, it is illegal to operate any motor vehicle without the appropriate driving insurance. If you happen to be caught driving your car without the appropriate insurance, you may be punished. You may lose your driver’s license along with other additional penalties. If your driver’s license is lost, you will find it much more difficult to complete your daily responsibilities. It may also impact your earning potential as if your commute required a personal vehicle you may no longer be able to get to work. Additionally, any car accident you are involved in without insurance can be financially devastating, as the cost of medical bills following a personal injury can be astronomical. Seeking insurance after a serious car accident that occurred while you were uninsured can also be an impossible task for some. The consequences of a severe uninsured car accident can haunt you for a long time. This is where our experienced personal injury lawyers in Sarasota can help.
Despite these very real consequences, approximately one in every four drivers currently on the roads in Florida are estimated to be driving without insurance coverage. This is good news if you have been accused of a similar charge, as The Law Place has a wealth of experience helping these drivers to minimize the charges against them. Our team has a track record and over 75 years of combined experience winning cases where the defendant has been accused of knowingly operating their car without insurance.
If you are in the position of being accused of driving without insurance in Sarasota County, get in touch with our team of experienced Sarasota criminal defense lawyers today. We are happy to offer you a free consultation over the telephone at any time of the day or night. This consultation will be without obligation and is fully protected by the attorney-client relationship, so you don’t have to worry about divulging potentially confidential information.
Contact our office in Sarasota, Florida, at (941) 444-4444 for more information.
Insurance Requirements in Sarasota, FL.
Florida has “no-fault” laws that apply to anybody who drives a car on their roads. This means that, in accordance with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV), you will need to possess at least $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage, as well as at least $10,000 insurance for property damage liability.
However, in Florida, there is no requirement for bodily injury liability coverage. There are exceptions to this, such as those who have previously found themselves of driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, as per Florida Statute 324.023. Similar stipulations apply to any driver who has caused any serious car accidents in the past while uninsured.
The minimum amount of coverage in these cases is usually around $10,000 per personal injury victim and a total of $20,000 for each of the car accidents. It is important to ensure that this bodily injury coverage also covers serious and permanent injury levels, including the possibility of death caused by you being at fault in a car accident.
It is also important to remember that you will be required to get new car insurance if you are new to the State of Florida. Your old car insurance bound to your previous address, outside of Florida, will no longer be sufficient coverage. Ensure that the new insurance company is one based in Florida and that it is licensed for sale in Florida. Many insurance companies operate on a nation-wide basis, so it may be possible to transfer your old insurance to a valid Florida insurance via a simple phone call with your insurance company.
A Florida court is highly unlikely to simply believe you were not aware of Florida’s insurance requirements. It is in your duty as a driver to be knowledgeable about them. If your vehicle is registered, it must also be insured.
If you need any additional information or guidance concerning Florida’s laws regarding insurance companies, do not hesitate to contact The Law Place for a free consultation.
What if Your Insurance Expired?
If your car insurance has expired and you don’t immediately renew it, the FHSMV retains the right to suspend your license and registration for a period of up to three years, unless you are able to provide some proof of insurance.
In a case where your license was suspended because you were not insured, you could face reinstatement fees as high as $500. This fee is calculated by looking at whether you have already established a history of auto insurance lapses.
In Sarasota County, by the stipulations of Florida law, those who have had their license suspended due to a lack of insurance will not be eligible for a temporary driving license. This can severely impact your day-to-day life.
What Are the Charges for Driving Without Insurance in Sarasota, FL?
If your Sarasota car is caught being operated without insurance, there are a number of potential penalties that could await you, depending on how many times you have committed a similar offense.
These are as follows:
- First-time offenders – You can expect to have your license suspended for a period of up to three years. The reinstatement fee will be $150 when the time comes to get your insurance coverage renewed.
- Second-time offenders – Again, you can expect a suspension period of up to three years. However, this time, the reinstatement fee will be $250, provided that the first offense happened within a three-year window.
- Third-time and subsequent offenders – The same period of up to three years suspension applies. The fees for reinstatement will now be $500 if the offenses occurred within three years of your first.
An experienced and knowledgeable traffic lawyer can assist in avoiding the harshest of these consequences. Get in touch with The Law Place today for more information.
Is Driving Without Insurance a Criminal Offence in Sarasota?
Luckily, if you are found to be driving without insurance in Sarasota, Florida, you will not be facing criminal charges. Remember, this is not true for all of America.
However, suppose you are stopped by the police for a Sarasota car insurance inspection and knowingly provide insurance that is not in date. In this case, it is possible that you may face a first-degree misdemeanor charge, in accordance with Florida Statute 316.646. This may result in a year of imprisonment.
Police agencies in Sarasota run routine crackdowns on those driving without insurance and issue many citations. For this reason, it should be further stressed that Sarasota residents should not presume they will be able to get away with being uninsured.
Even if your Sarasota car insurance charges are not criminal, you will still benefit from representation by an experienced traffic offense lawyer. They will be able to help you mitigate the worst consequences of your charges.
How Can the FHSMV Find Out if You Do Not Have Car Insurance?
It is a common misconception that due to the large size of the organization, you can slip through the cracks in the FHSMV system. However, all Sarasota car drivers should be aware that their insurance companies operate systems that automatically inform the FHSMV when there is a lapse in auto insurance.
In this case, you can expect to receive your suspension in the mail, along with an invitation to provide proof of new Sarasota car insurance before the date that the suspension begins. This proof must show that the new auto insurance policy began prior to your previous insurance policy’s expiration to be valid.
You can also be discovered for non-possession of insurance if you are involved in a car accident. Following a car accident, you will be required to exchange the details of your insurance company with the other driver, as well as possibly the authorities, depending on the severity of your car accident. Involvement in a car accident without the relevant insurance can become an incredibly costly affair.
Consequences of a Car Accident Caused With No Insurance
If you have been involved in a car accident while not possessing insurance, things quickly become complicated and expensive.
Due to Florida’s status as a “no-fault” state, car accidents with no insurance can be financially devastating regardless of who is liable for the accident. The “no-fault” laws require both parties involved in a car accident to go through the other party’s insurance company.
However, if you are lucky enough that the other person involved in the car accident had uninsured motorist coverage, your life will be much easier. This is because their insurance policy will cover all damages, including medical bills, personal injury, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
In the event that the car accident resulted in a serious injury or death, things become even more difficult. You will then be required to present an SR22 certificate, which requires that you gain extra coverage above the normal requirements. This coverage will need to include very expensive bodily injury insurance. Additionally, if you have been involved in a serious car accident while uninsured, it is likely that you will struggle to find insurance companies who are willing to provide cover. This can leave many unable to return to driving legally.
No matter the scale of the car accident y caused while uninsured, nor the severity of any injury that may have been incurred to those involved, we would highly advise you to seek legal representation immediately.
The Law Place in Sarasota will be able to assist you in navigating the complexities of Florida’s driving laws as well as helping to defend you in any personal injury lawsuits put forward by the accident lawyers of the other party involved in the accident.
What if the Uninsured Car Accident Wasn’t Your Fault?
Unfortunately, even if you were involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault while lacking insurance, you will pay the price. Without car insurance, you will have to cover all personal damages out of your own pocket. This includes any personal injury, medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. Additionally, you will still face the penalties for driving without insurance.
However, a lack of insurance does not mean you are ineligible for a civil personal injury lawsuit if the other driver was at fault. The Law Place boasts a team of experienced and knowledgeable accident lawyers who can help you seek compensation for cases of:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
If your accident was not your fault and you would like to find out how our Sarasota personal injury lawyers can help you, get in contact with The Law Place using the number at the bottom of the page.
How Much Will Defense From a Traffic Offense Lawyer Cost Me?
Unfortunately, there are no set rates when considering the cost of a traffic offense lawyer. The price will fluctuate depending on several factors, including any criminal history, the severity of the charges against you, and any additional factors which will complicate or aggravate the case. Additional complications can be expected if a car accident was involved, as then the case also becomes one of personal injury.
However, here at The Law Place, we always lay out our full costs before you commit to representation. Regardless of who was at fault in your accident or how many aggravating circumstances your case has, you deserve to know the full price upfront with no hidden extras. Fee transparency is key to our ethics and a point of pride at The Law Place.
Contact The Law Place Today
If you have been accused of operating a vehicle without insurance or have been involved in a car accident with no insurance, you should seek professional legal representation as soon as possible.
The Law Place in Sarasota has a team with over 75 years of combined experience working on both sides of the car accident process. Our lawyers also have a wealth of experience minimizing the consequences for drivers found without appropriate insurance. Your defense is worth pursuing, as the consequences of license suspension will extend to your professional and social life.
Florida’s “no-fault” laws make for a complex legal case for the uninitiated. Don’t let them trip you up and land you with preventable penalties. Instead, seek a free telephone consultation with The Law Place today. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and all our calls are at no obligation. We will help you to plan your legal route going forward and disclose all fees that apply to your personal case. Alleviate your anxiety and start the process of achieving the best result by speaking to a member of our experienced and knowledgeable team today.
For more information and free, impartial legal advice, please contact our offices at (941) 444-4444.