What Type of Offense is Presenting a Fake Insurance Card When Stopped By Police in New Jersey?
Generally, states classify offenses punishable for over a year as a felony rather than a misdemeanor.
Please see the New Jersey statute N.J.S.A. 2C:21-2.3 which provides:
§ 2C:21-2.3. Producing, selling, offering, displaying, possessing fraudulent motor vehicle insurance ID cards
a. A person who knowingly produces, sells, offers or exposes for sale a document, printed form or other writing which simulates a motor vehicle insurance identification card is guilty of a crime of the third degree. In addition to any other penalty imposed, a person convicted under this section shall be ordered by the court to perform community service for a period of 30 days.
b. A person who exhibits or displays to a law enforcement officer or a person conducting a motor vehicle inspection pursuant to chapter 8 of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes a falsely made, forged, altered, counterfeited or simulated motor vehicle insurance identification card, knowing that the insurance identification card was falsely made, forged, altered, counterfeited or simulated, commits a crime of the fourth degree.
c. A person who possesses a falsely made, forged, altered, counterfeited or simulated motor vehicle insurance identification card, knowing that the insurance identification card was falsely made, forged, altered, counterfeited or simulated, commits a disorderly persons offense.
Under subsection (a), this is a third degree offense and the individual is facing one (1) to five (5) years in prison. Under subsection (b), this is graded as a fourth degree offense and the individual faces up to eighteen (18) months in prison. Finally, under subsection (c), this is a disorderly persons offense and the defendant is facing up to six (6) months in prison. All of these offenses result in a permanent criminal charge on your record. Finally, if you show the police a false insurance card you will also be charged with driving without insurance under N.J.S.A. 39:6B-2 which is a serious traffic offense. For a first offense, the fine is between $300 and $1000, it requires a one year license suspension, and you will also pay motor vehicle surcharges and court costs.