In an unpublished opinion the New Jersey Appellate Division recently clarified the availabel defenses to Driving Without Insurance N.J.S.A. 39:6B-2. In the case of State of New Jersey v. Robert Jager, the Defendant was convicted of Driving Without Insurance appealed his conviction. According to the decision, after stopped by the police Mr. Jager produced an insurance card. However, the officer determined the insurance card did cover the vehicle Mr. Jager was driving. The police officer then issued a summons for Driving While Suspended. At trial the Defendant claimed that he previously swithched insurance coverage from another vehicle to the vehicle he was driving at the time of the stop. In an attempt to prove his case, Defendant produced a letter written to the insurance company requesting the change in coverage. Defendant then claimed that even though the car was not insured at the time of the stop, he never received notice of cancellation by the insurer. He argued the insurer sent the cancellation notification to the wrong address. As a result, he lack knowledge that the car was not insured and thus he could not be held liable for the lack of insurance. He argued that because the insurance company never provided him with the necessary notification, the car was still insured at the time of the stop.
The Court rejected Mr. Jegar's arguments and concluded that Defendant's contentions were irrelevant because the Defendant did initially prove that the vehicle was ever insured. Nor could the Defendant prove that the insurance had in fact been canceled. To successfully defend against this charge the defendant needed to prove he initially had automobile insurance on the car and that he did not receive notice of the cancellation. As a result of the conviction the Defendant was sentenced to 14 days in county jail, 2 year loss of license, fines and costs of $1539.00 and 30 days of community service. The court noted the defendant had a prior conviction for Driving Without Insurance and sentenced him as a second offense. If you or a loved one has been charged with Driving Without Insurance or any other offense do not just plead guilty. Contact the Driving Without Insurance lawyers at DeMichele & DeMichele to discuss your available defenses, Call (856) 546-1350 to get a free confidential consultation with an experienced Driving Without Insurance defense attorney.
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