Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90, section 34J prohibits driving a motor vehicle without insurance in Massachusetts. The law states it is a crime in Massachusetts for someone to operate or allow someone else to operate a vehicle for which insurance has not been maintained or provided. Not having the minimum amount of insurance coverage is a crime and is punishable under the law.
If you have been charged with Uninsured Operation of a Motor Vehicle in Massachusetts, you do not have to fight these charges alone. The Law Office of David Ellison has experienced criminal defense lawyers who have represented clients on many criminal motor vehicle offenses including operating without insurance in Massachusetts. You can retain an experienced attorney who can help you potentially avoid a criminal record.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR DRIVING AN UNINSURED MOTOR VEHICLE IN MASSACHUSETTS
Massachusetts General Law Chapter 90 Section 34J states the penalty if convicted of driving without insurance or with suspended insurance policy can be as follows:
- Up to one year in jail.
- A fine of $500 up to $5000.
- A suspended driver's license of 60 days.
- Subsequent convictions carry a penalty of a one-year driver's license suspension.
- Note: The law also states if the defendant violates this section and the defendant "has not been previously determined responsible for or convicted therefor, or against whom a finding of delinquency or a finding of sufficient facts to support a conviction has not previously been rendered, on a complaint charging a violation of this section shall be punished by fine of not more than $500."
WHAT MUST THE PROSECUTION PROVE TO CONVICT FOR DRIVING AN UNINSURED VEHICLE
In order to prove someone is guilty of driving without insurance in Massachusetts the prosecution must show beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- The defendant operated a motor vehicle or permitted someone else to operate a motor vehicle;
- The operation took place on a public highway, or on a private way laid out by statutory authority, or on a way dedicated to public use, or on a way under the control of park commissioners or a body with similar powers, or in a place to which the public has a right of access; and
- The vehicle being operated was not insured at the time.
UNKNOWINGLY DRIVING WITHOUT INSURANCE IN MASSACHUSETTS
Sometimes, a driver may be operating a motor vehicle without knowledge that their insured has expired. If you have purchased car insurance the company will send you proof of insurance. If you do not have proof of insurance or the insurance expired and you get pulled over or are involved in a car accident you could be charged criminally. Unfortunately, the law puts the burden on you to make sure your vehicle's insurance is active at all times. Contact our experienced attorneys to help represent you if you were driving a car and were unaware the insurance was expired or lapsed.
SOME EXCEPTIONS TO OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE WITHOUT INSURANCE IN MASSACHUSETTS
Massachusetts General Law Chapter 90 Section 3 states nonresident motorists whose vehicles are validly registered in their home state may be operated in Massachusetts without being registered here, if their state grants reciprocal privileges. However, there are three scenarios in which this provision does not apply to nonresidents.
- The vehicle is operated in Massachusetts more than 30 days in aggregate in any year
- The owner acquires a regular home in Massachusetts
- The owner acquires a business in Massachusetts
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I RECEIVE A CITATION FOR UNINSURED OPERATION OF A MOTOR VEHICLE IN MASSACHUSETTS?
If you received a Massachusetts Uniform Citation for uninsured operation of a motor vehicle in Massachusetts, there are likely instructions to sign it and send it back to the Clerk's Office. This is a criminal application for complaint by the police. It is important to act fast and request a Clerk Magistrate’s Hearing by signing the citation and sending it back to the Clerk's Office. Follow the instructions on the citation because there is a time limit to complete the form by. Once you send the citation back you will likely receive a notice for a Clerk's Magistrate Hearing. You can contact an attorney to represent you on this citation and at the hearing. The Law Office of David Ellison has experienced motor vehicle criminal defense attorneys who have represented many clients on the charge of Uninsured Operation of a Motor Vehicle.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I RECEIVED A SUMMONS TO APPEAR FOR AN ARRAIGNMENT FOR UNINSURED OPERATION IN MASSACHUSETTS?
If you have received a summons to appear at an Arraignment for driving a vehicle without insurance in Massachusetts, you are being formally charged with Uninsured Operation of a Motor Vehicle. This is a criminal offense that can have collatoral consequences on your criminal record and potentially increase the cost of your car insurance. If the case cannot be resolved it will go on for pre-trial. You do not have to face these charges alone. You can have an attorney represent you on these charges.
CONTACT A MASSACHUSETTS MOTOR VEHICLE DEFENSE FIRM
Uninsured Operation of a Motor Vehicle is a misdemeanor criminal offense in Massachusetts; therefore, it is important to hire an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense attorney. The Law Office of David Ellison has attorneys who handle Uninsured Operation of a Motor Vehicle cases. We work hard to provide sound legal advice and to obtain favorable outcomes. If you have been charged with Uninsured Operation of a Motor Vehicle, contact the Law Office of David Ellison today at 401-230-5520.