Definition of Uninsured Motor Vehicle
Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle, or with a suspended insurance policy, is defined in Massachusetts law as:
Whoever operates a vehicle, or allows another to operate a vehicle on a public or private motorway which is subject to the provisions of section one A while the motor vehicle liability policy (or bond, or deposit) required by the provisions of this chapter has not been provided and maintained in accordance with the law.
Requirements for Conviction
In order to secure a conviction for operating an uninsured motor vehicle, the prosecution will need to prove that:
- you operated or permitted another to operate a motor vehicle.
- the operation took place on a public or private way, on a way dedicated to public use, on a way under the control of park commissioners or a body of similar powers, or in a place to which the public has a right of access.
- that the vehicle being operated was not insured at this time (either no insurance or a suspended insurance policy).
Each of these elements needs to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The penalty for driving without insurance or with a suspended insurance policy is a minimum fine of five hundred dollars and a maximum of five thousand dollars, or imprisonment for up to one year in a house of correction, or both. You will also lose driving privileges for 60 days. For a subsequent offense, the penalties are increased.
Further Facts & Considerations
Operating an uninsured motor vehicle is not always intentional – some people may not even be aware that an insurance policy has lapsed. It’s important to make sure you are mindful of these expiration dates so you will never be caught without it.
Since driving without insurance is considered a moving violation, it will be tracked by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. In addition to the penalties listed above, a conviction may affect car insurance premiums in the future.
Defending Against Operating an Uninsured Vehicle Charges
If you are charged with operating an uninsured motor vehicle, being prepared with an experienced defense attorney can help avoid a criminal record and the high cost of an insurance increase. We have helped many clients to get these charges dismissed, often without ever appearing on our clients’ criminal records.
Call us today at 781-797-0555 for a free phone consultation.