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New York State Aggravated Unlicensed Operation

Are You Charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in New York State?

Our New York lawyers represent motorists throughout NY State charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation, NY VTL § 511. Our motor vehicle criminal defense lawyers have vast experience representing motorists charged with AUO NY Traffic Courts throughout the state. If you have been charged with this crime you will need legal representation and assistance.


What is Aggravated Unlicensed Operation

Aggravated unlicensed operation is when a motorist was previously issued a NY license or otherwise had privileges to drive in New York State and then something happened whereby their license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle was suspended or revoked. Notwithstanding the NY suspension or revocation, the motorists continued to drive. The charge, New York Vehicle and Traffic Law VTL § 511, AUO, is a criminal misdemeanor. This is distinct from unlicensed operation where the person just does not have a license. That charge would be the non-criminal infraction of unlicensed operation, NY VTL § 509. While unlicensed operation it is a big problem for the insurance implications, it is not a criminal case.

Suspension or revocation – there is a difference

Whether your NY license or privileges are suspended or revoked the result is the same – you cannot drive until the suspension or revocation is cleared. Nonetheless, there is a big difference between a revocation and suspension. When a motorist’s New York license or privileges are suspended the privileges are merely taken away for a period of time and, after that period of time has lapsed the motorist pays a suspension lift fee and the driving privileges are immediately restored. When a motorist’s license or privileges are revoked the privilege do drive no longer exists. After the minimum revocation period the motorist must re-apply to the NYS DMV for re-licensing. Further, the application can be denied.

Reasons for a suspension or revocation

There are literally hundreds of reasons for a NY State license or privileges suspension or revocation. Many reasons have nothing at all to do with driving a vehicle. For example, a driver’s license can be suspended for failure to pay child support or bouncing a check written to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. However, some of the more common reasons for a suspension or revocation are as follows:

  • Failing to answer a traffic ticket
  • Failing to pay a fine
  • Accruing too many points in an 18 month period
  • Being convicted of driving without insurance, NY VTL § 319
  • Insurance lapse on a vehicle registered to you
  • 3 speeding convictions in an 18 month period
  • Certain violations while holding a probationary or junior license
  • Alcohol related intoxication conviction
  • Refusing a chemical test (breathalyzer)
  • Various degrees of AUO

There are varying degrees of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation:

AUO 3rd Degree: NY VTL § 511(1)(a): A misdemeanor which carries a fine and surcharge of over $500.00, jail of up to 30 days, and probation.

AUO 2nd Degree: NY VTL § 511(2)(a): A misdemeanor which carries a fine and surcharge of over $1,000.00, a minimum of 7 and up to 180 days in prison, or probation.

AUO 1st Degree: NY VTL § 511(3)(a): An “E” felony which carries a fine and surcharge of up to $5,000.00, up to 4 years in prison, or probation.

Defense of your AUO Charge

When you retain our office we start your defense by analyzing why you are suspended in the first place. Often times the motorist has no idea that they were suspended to begin with. What we do is go right to the source, the NYS DMV, to run a report of your driving record.

Other lawyers will send you to the DMV to get your driving record. Not our firm. Our traffic court defense law firm is one of the few non-government entities that have DIRECT ACCESS to the NYS DMV computer records. This means that we can pull your driving record directly from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles so that you do not have to go to the DMV to get your record. Often times we can also resolve your case without the need for you to go to court as well.

Remediating the underlying suspensions is key to resolving your case with a non-criminal disposition. If we cannot resolve it amicably with the court and prosecutor, then we are fully prepared to take your case to trial and do what it takes to prevent you from having a permanent criminal history.

Permissive operation in NY with a junior driverメs license


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