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Information about Traffic Cases

Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility

(No Automobile Liability Insurance)

A person commits an offense if the person operates a motor vehicle without an automobile liability insurance policy or other evidence of financial responsibility. This offense is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $175.00 or more than $350.00.

If a person has been previously convicted of an offense under this section, an offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $350.00 or more than $1,000. 00.

It is a defense to prosecution for this offense that you produce to the court proof of automobile liability insurance or other evidence of financial responsibility that was valid at the time that the offense is alleged to have occurred.

You are entitled to have a citation for "no financial responsibility" dismissed if you have an automobile liability insurance policy or other proof of financial responsibility that was valid at the time of the offense.

After the court verifies the evidence of liability insurance or other proof of financial responsibility, the court shall dismiss the charge.

A person commits an offense (Class B misdemeanor) if the person:

(1) displays or causes or permits to be displayed an insurance document knowing that the document is counterfeit, tampered with, altered, or fictitious.

A person commits an offense (3rd degree felony) if the person:

(1) makes or possesses, with the intent to sell, circulate, or pass, a counterfeit insurance document.

A second or subsequent conviction of an offense under the Texas Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act will result in the suspension of your driver's license and motor vehicle registration unless you file and maintain evidence of financial responsibility with the Department of Public Safety for two years from the date of conviction. The Department may waive the requirement to file evidence of financial responsibility if you file satisfactory evidence with the Department showing that at the time this citation was issued, the vehicle was covered by a motor vehicle liability insurance policy or that you were otherwise exempt from the requirements to provide evidence of financial responsibility.

The minimum amounts of motor vehicle liability insurance coverage required to establish financial responsibility under this chapter are:

(1) $25,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person in one accident;

(2) $50,000 for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in one accident, subject to the amount provided by Subdivision (1) for bodily injury to or death of one of the persons; and

(3) $25,000 for damage to or destruction of property of others in one accident.

(4) a deposit of cash or cashier's check made with the County Judge; or

(5) self-insurance.

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General Information

This information is furnished to you to provide basic information relative to the law governing procedures for traffic cases in the Harris County Justice Courts.

The Harris County Justices of the Peace and the Clerks of the Harris County Justice Courts are not allowed to give legal advice. You are urged to review the applicable laws and to consult an attorney of your choice for further information or answers to specific legal questions.

You have the right to a trial by a jury and to be represented by an attorney of your choice, or to represent yourself.

Traffic offenses, generally, are punishable by a fine of not more than $200.00 and all costs of court.

Disclaimer: The law is constantly changing and there may be times when the information on this web site will not be current. This information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. This information is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject and is not a substitute for advice from an attorney.