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New York Unlicensed Operation Lawyer

One of the most common traffic offenses is the offense of operating a vehicle with a suspended license. This is not merely a traffic infraction, it is also a crime that can come with serious penalties and even incarceration. In New York, a person may be charged with first, second, or third degree aggravated unlicensed operation (AUO) of a vehicle.  It’s important to seek the legal assistance of an experienced New York unlicensed operation lawyer to fight your case.

First Degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Vehicle

First degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle can mean a few different things. If you have any suspensions on your license, plus you are simultaneously arrested for driving while impaired (VTL 1192.1) intoxicated (DWI/DUI – VTL 1192.2, 2a, or 3) or driving while impaired by drugs (DWI/DUI – VTL 1192.4 or 4a) For example, if you forgot to pay a speeding ticket and end up with a suspended license, and then are arrested for drunk driving as a DUI or DWI, you will be charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the First Degree.
This is an “E” felony which carries a fine and penalties of up to $5,000 in jail and up to four years in prison or probation. NY VTL Section 511(3)(a)(i).

Second Degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Vehicle

Under Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 511(2) you could be charged with AUO in the second degree if you:

  • Have been convicted of AUO in the third degree in the past 18 months and are caught driving a vehicle
  • Your license or suspension was based on a refusal to take a chemical test
  • Your license suspension was mandatory pending prosecution for driving while intoxicated. (VTL 1192.2)
  • You have three or more suspensions imposed for failure to appear in court, to answer a court, or to pay a fine

AUO 2nd Degree is a misdemeanor that carries a fine of over $1,000.00 and a mandatory minimum of 7 and maximum of 180 days in prison, or probation, a fine, incarceration, and probation.

Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Vehicle in the third degree:

A person may be found guilty of AUO in the third degree when a person operates a motor vehicle on a public highway and knows or should know that their license is suspended, revoked, or otherwise withdrawn by the commissioner.

AUO in the third degree is a misdemeanor. The sentence carries a fine of between $500 and $1500, a term of imprisonment of no more than 30 days, and/or both a fine and imprisonment.

Defenses to an AUO Charge:

  • Verify that your license was in fact suspended or restricted
  • Verify you were driving on a public highway or road and not private property
  • Verify that the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles properly gave you notice of your suspension

Any AUO charge is a serious charge that necessitates strong legal assistance to ensure that your case is given the care and consideration it needs. Resolving the underlying suspensions is crucial to resolving the case without facing criminal penalties. If this cannot be resolved and it cannot be resolved amicably with the prosecutor, we are prepared to zealously advocate for you in Court and work hard to prevent your having a permanent criminal history.

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