Vehicle Code section 16028- Driving Without Insurance

Vehicle Code section 16028 makes it unlawful to drive without insurance in California. A conviction for violating section 16028 exposes you to an infraction conviction and a fine of approximately $880.
If you can show the court that you actually had insurance at the time you were cited, the court will dismiss the infraction and charge an administrative fee in the amount of no less than $25 instead of the $880.
An alleged violation of Vehicle Code section 16028 will be prosecuted in traffic court. You can usually find out information about the traffic court by looking up the Superior Court website for the county in which you are being charged. Some websites even allow you to pay your fine online for your convenience.
You will be charged with a violation of Vehicle Code section 16028, driving without insurance if,

  • You were driving a vehicle;
  • Upon a highway;
  • And when you were driving your vehicle was not insured or you did not possess proof that your vehicle was insured.

Note: Even if you did not have insurance at the time you were issued a citation by the police officer, some traffic court commissioners or judges will still let you go with a $25 fine instead of the full $880 fine if you show that you obtained insurance after you were cited.
Please be clear, if you did not actually have insurance at the time you were pulled over, then the sooner you get it the more likely the judge or commissioner will let you off with the $25 fine. It looks a lot better if you can provide documents showing you got insurance the same day or the day after you were pulled over!
You should contact an attorney regarding this crime because he or she may be able to convince the judge or commissioner to dismiss the ticket outright or, at the very least, to convince the judge not to impose the whole $880. We have been successful in our requests that the fine not be imposed based on the inability of our client to pay.
Failure to Appear on VC 16028(a)
Whatever you do, do not ignore your ticket. A failure to appear or a failure to pay fines can result in dramatically increased penalties. We have seen a ticket for under three hundred dollars suddenly increase to thousands of dollars because of ignoring the ticket. That is the worse thing to do. It is far better to ask the court for leniency and we can help you do that.
If you do decide to fight the ticket, you can always appear in court to do so. Remember, just as in any criminal case, the People have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you drove without car insurance. This is the highest burden of proof in court. Though it rarely happens, it is our experience that the citing or arresting officer may fail to appear to testify to the facts of the allegations. If this happens, then the case against you should be dismissed.
Not matter what you decide, you should consult with us before doing so.
When you are facing substantial jail time, you ought to consider:
Always a Free Consultation at Fiumara & Milligan, Law PC
Please feel free to call North Bay attorneys at Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC 24/7 at (707) 571-8600 in our centrally located Santa Rosa office in Sonoma County or call our office in San Rafael in Marin County at (415) 492-4507 to schedule a free and confidential consultation to keep you out of jail.  If you call after hours, our operators will gladly connect you to one of our experienced and compassionate attorneys 24/7. 
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