DRIVING WITH A SUSPENDED LICENSE
Driving with a suspended license in New York is not a simple traffic violation – it's a serious crime. If you get caught driving with a revoked or suspended license, you will be charged with a misdemeanor or even a felony and face possible prison time. Buffalo suspended license lawyer Drew Fritsch is experienced in handling these types of cases. He understands the gravity of the situation and will defend you to the fullest extent of the law.
I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW MY LICENSE WAS SUSPENDED!
If this applies to you, understand that you're not alone. Many people who get arrested for driving with a suspended or revoked driver's license didn't even know they had lost their driver's license. Simply not knowing your license was suspended will generally not let you off the hook.
A license can be suspended or revoked for any number of reasons, such as failing to pay child support, failing to answer a ticket, having too many points added to your driving record within a certain time period, driving without insurance or refusing to take a chemical test. A chemical test refusal occurs when you refuse to be tested for the amount of drugs or alcohol in your system following your arrest for a suspected DWI.
AGGRAVATED UNLICENSED OPERATION
Under New York law, the technical term for driving with a suspended license is Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO). AUO occurs when a driver operates a motor vehicle on a public highway when the drivers knows, or has reason to know, that their license has been suspended or revoked.
There are three types of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation, based on the severity of the crime:
- First Degree AUO: This is a felony and carries the potential for up to four years in prison and a fine of between $500 and $5,000. AUO in the first degree usually occurs when someone is guilty of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the second degree while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or has 10 or more license suspensions for failure to respond to traffic tickets.
- Second Degree AUO: This is a misdemeanor and carries the potential for probation or between seven and 180 days in jail and a fine of between $500 and $1,000. Drivers caught driving with a suspended or revoked license who also have prior license suspensions or have alcohol violations such as DWI are typically charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the second degree.
- Third Degree AUO: This is a misdemeanor and carries the potential for probation or 30 days in jail and/or a fine of between $200 and $500. Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the third degree is what you'll likely be charged with if you are an average driver and weren't doing anything else seriously wrong (besides driving with a suspended or revoked license) when you were pulled over.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LICENSE SUSPENSION AND REVOCATION?
License suspensions and revocations are similar in that they both deal with driving privileges that are taken away for a period of time. However, they differ in what happens when the suspension or revocation time period ends.
With a suspension, your driver's license is automatically restored when the suspension time period ends. With a revocation, you have to reapply to drive a vehicle in New York. This means taking another written exam and driving test as well as having the DMV give you approval to get another driver's license.
WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT THE AGGRAVATED UNLICENSED OPERATION CHARGE?
In order to have committed AUO, you must have known or had reason to know your license was suspended or revoked. There are many instances where a driver's license was suspended, but the driver honestly had no idea, such as:
- The driver's notice of suspension or revocation was lost in the mail.
- The driver was not told over the phone or in person that the license was suspended. Note that generally speaking, if your license is suspended or revoked, you will be informed in writing.
- There was no reason for you to suspect your license was suspended or revoked.
Defending an Aggravated Unlicensed Operation charge isn't easy, so one of the first things you should do is hire an experienced suspended license lawyer who handles these types of cases. At the Law Office of Drew Fritsch P.C., we will not only defend you against the AUO charge, but will also help you take care of the underlying reason for your driver's license suspension.
LET BUFFALO SUSPENDED LICENSE LAWYER DREW FRITSCH FIGHT FOR YOU!
Driving with a suspended license is a very serious charge that can result in large fines, jail or prison time. That's why you should contact experienced Buffalo suspended license lawyer Drew Fritsch to help you put forth the best defense possible.