Increasingly people are appearing before the District Court for the offence of having no insurance after their insurance has lapsed for non payment. We are noticing that a trend is developing where people are driving their cars under the impression they have insurance when in reality the policy has lapsed due to non payment. We have represented a number of clients in recent months before the District Court who drove their car thinking they had insurance. After being stopped by the Gardai and asked to produce their insurance they discovered that the policy had lapsed. These days it seems that more and more people are paying for their insurance by direct debit. This is fine until you miss a payment due to lack of funds in your account. If you have moved house and dont get the letter from the insurance company or if you dont answer the call your policy could be cancelled without you knowing.
No insurance is a serious charge and results in a 2 year disqualification fom driving, penalty points and a hefty fine. It also results in a conviction. A District Court Judge has a discretion to not disqualify an accused from driving if there is a very good reason. Different Judges have different interpretations of the rules. Time and time again people are seeking advice after their policy was lapsed due to a failed direct debit and they are before the District Court for no insurance.
If a person made a genuine mistake and thought they were insured and if they need their car for work etc there is a good chance they can avoid a disqualification. If you have recieved a summons for no insurance please contact one of our Solicitors for expert advice.