Driving in Atlanta is probably one of the most stressful things we do each day. If you drive each day, especially on 85 or 75, not having car insurance is insane. If you get pulled over in Atlanta for No Proof Insurance you are in trouble. The Atlanta Police can tow your car right on the spot.
Georgia Statute O.C.G.A. § 40-6-10 – is divided into 2 Different Offenses:
Driving Without Valid Insurance:
If a person driving in Atlanta does not have valid insurance or a vehicle is not insured by its owner, they will be charged with Driving without insurance and subject to the full misdemeanor consequences mentioned above. This includes imprisonment for up to 12 months, $1000 in fines, and the loss of their privilege to drive for at least 60 days to 90 days.
Because of the severe consequences of this offense, we suggest that a person hires a qualified Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorney if charged. If this charge is in association with a DUI Offense, then a person should most certainly hire a qualified Georgia DUI Lawyer.
No Proof of Insurance:
When a person has insurance but does not provide proof to a police officer, they will be charged with No Proof of Insurance. The maximum fine, in this situation, cannot exceed $25. When a person attends court, the prosecutor (solicitor) will ask the accused if they had valid insurance when they were ticketed.
It is important to bring the insurance card or binder in effect as of the date of the charge. Keep in mind that court appearances can be weeks or months after a person is charged. Bring the correct insurance card to court. You will not need a lawyer if this is the only offense, and the court will reduce the fine to $25 or less. Many courts will simply dismiss the charge if you had insurance at the time of the ticket.
In the event the ticket is reduced from No Insurance to No Proof of Insurance, the court clerk will NOT report the conviction to the Department of Driver Services or your insurance company. Other than the payment of the $25 fine, it will be like it never happened.
Insurance Lapse – Consequences:
Many people do not realize that their insurance company will send a notice of insurance lapse to the State of Georgia for failure to pay insurance premiums. This can lead to a person having their license suspended. Driving with a suspended license has severe consequences, such as time in jail, fines of $500 – $1000, and a further suspension of your license for at least 6 months. Do not allow this to happen!
Your insurance company will give you a 30-day grace period. If your insurance does lapse more than 30 days, you will have to pay a $25 lapse fee and a $60 license reinstatement fee. Remember, like all drivers’ license suspensions, your license will Not reinstate itself. You have to take active steps to reinstate your license, or it will remain suspended indefinitely.
Practical tips when a client is charged with No Insurance in Georgia:
Many people charged with Driving Without Insurance quickly go and get coverage. They were not insured at time they were ticketed, but they quickly get coverage. They are technically guilty but quickly rectified the problem. This is where having a skilled lawyer on your side can help. The Howard Law Group can help people with No Insurance charges by arguing for a reduction of the offense to no proof of insurance. This can happen even in situations where a person is technically guilty. The sooner you get coverage, the better.
Further, an alternative is to enter a Nolo (no contest) plea to the charge. Once every 5 years, a person can plead nolo. This will save the 60-day license suspension that would go with the charge of Driving Without Insurance. It effectively gives someone one chance to make things right with the State. However, there is not reduction in fines when a person pleads no contest.
A driver must show acceptable proof insurance regardless of who owns the vehicle. There is no exception to this rule, and your good faith belief that a vehicle is covered is not a defense.
If you are driving someone else’s car, your own insurance may cover you depending on your individual policy. This would be a complete defense to the charge of Driving Without Insurance in Georgia.
If you or someone you know has been ticketed for Atlanta NO Insurance, contact the Howard Law Group ASAP so we can get the charged reduced or dropped.