If you, your friend or relative is driving a car without insurance and eventually got caught by a police officer – most likely, summons to court are inevitable. Is this a criminal charge though? – The answer is NO. Albeit, the penalty for driving without insurance in Ontario is very high.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Ontario
- a first conviction – a fine of not less than $5,000 and not more than $25,000. But it may also end up $5,000 plus 25% victim surcharge cost + $5 court cost = $6,255.00 for the first time.
- a subsequent conviction – a fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $50,000. Additionally, a driver’s licence can be suspended for not more than 1 year.
It is regarded as one of the “most famous” violations for any driver all over Canada. If convicted you won’t get any demerit points on your driving record, but insurance companies can utilize it and increase your premiums at least by 50% for the nearest 6 years. Having a prior record of driving without insurance may seriously affect your ability to get government jobs, such as police, military, etc. If you rely on a daily commute to work, having this record will negatively impact your driving ability and result in much money spent during the next 6 years. Also, failing to pay your fine for driving without insurance Ontario will get your driver’s licence suspended automatically.
What To Do If You’re Driving a Car Without Insurance And Got Caught?
Generally, almost all policemen have cameras that scan and identify numberplates registered to owners whose vehicles are not insured. Therefore, if you received a subpoena, the first thing you should do is to stop driving and try to get your vehicle insured as soon as possible.
If you still have to drive without insurance, you are taking on a serious risk that in case of an accident you will be sued personally for any physical or material damage. Having insurance on your motor vehicle in Ontario is essential because you would be protected for a minimum of $1,000,000 in case someone gets injured and is not able to sustain the same quality of life as they did prior to an incident.
Before going to the court, you are advised to prepare proof that your motor vehicle insurance has been restored. This may help to resolve your case to a reduced fine.
There are incidents when drivers are not aware they have been operating a vehicle without insurance because it is not their vehicle (their parents’, friends’ or even rented car) or because their insurance was cancelled for non-payment due to a mistake in the bank’s processes.
Since it is a strict liability offence, at trial, you will have a chance to negotiate and provide reasonable motive why you were forced to driving an uninsured vehicle through no fault of your own, at which point it could render your offence to be innocent.
However, most of the time this is not the case. Most drivers charged with driving without insurance, knowingly choose to drive. Hence, we recommend to consult a knowledgeable paralegal or lawyer that will be able to find any deficiencies with police officer’s evidence to dismiss the charge or increase your negotiating power to reduce your penalty or dismiss all charges against you.
Remember: If you end up being convicted for driving without insurance, unfortunately, it’ll stay on your record for life. Basically, that means that in case of subsequent offences you’ll face higher fines and more serious punishment. Driving uninsured remains with you after 3 years as well.
How to Fight Driving Without Insurance in Ontario?
Step 1: Resort to professional help as soon as possible in order to dramatically improve your chances of getting a victory in court.
Step 2: Be ready to prove to the prosecutor that you have already renewed your insurance coverage to negotiate a plea. Bring all the documents relevant to your case. If everything is okay with your documents and insurance coverage has been reinstated, it will take 1 to 3 court visits to settle down your case.
Step 3: At court date a police officer will be invited as the main bystander who carried out the investigation. Before trial, you have to prepare questions to the policeman and other witnesses about any reasonable facts regarding your case that might help to improve the overall situation.
It’s worth repeating, that the entire process is rather time-consuming on its own. Also, it requires relevant knowledge and experience to obtain the desired positive results in court. That’s why it’s generally recommended to work with a professional lawyer hand by hand. Otherwise, the eventual outcome can be really frustrating.
X-COPS is always here to help you. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you receive a ticket for driving without insurance and you want your case to be resolved by real professionals as soon as possible!