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Can You Go to Jail for Driving Without Insurance?

Texas, like most states, mandates that all motor vehicle operators be covered by third-party liability insurance. The minimum coverage levels are $25,000 for property damage and $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident for personal injury. Failure to carry adequate insurance is punishable by steep monetary penalties but not by jail — unless there are aggravating circumstances.

Driving in Texas without liability insurance is a misdemeanor. A first offense is punishable by a fine of at least $175 but not more than $350. A second offense carries a fine of at least $350 but not more than $1,000. In either case, you may be assessed an annual surcharge of $250 per year for three years following the violation. In addition, if you are an owner of the vehicle at the time of the offense and on the date of the conviction, your car may be subject to impoundment.

The potential for incarceration comes into play if there are additional infractions. For instance, if you’re driving without insurance and with a suspended license, and you’re at fault in a car accident that resulted in serious injury or death to another person, the offense is escalated to a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a $4,000 fine and/or a maximum of one year in jail.

In addition, if you get into an accident and you do not have liability insurance, you could be 100 percent liable for any damages you cause.

To learn more about the legal consequences of driving without insurance, consult with an experienced defense attorney at The Law Firm of Richard L. Ellison P.C. Call us at 844-337-5819 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.