Although some people purposely drive without a valid vehicle registration, many people fail to renew their registration due to simple, careless mistakes. Unfortunately, even if you did not intend to drive your unregistered car around town, driving without registration in West Palm Beach is still a criminal offense. You could face severe penalties for this simple mistake. Fortunately, an experienced traffic defense attorney could look into all available legal options to help you avoid these penalties.
Why Might Someone Drive Without Registration?
Some people intentionally drive without up-to-date registrations. While this may occur if they are driving a stolen vehicle, it typically happens when a motorist does not have enough money to pay for registration, their driver’s license is suspended or they just have not gotten around to doing it yet. Still, many people do not realize that failing to register their vehicle within a specific time period constitutes a crime.
In addition, sometimes when police officers pull over someone for having expired registration tags, the motorists may express surprise and disbelief. Frequently, drivers have no idea that they are operating a vehicle without proper registration. Sometimes, this problem is due to a lost piece of mail from the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. Other times, people who move forget to file change of address forms with the DMV, resulting in the mail being sent to an incorrect address.
Our West Palm Beach attorneys understand that mistakes happen and could work aggressively to defend motorists against charges for driving without registration.
What are the Registration Requirements in West Palm Beach?
The state of Florida has stringent requirements for registering vehicles. Any automobiles that are used on public roads must be registered. Generally, people need to register their cars within thirty days of establishing residency, working or attending school in the state. Upon registration, the owner of the vehicle must provide proof of their financial responsibility and automotive insurance.
In Florida, car registrations last one year and must be renewed annually before their expiration date. A seasoned lawyer in West Palm Beach could explain the relevant vehicle registration laws and advise a motorist of how it applies to them if they were driving without the proper tags.
Penalties for Driving an Unregistered Vehicle in West Palm Beach
Motorists who drive a vehicle with an expired registration face different penalties depending on how long the registration has been expired. Drivers with registrations that have expired less than six months before can face tickets for nonmoving violations, but they do not face criminal penalties. However, drivers with registrations that expired longer than six months ago can face criminal penalties, including a 60-day jail term and $500 in fines. According to Florida Statute § 320.07(3)(c), driving with an expired registration for more than six months constitutes a second-degree misdemeanor. A dedicated team of West Palm Beach attorneys could help someone charged with driving an unregistered vehicle mitigate the potential penalties.
Work with a West Palm Beach Attorney with Experience in Cases of Driving Without Registration
State law enforcement takes timely registration of automobiles very seriously. The penalties for driving without registration in West Palm Beach are severe. In addition to increasing your automobile insurance, this offense could also cause you to take a financial loss and even spend time in jail. It is critical that you work with an attorney who has the right kind of experience. A qualified lawyer could help you avoid paying a huge price for an inadvertent mistake. Call to arrange a meeting with our office as soon as possible.