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The penalties of driving without insurance in Colorado

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2024 | Serious Traffic Tickets

Colorado imposes numerous obligations on those who want to drive, in order to help reduce the overall risk involved in motor vehicle travel. Drivers need to complete compulsory education and pass special tests to establish their practical ability and understanding of traffic laws. People must register their vehicles with the state and display a license plate when traveling on public roads. They also need to have liability insurance to legally drive.

People in many different scenarios may end up caught driving without insurance. Some people make a mistake, such as forgetting to authorize a digital payment, which can lead to a cancellation of their insurance coverage. Others decide to cancel their policies intentionally to save a little money.  What are the penalties possible for someone accused of driving without insurance in Colorado?

Uninsured driving is a crime, not a ticket-based infraction

Minor traffic violations only lead to a citation. While someone has to pay a fine, they don’t have a criminal record if they get accused of speeding. Someone accused of driving without insurance may face criminal charges, not just a simple traffic ticket.

The first time police officers catch someone driving without insurance, the state can bring Class 1 misdemeanor charges. The penalties after a conviction could include a $500 fine, up to 40 hours of community service and a driver’s license suspension until someone secures insurance. A second offense could lead to $1,000 in fines and a four-month license suspension, as well as the same imprisonment and community service penalties. A third conviction carries the same penalties except for the license suspension, which increases to eight months.

In cases where someone discovers their lack of insurance after a crash, they could also face secondary financial consequences. The other party involved in the collision may have grounds to pursue a personal injury lawsuit if they can reasonably allege that negligence or traffic misconduct caused the collision.

Those accused of major traffic violations can sometimes resolve matters in a way that limits the consequences they face and even the record of what transpired. Discussing what led to allegations of driving without insurance with an attorney may help people evaluate their options for a major traffic violation case. Drivers who fight back against allegations can work to protect their driving privileges and their finances.