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Old 08-01-2008, 08:35 PM
1 posts, read 3,851 times
Reputation: 10


In February I was laid off from my job at Office Depot due to "overstaffing," and "profit margins" for my particular store. Not having any type of income for myself, I could not afford to pay the $300 a month liability car insurance (I'm 19, didn't get my license until I was 19, so I have no driving experience), so obviously I let it lapse. This was not that big of an issue at that time since I was not driving the car, didn't have anywhere to go, no money to do anything. So my car sat. I have read that in North Carolina, insurance companies must notify the DMV that your insurance has lapsed, and thus the DMV will send a notice requesting you to return your plate. Well, I had recently moved and had not gove to have the address on my license changed, so I never got the letter. Anyways, I got a new job around the end of February, and had to drive to work. I no that this was against the law, but I am a very safe driver, and was only driving to work (how else was I going to be able to pay for the insurance anyway?). Long story short I have only recently received a pay raise and now am making just enough money to be able to pay my bills (rent, cellphone, internet, electricity, GAS, etc.) with enough left over to pay for insurance. Needless to say I had not purchased insurance, and I was pulled over by a Zebulon cop. He was very nice and I told him my situation and he said he appreciated my honesty, and gave me a citation, confiscated my tag, and actually escorted me home (I was only about 2 miles away from my house where I got pulled over) with no tag instead of having my car towed. He told me that if I got insurance and took the proof to the court (Wake Count), and showed it to the DA it would most likely be a "slap on the wrist." Well yesterday was my court date, my mom took me, I was the third person in the Disposition court line. I was sent to the DA line and had to talk to a magistrate by the name of Dexter. He looked at my ticket and said "how do you want to take care of this today, would you like a continuance so you can consult an attorney?" I was shocked, I showed him my FS-1 showing my current insurance and told him what the cop said and he told me "he doesn't know why the officer told me that, but that's not how it works around here." So I had my date continued, and for some reason my new court date is not at the Wake County court, but at the Wendell, NC court. I'm wondering what I should do?
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Old 08-02-2008, 08:54 AM
Location: Raleigh, NC
502 posts, read 1,631,116 times
Reputation: 196
It doesn't seem to me you have many options. I don't mean to be harsh, but you broke the law so you will have to go to court and deal with it. You could have taken a cab to work or had your parent or a friend bring you. Careful drivers are in accidents every day. Suppose you had hit someone during that trip and they were badly injured. Who would have paid the medical bills, which could have easily been $xx,xxx or more? There is a reason that the state requires liability insurance. If you don't want to have collision to cover your own losses, that's your choice... but you are required to have liability insurance to cover other people and their property if you hit them.

Seems to me you can either go to court and tell your story to the judge, or you can hire an attorney. An attorney might be able to get it reduced or something, but you'll have to pay the attorney. I would try to find out what the punishment is for this crime and let that weigh your decision. You want to know what the fine could be, and if there are any points for it. The DMV site should tell you about the points... not sure how you'd find out the fine other than talking to the court or an attorney. You might ask if this is big enough for them to provide a public defender, but I doubt it.

The most important thing here is that you learned the lesson that breaking the law with a good reason is still breaking the law, and accidents happen to all drivers (good and bad).
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